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 Help For Easy-PC Users
 Manufacturing Outputs
 "I can’t find a board outline"
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jlawton

United Kingdom
102 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  11:13:25  Show Profile  Visit jlawton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
V26.0.1
I've just tried two board suppliers, OSHPark and Eurocircuits with a simple two layer board and they both report that the board outline is missing. This isn't an issue I've encountered before with anyone, including Eurocircuits who I have used before. [Board Outline] is included in all the layer plots.

OSHPark give this help info/suggestion:
https://docs.oshpark.com/design-tools/easy-pc/
Which I tried, but to no effect. The Gerbers look okay to me, so does anyone know what might be the issue please?


John

markpsu

USA
67 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  13:04:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been using Easy-PC for over 10 years and ordered boards from maybe 6-8 different vendors, and I've never had them report that the board outline wasn't there when I could confirm it with a gerber viewer.

If you haven't used a gerber viewer yet to double check it, I would start there. I use the free version of Gerber Viewmate.
Another option would be to export in ODB++ and resend.
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edrees

United Kingdom
763 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  13:07:03  Show Profile  Visit edrees's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi John,

I've had a SIMILAR issue with EuroCircuits from time to time, in that it reports "The Board Outline might be incorrect". This is despite the fact that I always include a "Mechanical" gerber plot with Dimensions and board outline only. They have never come back to me with a query when it goes into Production.

If you have verified the gerber plots with an independent viewer (UCAMCO is THE definitive viewer, but I also use Viewmate and DFM Now!) I would be quite confident that all is well. They would HAVE to (personally) get back to you if there was no pcb outline in the files!

You could also add a board outline in Top/Bottom silk screen just for "Belt and Braces"!


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jlawton

United Kingdom
102 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  13:28:53  Show Profile  Visit jlawton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your replies. Yes I have checked the Gerber plots, and Yes I included the board outline in all the layers.
I've been using Gerbv as my viewer and can't see the problem. My only thought is that they expect yet another plot layer e.g. "Board Outline" that I haven't provided.

EuroCircuits flag up the 'problem' but OSHPark give me a 'fatal error' so much worse!

I usually use PCBWay and never have any issues but I wanted to avoid their heavy shipping costs on what is a very small in-house job.

The mystery continues.

John



John
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edrees

United Kingdom
763 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  13:36:05  Show Profile  Visit edrees's Homepage  Reply with Quote
John,

Just for interest I just uploaded a (known good) zipped up gerber pack to OSHPark and it also reported a "critical" error and could not proceeed.

Another (known good) Zipped up Gerber pack reported Critical error and "No board outline found" !

OSHPark also suggests,-
"If you'd like some help figuring out what's going wrong then please email your design file to support@oshpark.com and we'll take a look at it."

Also found this on the OShPark website,-

Board Outline
Our service requires a board outline gerber, which indicates to us and the fab where the edge of your board is to be located. This layer is used by our service to generate the billing cost based on your board area, as well as enabling us to remove data that lies outside your board to avoid affecting adjacent designs. The fab also uses this outline to determine how to cut your board out from the panel.

While most design tools make producing this layer fairly straightforward, some design tools include additional data that causes issues, or fail to generate it at all. If our system rejects your board due to outline or size issues, try going through our outline troubleshooting guide, or contacting our support staff at support@oshpark.com



Edited by - edrees on 13 Apr 2023 14:02:22
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jlawton

United Kingdom
102 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  14:27:24  Show Profile  Visit jlawton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Edrees, I didn't see their more fullsome information, just the tips to 'fix' Easy-PC which didn't do so anyway.

Curiously the plot files are detected as 'DesignSpark'. Lol

Anyway I have fixed their 'critical issue'. I created an additional plot in my plot job which just had the board outline.
Now it sails through their checks, only moaning about the lack of a bottom silkscreen.

Incidentally, I never include the Plot Report.txt file when sending manufacturing information to manufacturers. So I assume it is not required to plot the Gerbers?

John


John
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edrees

United Kingdom
763 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  14:39:07  Show Profile  Visit edrees's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you got it sorted. Good feedback John. Thank you.

I always used to supply the "Plot Report.txt" file in my zipped up Gerber pack, but haven't done so for many years now. Arguably, more info for the pcb fabricator is better than less!
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jlawton

United Kingdom
102 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  14:48:07  Show Profile  Visit jlawton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've ordered boards from OSHPark. Three off 2 layer boards for $29 with free but "VERY SLOW" US postal service, so maybe next month I may get the boards, but I'm in no hurry, just hope they eventually arrive... :)




John
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edrees

United Kingdom
763 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  15:21:37  Show Profile  Visit edrees's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think that you could get faster delivery for (more or less) the same price with PCBWay or JLCPCB. I sometimes order 10 pcbs + 10 pcbs of the same design which works out cheaper than buying 20 pcbs!

Eurocircuits are usually a bit more expensive these days.

Always best to order several designs at once to amortise the shipping costs.
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markpsu

USA
67 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  15:27:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, I hope my purchasing dept doesn't see this thread I just sent a prototype order out for 6.5k.
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edrees

United Kingdom
763 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  15:40:28  Show Profile  Visit edrees's Homepage  Reply with Quote
@markpsu

I hope that wasn't for a "simple 2 layer" design?
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jlawton

United Kingdom
102 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  15:51:44  Show Profile  Visit jlawton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
6.5k with VERY express carriage?

As I said, I usually use PCBWay, but their DHL carriage costs a lot (usually more than the boards). From OSH Park I'm getting three boards with FREE carriage, even if it is going to be very slow carriage, but as I said I'm in no hurry...


John
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markpsu

USA
67 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2023 :  19:11:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
They are indeed simple 2-layer boards. We buy similar boards on a regular basis at the same price. I get about 400 qty of small 1/2" square 2-layer boards. This is a made in the USA price. The catch is that we're pretty concerned with repeatability due to signal integrity concerns. The etching of the 5-mil trace & space has to be very repeatable.
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