SparkX products are not nearly as shiny or polished as the regular SparkFun product; we can get to market faster. Are you ok with a board that hasn't been fully user tested? Can you read a manual? SparkX is for you.
SparkX doesn't care if something isn't quite finished. Shoot, we're only pretty sure an idea will work. We'll let you know exactly what's known and what's tested, the rest is up to you. Are you ok with a green wire and no beginner's guide? SparkX is for you.
SparkX chases the shiny. If there's a product or project that appeals to us we'll do it regardless of market considerations. Want to play with something that may never make it to market? SparkX is for you.
Panelizer and CAMmer: More production tools with EAGLE to avoid silly mistakes.
We (ok me) recently forgot to order a bottom stencil for one of our panels. We also accidentally ordered boards in the wrong thickness and wrong color. And once upon a time, many years ago, we even forgotten to transmit the internal layers of a four layer board. Many dollars burned.
Can we create tools to avoid these mistakes? Yes. Yes we can.
Additionally, we need to create lots of panels in SparkX (see our previous post on panelizing boards) but our production team makes much larger, more complex panels that are optimized for our SMT line (automatic stenciling machines, pick and place, automated optical inspection, etc). One of the challenges of creating these larger panels is to allow for gaps when there are overhanging parts off the sides of a PCB.
The SparkFun-Panelizer takes a single board like this one:
And generates a panel that looks like this:
Complete with borders, fiducials, gaps, and production text. All parametrically!
Who needs this? Generally speaking, anyone who has a pick and place machine or is populating their own boards. If you’re having a contract manufacturer populate your boards then they will probably generate a panel from your design to match their process.
The features of the SparkFun-Panelizer:
It slices, it dices! Just set it and forget it!
We also automated the CAM generation process - we call it the SparkFun-CAMmer. If we can detect a four layer board then we can generate CAMs that automatically include the internal gerbers (no more mishaps). We can automatically warn the user to order a bottom stencil. We can even zip everything up so it’s ready for transmission.
Please kick the tires! Let us know what you think. And if you have a better way of doing something please create a pull request.
I just finished writing the first of several EAGLE web utilities, let me introduce you to Buzzard Label Maker!
We make a lot of panels. Let's automate it!
Watch out, we’ve been translating technical English… How to install and edit the SparkFun English file for the Charm High software.
Getting the Windows software installed
From design to population in less than a minute!
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Is your logo causing your silkscreen file to be huge?