How to create PCB in cnc from jpg

Written by andrew nolen
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How to create PCB in cnc from jpg
A printed circuit board is a complex piece of engineering. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Creating a printed circuit board (PCB) is a challenging task. To translate the PCB design into a format that can be read by a computer numerical control (CNC) is only achievable when the CNC software allows the import. The CadSoft program called Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor (EAGLE) is designed exclusively for this task. You can download a freeware version, but the EAGLE light edition is limited to a board area of 4 inches by 3.2 inches. By using free open-source vector graphic software such as Inkscape, you can make a PCB in a much larger size.

Skill level:
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Instructions

    Preparation

  1. 1

    Download the free Inkscape software.

  2. 2

    Import your JPG image of the circuit board design by clicking on "File" and "Import." Make sure you embed the image instead of linking to it.

  3. 3

    Select your image by going to "Edit" and "Select All."

    Tracing Bitmap Path

  1. 1

    Go to "Path" and "Trace Bitmap."

  2. 2

    Click the "Edge Detection" button then click the "Update."

  3. 3

    Manipulate the settings until the image outline is complete, if a preview doesn't show a good outline.

  4. 4

    Click "OK" and close the "Trace Bitmap" dialogue box.

  5. 5

    Delete the imported JPG image.

    Finishing the Image

  1. 1

    Look over the image to ensure your graphic was completed.

  2. 2

    Click "Object" and "Fill and Stroke" while the image is still selected.

  3. 3

    Click the "Stroke" paint tab, then the "Flat" colour button. All paths should be outlined.

  4. 4

    Delete any paths you don't want by pressing "Select" and "Delete."

  5. 5

    Complete the graphic by making all of the paths into a single one by clicking "Edit," "Select All," "Path" and "Exclusion." Save the image into the needed format for your computer-aided design (CAD) program.

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