PCB (and drawing) tool chain


I’m pretty new to this still… I’ve got a handle on 3d printing and the tool chain involved to go from design to a print.

I do need help with a tool chain for PCB milling or for just drawing pictures (like a plotter). I’m probably missing something easy, but I don’t see intuitively how to get from a circuit in Fritzing or Eagle to something Repetier Host (if I need to use that even) can mill out for me.

Anyone have suggestions?


If you can output a DXF or DWG estcam picks that up no problem.

I can save it as an SVG, though the lines are thin in Estlcam and I don’t see how to make it cut around them so they have depth… see the attachment. the traces should be wide enough (I guess?) that estlcam can cut around the outside of them…

which I suspect still has some element of operator error in there… :slight_smile:

We must be missing a step. I haven’t done a PCB’s But I was just recommended fritzing on this forum a few weeks ago so I know it works.

Looks like Mike is the man to ask, https://www.v1engineering.com/forum/topic/pcb-isolation-milling/

Sorry I couldn’t help.

just figured it out… the lines in fritzing are traces for drawing and not paths for etching/milling.

so I step it through Inkscape to turn the drawing paths into an outline (which makes it a milling path)

like so:
Open the yourfilename_etch_copper_bottom_mirror.svg in Inkscape, select everything and repeatedly press ctrl+shift+g until everything is ungrouped.
Select view -> display mode -> outline. You will now see only the vectors without fill or stroke.
Select all traces and go to Path -> Stroke to Path.
Select all traces and go to Path -> Union.

that gets this SVG which opens like so in estlcam


By the way…, thanks for the lightning quick replies. This has been very simple to get going so far, mainly from decent documentation, clear design, and quick replies here.

The forum and especially your replies on the forum are what sold me on this machine.

Ah, that makes sense. Bummer that you need another program to stroke the lines, might be hard to get them the the exact size you need. I can’t believe eagle doesn’t do this.

You welcome and thank you for being part of the forum. Every thread just makes it better!

Eagle very well might do the traces properly. It on my list of stuff to try. Fritzing just didn’t quite do it all by itself. However, it’s 2 minutes in Inkscape to get it ready…