Author Topic: Negative 2d graphics (e.g. text) inside a copper-filled zone?  (Read 1133 times)

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Online shapirusTopic starter

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Negative 2d graphics (e.g. text) inside a copper-filled zone?
« on: November 25, 2023, 01:18:39 am »
Is there any way to produce $subj? It's easy to write text or draw graphics with copper inside a larger etched out area, but how do we do the opposite, namely, etch out something inside an otherwise solid copper zone?

My attempts to find anything on the internet have failed, as well as trying to find anything useful in the manual. Same for the attempts to figure it out myself:

- zones cannot be created with arbitrary shapes other than the polygonal closed path tool, but drawing complex shapes with it isn't viable;
- 2d graphics objects cannot be converted to zones (to make them "empty" and place over a solid zone);
- the connectivity engine ignores 2d graphics objects, so a net cannot be assigned to them to make a zone's copper flow around them.

The only workaround, for DIY boards, I came up with so far, is to create the text or whatever shape in some unused layer, then export two PDFs: one normal, another inverted, and then use external software to pick pages containing those layers from two files and overlay one on top of the other, thus producing a no-copper graphics inside a copper-filled area (i.e., printed in black on white for etching with negative photoresist, or white on black for the toner transfer method or positive PR).

Probably something similar can be done with Gerber files for ordering manufactured PCBs.

Any better ways?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2023, 01:24:58 am by shapirus »
 

Offline igendel

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Re: Negative 2d graphics (e.g. text) inside a copper-filled zone?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2023, 01:42:26 am »
[ Edit: Oops! Didn't notice this was in the Proteus forum. I'm keeping it here in case someone else makes the same mistake as me and learns something new  :) If this needs to be removed, just tell me ]
In KiCAD (I'm using 7.0.9), when you add text to a copper layer, there's a checkbox that says "Knockout" and it does what you wanted.
But the area around the characters is solid fill, it doesn't work for hatched.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2023, 02:02:39 am by igendel »
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Online shapirusTopic starter

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Re: Negative 2d graphics (e.g. text) inside a copper-filled zone?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2023, 03:37:54 am »
[ Edit: Oops! Didn't notice this was in the Proteus forum. I'm keeping it here in case someone else makes the same mistake as me and learns something new  :) If this needs to be removed, just tell me ]
In KiCAD (I'm using 7.0.9), when you add text to a copper layer, there's a checkbox that says "Knockout" and it does what you wanted.
But the area around the characters is solid fill, it doesn't work for hatched.
Thanks, this may still come in useful some day, when I finally give up on Proteus and change to, I guess, KiCAD for PCB design, if only I find a way to import the project, or at least netlist, from Proteus to KiCAD. Proteus is great for developing as it has the interactive realtime simulation feature (which is a killer feature for me), but its PCB design part could be improved a lot if Labcenter could afford hiring a UI/UX specialist and a few software and QA engineers. So it would be cool to use Proteus for what it's good at (schematics + simulation) and then export the result to something else to design a PCB.
 
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