Torture-Tested DFM

We've just launched our Beta DFM functionality - our automated error checker formerly known as "Spock" is now available for all Beta users. And we've provided a nice test file so that you can see all of the functions right away.

We're often asked about why manufacturing electronics is so expensive. One reason? Most designs have errors, sometimes quite a few. And those errors get corrected behind the scenes, mostly manually. So a fair amount of labor gets priced into every job.

We decided to change that, and to reward clean designs with a great price - and by giving you the tools to find those errors.

To do that, we started with a board design that was rife with the types of errors that we want to address, fondly named "The Torturer". Our development staff was challenged to make something that finds all of those errors. We incented them by playing lots of Misfits. To their credit, they've succeeded brilliantly, and our DFM works really, really well.

To their further credit, they're all now Misfits fans.

Our DFM function will find things like thin traces, missing annular rings, too-small drill hits, copper clearance issues - mostly drill and copper related stuff right now. In short, we're making it so that you have the tools to make a better design, and a more manufacturable design.

Now, we know that some of you never produce a design with an error, so if that describes you, feel free to mess about with The Torturer. Everyone else? Just upload your files and see what happens.

Since we've already been asked during the previously testing phase - the DFM is largely PCB:NG-centric. In other words, if you've fixed all of the errors that we find, your board may not necessarily work well with everyone out there. But it'll definitely work well with us.

As always, we're looking forward to your feedback about the new stuff, or anything else in the PCB:NG Beta.