How to have FR-4 switchplates made from PCB manufacturer?

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abrahamstechnology

05 Apr 2019, 17:14

Can anyone walk me through how I can get a .svg/dxf of a switchplate made in FR-4 as a PCB? Thanks.

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snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

05 Apr 2019, 18:59

Most of these places require you to submit gerber files. I'm not sure if any accept svg/dxf because that essentially just be the edgecuts portion of the gerbers. A good place to start might be contacting a couple of shops and see if they'll accept those file types.

If you'd rather just make the gerbers, here's how I would go about doing it:

Import dxf into pcbnew
  • Install kicad
  • Create a new project
  • Open pcb design file (pcbnew application)
  • In pcbnew go to File > Import > DXF file
  • Navigate to your file and select Graphic Layer: Edge.Cuts then import
Plot and verify
  • Still in pcbnew, in the top menu, click the icon that looks like a plotter printer
  • Deselect all layers except for Edge.Cuts and click "Plot" (note where it saved the files)
  • Now that the gerber files have been created (well, really just 1 file in this case), you'll want to verify them
  • Navigate to where you saved the gerber files
  • Select the file(s), and add them to a zip file
  • Upload the zip to this tool and make sure everything looks good https://gerber-viewer.easyeda.com/
Fabrication / Ordering
  • A good site for comparing PCB fabrication costs is www.pcbshopper.com
  • While it's a good start, it's not an exhaustive list so feel free to shop around
  • Whichever shop you end up choosing, just be aware that since your design only has edgecuts, someone will probably contact you to verify this is not a mistake
I think that should get you going. If I think of anything else I'll post it here.

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abrahamstechnology

20 Apr 2019, 17:38

Thanks, I couldn't get it working in KiCad but I was able to do something similar with EasyEDA. I'll tell you how they work when they arrive in a few days.

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abrahamstechnology

24 Apr 2019, 01:38

It worked perfectly!
Image

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swampangel

24 Apr 2019, 16:22

I like this idea a lot. I'm curious how thick the material is, and how much it cost?

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abrahamstechnology

24 Apr 2019, 16:39

swampangel wrote:
24 Apr 2019, 16:22
I like this idea a lot. I'm curious how thick the material is, and how much it cost?
1.2mm thick and it cost me $20 for 5 of them.

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swampangel

24 Apr 2019, 16:42

abrahamstechnology wrote:
24 Apr 2019, 16:39
1.2mm thick and it cost me $20 for 5 of them.
Shoot, I'm going to have to try that for a tkl plate

AbstraktDesignLab

02 May 2019, 23:29

My only issue so far has been that JLCPCB doesnt like the less than 5mm spacing between switches. Apart from JLCPCB, do any other PCB fabs have this restriction?

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abrahamstechnology

02 May 2019, 23:51

I ran mine through JLCPCB and they came out fine.

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