Converting DWG to Gerber for Mutable Instrument Panels

From circuitbending to homebrew stompboxes & synths, keep the DIY spirit alive!

Moderators: Kent, luketeaford, Joe.

Post Reply
mark.linton
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:44 pm

Converting DWG to Gerber for Mutable Instrument Panels

Post by mark.linton » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:36 pm

Hi, I haven't been able to find a good example of how someone would convert the DWG or AI files in the mutable instruments github to a format that a pcb fabrication shop would be able to use for producing PCB panels.

Does anyone have suggestions on the basic steps for this?

User avatar
5xbman
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:56 pm
Location: East coast USA

Re: Converting DWG to Gerber for Mutable Instrument Panels

Post by 5xbman » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:46 pm

Mark,

Do you have a way of converting the DWG file to a PNG? or even to a DXF?

You can take a PNG file and load it into Kicad's Bitmap to Component Converter, then export it to a Kicad layer. Then edit it to your requirements in Kicad and produce Gerbers for PCB fab.

If you can't convert the DWG to a PNG then you can maybe convert it into a DXF and import it into Inkscape, then export as a PNG.

I think you can get a version of Autocad for personal use (I think they call it "Fusion") so you may be able to use that to convert the DWG into a PNG or a DXF.

Caveat: I've used Inkscape to create panel designs and gone through the above process to generate a Kicad layer from a PNG, but converting a DWG file is not something I've done so I can't comment on the details. Perhaps someone else here has more knowledge of that.
-- Martin

User avatar
cackland
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2371
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:42 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Converting DWG to Gerber for Mutable Instrument Panels

Post by cackland » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:49 pm

What is your choice of PCB software?

User avatar
Staticcharge
Common Wiggler
Posts: 245
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 2:02 pm
Location: Somewhere between yesterday and tomorrow.

Re: Converting DWG to Gerber for Mutable Instrument Panels

Post by Staticcharge » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:50 pm

Just use the AI files and save them as SVG files.
There's a few ways of writing them to KiCad format, I find it a lot more flexible.
Edit the AI file into your layers and the save in SVG.
Use inkscape and this extension: https://github.com/badgeek/svg2shenzhen
Follow the directions and then write to Gerber.
It's a bit long winded but I find it perfect for designing panels that a less boring.

User avatar
fitzgreyve
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:49 am
Location: UK

Re: Converting DWG to Gerber for Mutable Instrument Panels

Post by fitzgreyve » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:22 am

I use Designspark PCB (free), with this I just import the dwg file, assigning (and in some cases later "re-assigning") various dwg object types to the required designspark entities. Then just a case of generating gerbers as normal.
Under developement:
- Reich
---------------------------------------
https://fitzgreyve2.blogspot.com/

User avatar
MikeDB
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 602
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:28 am
Location: UK

Re: Converting DWG to Gerber for Mutable Instrument Panels

Post by MikeDB » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:54 am

Try EasyEDA. It doesn't officially support DWG but I've found it imports lots of formats automatically, or with one of the user-scripts.

User avatar
Troubleshooter
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 389
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:21 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Converting DWG to Gerber for Mutable Instrument Panels

Post by Troubleshooter » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:13 am

1.) DWG to DXF using your autocad versions "save as".
2.) Use the free EasyEDA to import your DXF.
3.) Convert your vectors to silkcreen, holes, traces, soldemasks etc, don't forget to think about the layers. Silkscreen needs soldermask etc...

I used this workflow a few times with great results.

Quinie
Common Wiggler
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:14 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Converting DWG to Gerber for Mutable Instrument Panels

Post by Quinie » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:16 pm

Shameless self promotion, but I did write a few lines about DXF and panels
https://www.quinie.nl/making-panels-in-kicad-from-dxf/
hopes it helps

Post Reply

Return to “Music Tech DIY”