"Scan" to Gerber?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Don Y, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi,

    Are there any tools (interactive or batch) that will
    accept a high resolution scan (this shouldn't matter!)
    and produce a "normalized" Gerber photoplot format
    (that I can subsequently post-process) from existing
    films or an actual (bare) board?

    Thx,
    --don
     
    Don Y, Dec 24, 2013
    #1
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  2. On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 11:28:01 -0700, Don Y <> wrote:

    >Hi,
    >
    >Are there any tools (interactive or batch) that will
    >accept a high resolution scan (this shouldn't matter!)
    >and produce a "normalized" Gerber photoplot format
    >(that I can subsequently post-process) from existing
    >films or an actual (bare) board?
    >
    >Thx,
    >--don


    Ether import a bitmap into Eagle, or import a DXF file.
    You can convert a pdf to a DWG file, then export a DXF out of Autocad.
    Or just import the Bitmap into Eagle, fix the layers and create
    Gerbers.

    See...
    <http://www.eevblog.com/forum/eda/re-laying-out-a-board-from-a-pdf/>

    I could give it a shot if you like. I just need a good scan.

    Cheers
     
    Martin Riddle, Dec 24, 2013
    #2
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  3. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi Martin,

    On 12/24/2013 11:53 AM, Martin Riddle wrote:
    > On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 11:28:01 -0700, Don Y<> wrote:
    >
    >> Are there any tools (interactive or batch) that will
    >> accept a high resolution scan (this shouldn't matter!)
    >> and produce a "normalized" Gerber photoplot format
    >> (that I can subsequently post-process) from existing
    >> films or an actual (bare) board?

    >
    > Ether import a bitmap into Eagle, or import a DXF file.
    > You can convert a pdf to a DWG file, then export a DXF out of Autocad.
    > Or just import the Bitmap into Eagle, fix the layers and create
    > Gerbers.


    <frown> I think that's just fiddling with graphics.

    What I want is to get to valid gerbers and, from there,
    rebuild the connectivity map (netlist) and, eventually,
    schematic.

    > See...
    > <http://www.eevblog.com/forum/eda/re-laying-out-a-board-from-a-pdf/>
    >
    > I could give it a shot if you like. I just need a good scan.


    Thanks, but I'm looking more for a toolset than a "one-off".

    Happy Holidays!
    --don
     
    Don Y, Dec 24, 2013
    #3
  4. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi Mike,

    On 12/29/2013 3:34 PM, Mike Perkins wrote:
    > On 24/12/2013 23:53, Don Y wrote:
    >>> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 11:28:01 -0700, Don Y<> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Are there any tools (interactive or batch) that will
    >>>> accept a high resolution scan (this shouldn't matter!)
    >>>> and produce a "normalized" Gerber photoplot format
    >>>> (that I can subsequently post-process) from existing
    >>>> films or an actual (bare) board?


    >> What I want is to get to valid gerbers and, from there,
    >> rebuild the connectivity map (netlist) and, eventually,
    >> schematic.


    > Many years ago I recall a package that could rebuild a netlist from a
    > Gerber. Not sure if this is the one though, or if it can accept other
    > formats associated with scans:
    >
    > http://numberone.com/intellgerber.asp


    Yes, this looks like it does the "back end" of the process.
    But, it expects a "gerber" as inputs. I.e., there's already
    some connectivity information present in the photoplot file.
    It doesn't appear that it would be able to take a "bitmap"
    (e.g., TIFF) and deduce the connectivity from that -- essentially
    build a gerber from a TIFF. Then, the netlist from the gerber.

    But, it looks promising! I will DL their trial if only to see
    how well it does what it actually does do!

    Thanks!
    --don
     
    Don Y, Jan 2, 2014
    #4
  5. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi Mike,

    On 1/2/2014 11:45 AM, Mike Perkins wrote:

    > Pleasure, although I know of some who have used this package I haven't
    > myself.
    >
    > It used to be very popular and I guess still has a loyal following.
    >
    > Some time ago, I wrote a program that converted from various plotter
    > formats. I know very little about the TIFF format, but there are such a
    > plethora of free programs out there, I'm sure a search will come up with
    > some conversion software that you need.


    TIFF is essentially a compressed bitmap. So, not a straightforward
    conversion to a vector-oriented format (which I think is true of
    most plotter formats, e.g. Gerber) where they are actually trying
    to "steer" a marking element (aperture) around a surface.

    [Of course, that's not to say there aren't algorithms to do exactly
    this sort of conversion]

    I think what makes Gerber to netlist/schematic much easier is
    that you already have the connectivity implicit in the "motions"
    of the plotter (i.e., if it never goes to a certain (x,y), then
    there is no connection to the object located at that (x,y)!)

    Thanks, I'll investigate (busy trying to finish up "year end"
    stuff... always too much to get done in too short of a window!)

    --don
     
    Don Y, Jan 4, 2014
    #5
  6. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi Jim,

    [apologies for delay in replying... end of year is even more hectic
    than normal :< ]

    On 12/30/2013 4:31 PM, WangoTango wrote:

    [attrs elided]

    >> What I want is to get to valid gerbers and, from there,
    >> rebuild the connectivity map (netlist) and, eventually,
    >> schematic.


    >> Thanks, but I'm looking more for a toolset than a "one-off".

    >
    > I use FAB3000 from Numerical Innovations for my Gerber editor/verifier
    > and it has a lot of options that are geared towards reverse engineering
    > and netlist extraction.


    Yes. It seems a pretty common feature of photoplot editors et al.

    > I haven't played around with all those goodies,
    > but I do know it will import scans/JPGs and so on.


    OK. Trick will be if they can use these for *electrical* connectivity
    vs. just silk screen legends, etc. And, if they allow them to be
    "electrical conductors", if they do anything more than letting your
    "add/remove copper" free-hand.

    > I think they do a
    > full featured 30 day trial and the newer versions have a lot more
    > functionality than the old version I'm running. They also have
    > EXCELLENT phone support and I'm sure if you gave them a call and went
    > over what you were trying to do they would let you know if the software
    > was up to the task.


    Thanks! I've bookmarked it and will pursue it once I get some "free
    time" (another oxymoron :< )

    --don
     
    Don Y, Jan 8, 2014
    #6
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