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    Boss .

    Hello JR,

    You can put an image as a logo directly on the PCB using the basic drawing tools at design time, but these are quite limited for this use. Have a look at the ChipKit MAX example design installed and you will see that with time and patience you can be quite creative!

    A better solution is to create your logo image in a mechanical CAD program at the size you require and then save/ export it as DXF (without splines).

    You can in DSPCB import the DXF format image and use on the PCB. In DesignSpark PCB use File > Import.

    Obviously a logo has to be monochrome for silkscreen printing so the image should be as simple as possible if it does not already exist or be visualised in a monochrome form for use by this method.

    There is an online free service you can submit an image to and convert it to DXF as an alternative to creating your own CAD design. I have yet to investigate this route, but the link is:  http://www.autotracer.org/

    I would be interested to see your results if you use this method.

    -Boss

    RS Support also posted a guide to logo import via DXF which I shall try to find.

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    J R

    Thanks, I'll post results from autotracer if results are positive.

     

    John

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    Peter Sarro

    I tried the conversion service mentioned at  www.autotracer.org:  I converted 3 different logos to DXF format (without Splines);  All of the logos have color in them and when converting I set the conversion for monochrome;  Not one of them worked;  When importing them into Design Spark PCB they are "accepted" but after the .dxf file is read, the PCB layout automatically zooms out to "View All" and there's no image or object to be seen.  If the imported DXF image is there, it's invisible because if you press the View All it zooms out much farther than the actual PCB.  If you undo the import and click View All the PCB zooms to normal in that is fills the screen.  So "something" is being imported but it doesn't show up.

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    Peter Sarro

    UPDATE:  I have been experimenting with this feature: I used the logo on the Design Spark website which is 302 pixels wide x 37 pixels high.  The logo says "DESIGNSPARK" in dark gray and red. After using the Autotracer.org feature - this time selecting 16 colors rather than monochrome as previously -  I was able to import to the Silkscreen layer;  However, DSPCB places the imported object to the very bottom left corner, far outside the dimensions of your board;  I was able to identify "something" which turned out to be the imported image, because at the bottom left of my screen, right above the scroller, was a streak of yellow;  After zooming in on the section that "streak" turned out to be the imported image.  However, on my screen it was almost impossible to see because of its placement.  In addition, for some reason, the object was very hard - almost impossible -  to select.  I eventually was able to select it entirely so that I could first copy the selected object, then cut it (because it could not be moved).  After copying it then cutting it, I was able to rezoom using View All to see my board;  I was able to paste the image (which I previously copied before cutting) onto the silkscreen layer.  However, there's no way to rescale the imported image object; In my case I imported it to a board that is 7 x 4 inches and the imported object was at least 1.5 times wider with no way to scale it to a more practical dimension to fit within the dimensions of the board.  

    I can't account for why DSPCB behaves the way it does with the DXF import, or perhaps having something to do with the format of the converted file from Autotracer.org.  But it would seem that the need to import a logo (or other image) is important and a basic requirement that should be considered for the updated edition if its design has not yet been frozen.  

     

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    Boss .

    I haven't tried with an image conversion, but a simple DXF logo imported at the correct size it was created in the CAD package. DXF does seem to be a strange beast in its many versions, but I guess that is AutoCAD adding more features over time. If there are any options try selecting an 'old' DXF version as I always find these better.

    Have you tried importing it in a 2D CAD package to check your file? I'm not sure what is expected scale wise converting a bitmap to DXF if they do not provide a 'final' size option, it would seem a bit open.

    For selection I always find using a selection window, click and hold from a point just outside the required object and drag the cursor to include the object selects everything and it can be repositioned.

    Let us know how this goes as you seem to have made the most progress getting an image onto the PCB by this method so I will follow this with interest.

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    J R

    I had some success with converting at >> https://convertio.co/jpg-dxf/ however too late to be useful with the project. This may be a good starting point.

    The complexity of the image will determine the quality of the final pcb image.

    When importing the converted file to pcb:

    First set system origin outside of pcb area to allow free space for importing image.

    On main menue  select  File > Import > "filename.dxf"

    In DXF import dialog:

    Select Layer for image and text

    Use "Scale" option to adjust size of image 

    Select "OK" to import the image.

    JR

     

     

     

     

     

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    Boss .

    Hi J R, interesting results. I was exploring with some free DXF designs (meant for laser engraving) from http://mydxf.blogspot.co.uk/

    I also tried the link https://convertio.co/jpg-dxf/  that you supplied using a screen capture of the DSPCB logo. The results are all quite good and I will certainly explore further. I did not find moving the origin helped, but zooming in on the imported DXF and selecting all and then dragging away from the bottom worked well.

    Selecting the image and using fill seems to always fill any openings.

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    J R

    Regarding moving the origin, I failed to mention to check the "Align DXF (0,0) to Origin:" box in the DXF Import dialog to render the DXF image at the origin point

    JR

     

     

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    Peter Sarro

    I have been experimenting further with the DXF import:  It certainly works but is largely dependent on the particular image/logo to be converted and the conversion itself.  However aside from the quality of the conversion, I have noticed two issues: 1) Import location, 2) 3D Previews which I will clarify below:

    1 - Import location:  As I mentioned in a previous post, when an image is imported and placed DSPCB always (at least in my tests) places the image at the 0,0 origin which is the lower left corner of the frame.  

    With this particular option I experimented with the checkbox for importing to the 0,0 coordinate;  Either way, checking or keeping it un-checked, seems to make no difference in where the imported object is placed, the object is always placed at the bottom lower left corner of the frame which I would presume is the 0,0 location.  

    This behavior seems to be independent of the particular DXF import.

    In my tests, placing the import to the lower left makes it somewhat difficult, sometimes impossible - and this depends on the particular import in terms of its design - to select and move it to the confines of the board.

    So I would have to presume that because checking or un-checking the 0,0 coordinate check box on the import makes no difference in placement that the behavior I've experienced is a BUG.

    2 - 3D Previewing:  When previewing a board in 3D the silkscreen and top and bottom board layers certainly appear;  However, I noticed that with an imported DXF file, the DXF object does not appear on the Silkscreen layer (or any other layer such as top or bottom) using the 3D preview mode.  

    Again based on the behavior I would presume this is a BUG.   

     

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    J R

    Works for me with latest version DSPCB.

    Position the curser just under your board object, right click and select Origins>Set system origin at curser. The system origin should appear at the curser location. The DXF should now import to that location

    JR

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    Peter Sarro

    Hello J R: 

    Yes !  That certainly fixed the issue of placing the imported object !  

    Obviously, reassigning the origin is a subtlety that one doesn't realize is there until someone else points it out.

    As for the issue with the imported object not showing in the 3D rendering I found the problem:  Although the object was imported and appearing on the layer I assigned it to, when looking at the properties the line width was 0.0000 - even though it looked perfectly OK when viewing it on the PCB.  

    The fix was to change the line width and it now appears correctly in the 3D render.  

    Import problem solved.

    Thanks J R !

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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