It’s time to wrap up my DipTrace tutorial series with a brief look at how to do Design Rule Check (DRC) with the PCB layout tool, and generate gerber files for board manufacture. Take a look at the previous part on how the board was done.
I chose Olimex PCB prototype service because it’s very inexpensive by itself: 30€ for a two-side 160x100mm euroboard plus 5.50€ for shipping. They also can panel your designs and I counted that 16 ATtiny2313 headers would fit into a single board while still leaving room to cut them apart. Read on what was needed to make sure my PCB design was ready for manufacturing!
Design Rule Check (DRC)
The first thing before ordering was to investigate Olimex requirements for the boards. I knew I had no overlapping drill holes and had taken care to use only drill sizes supported by them (35 and 39 mils), so the most important ones for me were:
- At least 8 mils spacing between tracks/pads
- At least 8 mils for pads (i.e. 16 mils larger pad than drill hole)
- Less than 20 % of area without solder mask
- Over 500 drill holes costs a bit extra