To Build a Better Beta

We are so not fans of that show. We so do not name our servers after any fictional characters from that show. That picture? Just some random web thing, seemed likely to grab attention. We are, however, working on our Beta, it is Better - and we have some updates that might be useful to our beloved beta testers.

Consider this a belated changelog - and please, feel free to break anything. And tell us about it.

Bare Boards

PCB:NG is, during beta, offering bare boards for 2-layer designs. $1/sq inch, 12-day turn, tight specs. Break our parser, please - that's the point. A great price for you, beta feedback for us.

Outline Layer Improvements

We've found out that some, nameless EDA package just cannot create a truly contiguous outline file. And another just can't help but put stuff inside the outline. So we've made our parser more tolerant, and now pretty much any outline file that can be described as an outline (with a straight face) works.

Milling/Slots

You asked for it, Dave Jones asked for it, so we've made it happen - if your software has the right chops, anyway.

If your software can create real, honest to gosh routing/milling files (I'm looking at you, Altium!), then you may have slots and oval holes. However - you need to know the secret in order to do so. If you're intent on routs, please contact PCB:NG support, and we'll tell you what you need to do.

AFAIK, Eagle, DipTrace and KiCad cannot do this, which is disappointing. But we're working on a solution for those folks, too.

Space Delimited Pick and Place

So, did KiCad devs call their Pick and Place files .POS files without any sense of irony? At any rate, we've added preliminary support for those files until they come to their senses and output .CSV files like everyone else. Expect it to break, especially if you're missing "fields", but break it anyway and let us know.

MPNs in Pick and Place

In addition to Digi-Key numbers, we now accept manufacturer part numbers, too. And why might that be? Well, let's just say that one distributor is just not enough, and expect our effective parts list to expand in the future.

Eagle CAM File

We're started our efforts to provide some package-level support. Here's our first result: an Eagle CAM file that, if you use it, will make Eagle output magically delicious and fully compatible with PCB:NG. 2-Layer CAM file is here, and we'll be following up with 4-Layer and DRU files, too, on that very same page.

And More

We've fixed so many things - better previews. Generics for parts placement. Faster response. Better order page. And more than a few that I'm forgetting this moment.

We'll have one more feature release during beta - it's such a killer feature that I'm dying to spill the beans on - and then it's a bughunting march to V. 1.

Thanks to all of you for your support!