Getting KiCAD designed PCBs manufactured with Seeedstudio
Product page: Fusion PCB Service
These are the design specifications (as at 26 October 2012) from the product page:
Other details from the product page:
Gerber file requirement:
The following layers are needed:
Solder Stop Mask top:
Solder Stop Mask Bottom:
Comments from the forums (linked below):
KiCad is very easy...you can select the rules as follows:
Click "Design Rules" -> "Design Rules".
In the window, type your rules, I usually use 8 mil (0.0080) for the tracks and the margin.
Via Dia: 0.0295
Via Drill: 0.0197
You can use smaller sizes.
Fusion requires min linewidth of 6mil and a min spacing of 6 mil. However, if you adhere to designrules that are stricter, for example, 8, 10, or even 12, then the chances of a bad board are much smaller.
Before submitting I will always run a DRC against 12mil design rules and wherever there is enough room, I'll fix the problems it points out to me. Next I'll run a 10mil design rule check. This should only fail around the 0.5mm pitch chips. And then I'll run the actual 6mil fusion DRC to make sure that I didn't accidentally miss a real problem.
Related posts on the Seeedstudio forum
26 October 2012¶
Found this wiki page but it doesn't seem to mention anything more than the product page: Service for Fusion PCB
Found a recent post "KiCAD, Seeed, and Gerbmerge" that says:
However, Seeed now wants a border outline on EVERY layer. Copper, silk, mask stop. Top and bot.
The solution suggested is overkill I think though because I think you can get the same result by just unchecking the "Exclude PCB edge layer from other layers" checkbox in the "Plot" dialog.
27 October 2012¶
28 October 2012¶
29 October 2012¶
6 November 2012¶
Yesterday I got two emails in rapid succession saying my order status had changed to "Processing" and then "Shipped".
So, that's a good sign. :)
7 November 2012¶
And, just now updated to "Traceable".
(But apparently it takes at least a couple of days to be trackable on the Singapore Post site: http://www.singpost.com/)
13 November 2012¶
14 November 2012¶
24 November 2012¶
I picked up the Seeedstudio order which was well packed: plastic baggy, desiccant packet, bubble wrap and a cardboard box.
I finally got to assembling the board and at first it didn't work.
I had a sneaking suspicion there might be issues with used a solder pad as the negative terminal for the battery and it seems that is the case.
My assumption is that the surrounding solder mask lifts the battery up just high enough that there's no physical connection to the pad and the pressure of the retainer clip isn't enough to make it press down. I discovered this after I already fitted the battery retainer clip but I could get the tip of the soldering iron (with solder on it) onto the pad enough to spread some solder around.
With the (uneven) "layer" of solder on the negative pad it was high enough past the solder mask for the battery to make contact.
This could possibly be solved in the footprint by extending the area not solder masked--but I'm not sure what the implications are for the ground plane--perhaps I should not have that fully covering the area under the clip--just to reduce the possibility of shorts.