Printing your PCB using Eagle

The first step in making your PCB is printing the file from Eagle Layout editor. If you haven't already, download the freeware Eagle installer from their website below:

CadSoft Online

Click on Downloads and then choose the correct version for your language and OS. (Windows, Linux or Mac)

Once the software is done downloading, along with the PCB (.brd) file, open Eagle and go to file, open and then board, like this:

A standard Open dialogue box will open up now, just find the file and click Open:

The file should look similar to the following:

The next step is to choose what we do and don't want to print. Go to the Display/Hide Layers menu under the View menu:

This window will come up, and shouuld look something like this:

You now need to choose what you do and do not want to print. Click on number 1, 19, 20, 21 and 22. You will notice that 23, 24 and a bunch more if you scroll down uncheck themselves. The window should now look like the following. Click OK.

The screen should look similar to this now:

Now, you are ready to print! Click on File, and then Print and a Print dialogue box will appear. If you plan on using the toner transfer method, make sure only black is checked, like this, but if you are going to use the photo method (reccomended), choose Mirror also.

Click the printer button and make sure that your printer is set to the highest possible resolution. If you are using toner transfer you need to use a laser printer to print onto thick, glossy LASER/COPY MACHINE paper from your local copy store (I get it from Kinkos or OfficeMax). DO NOT, and I will repeat, DO NOT use inkjet glossy paper in a laser printer. It will melt at the 800 or so degrees F that a laser printer uses, and will destroy the printer. An inkjet printer cannot be used unless you plan to have the copy store copy it onto the glossy paper for you. Ink from an inkjet will not transfer over to the PCB.

The same goes with the photo method. This method, though, can be used with an injket or laser printer. I reccomend a laser because it is a much more accurate printer, but you can use a high resolution (anything 600dpi or higher) inkjet. You also have to print at 600dpi or higher on a laser printer. Whatever you choose, make sure you use the right transparency. Inkjet transparencies will melt in and destroy a laser printer, and ink from an inkjet printer will not stick to a laser transparency. As I said before, when you print the PCB for the photo method, make sure you choose Mirror in the print dialogue box.

You now will have a completed pcb drawing, ready to be put on a board. This process will be covered later on.