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[SOLVED] schematic to Gerber

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Sep 30, 2011
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Is there a software that can convert a schematic like jpeg or any other drafting file into gerber file without you having to design it?


There are two (three) steps:
* jpeg picture --> schematic. I don't know any software that can do this properly. You have to do it manually
* schematic --> placing parts
* routing traces. Is called autorouter. Still you need to tell the autorouter how it should work. Priority, voltage, current, noise, trace length, impedance...

My opinion:
I don't rely on these "automated" tools. Better pay some person to do this.

It would be like standing in the kitchen with milk and flour and demand "something" to create a birthday cake.
You might have success to find automation from step to step, but I would never dare to trust the result.
without you having to design it?
Seriously, can you imagine a world where this could be possible? Schematics are representations of components that can handle high or low voltage which can be in discrete form, integrated circuit, surface mount, thru hole mount, signal, power, etc, etc... Layouts are drawn inside a board with specific borders geometry and fixation holes, upon specifications of components positioning so that there is no electrical mutual interference and mechanical overlay each other and with the sorrounding world. Without defining boundary conditions all you would have would be a soup of interconnected components...congrats.

Is there a software that can convert a schematic like jpeg or any other drafting file into gerber file without you having to design it?
I'm assuming you have a JPEG that is of the PCB you want to turn into Gerber files. Circad )aka OmniGlyph loads in most of the popular graphics files. The idea is that you can just go with creating a Gerber but you can use the image of the PCB make it the top layer then place all the parts that are on the board and generate a netlist from the PCB which you can read in from a blank schematic file and it will give you schematic (A bit jumbled up but with the correct connections all direct to the pins of the parts)

Of course you probably will want to clean up the schematic so its all right angle lines for the signals. And you can name signals you know like GND, CLK or whatever. You can do the same thing if all you have is a Gerber file for the input (Assuming you know which parts are stuffed on the PCB. For folks who have lost or the angry CAD guy that was fired has deleted the schematics it can be a real life saver way to reverse engineer a board. I wrote a tiny part of the program and helped with the way it works. #1 not being forced to use the mouse every other time you want to do something which I find really sucks. You can use the mouse for everything but as you learn the keyboard replacements? Its really nice to be able to keep both hands on the keyboard and "touch type" a design rather then poking keys with your left hand finger and wiggling the mouse with your right. One example is the arrow keys with the shift, alt or ctl key to make them move further it can really speed up a design. The shortcuts are not weird Shift Alt F3 sorts of things. For example its F (for File) O (for open)

We've been considering doing some serious work on the Library files which are (I admit) lacking. Maybe have it be able to use some popular format like Digikey or Mouser use. *Anyone with suggestions? Give me a call if you like the demo/have questions. Attached is the free download version. Its limited in not producing Gerber files but you can save which I think lets you do some work with it before handing out a couple hundred bucks. The free version is even less parts filled but... You can if you wish make up parts if you want to make an actual project this I admit is a way to addict you or at least want to output gerbers / NC Drill files. You can get whatever the latest greatest downloadable version is at

BTW I explained how to go from JPEG to PCB to Schematic insuring that all the connects and nothing else are used by the schematic / PCB. The normal way is to draw the schematic output the netlist then in a blank PCB file read in the netlist which will give you a neat row of parts (PCB Patterns) and again will have all the connections directly connected if you show the wirelist. Its then your job to make traces on whatever number of layers you want to make all the nets connect. You N (For Net) S ( for scan) to see if you forgot something or have signals connected to each other. The files both stay open so you can make changes that will always reflect what the source of the connections list comes from. You also get the expected Bill of Materials file etc.

I attached the demo. Its probably so small you won't believe it but the Author (and I) loath bloat ware. Also it will not in anyway mess with your registry file. Just run the setupomniglyph .exe file and you will be rolling. The two zip files are just some projects that you can look at to see some finished work. Nothing fancy but I think its always good to have working examples.


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