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Quickturn PCB prototyping, offshore PCB fabrication for complex prototypes & production volumes
Quickturn PCB prototyping, offshore PCB fabrication for complex prototypes & production volumes

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Download our free version of ViewMate Gerber viewer with Smart DFM PCB file.

ViewMate is a powerful Gerber viewer with full layer by layer design visibility and Smart DFM design rule check that also allows you to get quotes for and order PCBs online.

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Get 30% off any laser-cut SMT stencil and solder paste when order PCBs from Pentalogix. Automatic discount at checkout.

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Newark's element14, the first collaborative community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts, today announced a partnership with PCB Assembly Express to provide its quick design and assembly prototyping services to North American customers.

Before engineers complete a design board and ship a finished electronic product, a few test copies of the design are typically manufactured as fully assembled prototypes. This process can prove to be very time consuming for engineers, as many manufacturers are uninterested in producing just a few prototypes or do not have the special design materials required for a particular design process. This partnership with PCB Assembly Express offers engineers a unique opportunity to receive instant quotes at any time for PCB design, layout, fabrication, and assembly services, without board quantity restrictions, directly through the Knode on element14, an intelligent online search and knowledge tool that helps engineers research, select and buy the right solutions for their designs.

"PCB prototyping is a critical part of the design flow, which is why we're excited to integrate PCB Assembly Express' services on the Knode on element14 to expand our design resources and offerings for engineers," said David Shen, Chief Technology Officer, Premier Farnell. "We're committed to finding the most reputable service providers and technologies to help engineers with every stage of the design cycle, minimizing risk and increasing productivity so they can stay focused on their final project."

With invaluable services such as instant quotes directly through the Knode on element14 and quick-turn, fully-assembled prototypes in as little as 24 hours, engineers can streamline the design process and fully manage PCB assembly projects.

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ViewMate Gerber viewer software tip - How to convert drill drawing to NC drill file

Tools for this exist in ViewMate Pro and CAMMaster only.
Here is an appnote that describes how to do it:

Get more ViewMate tips on the Pentalogix ViewMate user forums.

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ViewMate Gerber viewer software tip - How to invert a layer

"I am looking at the inverted bottom side silkscreen.
How can I "re-invert" it that the Ref. design would be readable?"

You need to use the mirror command. The mirror command, like many other operations, works on the selection. So you first need to select the data.

(1) Select the layer to mirror.
There are many ways of doing that:
(1.a) "Select/Layers"
(1.b) Right-click on the layer in the layers toolbar and pick "Select/New"
(1.c) Make sure the layer is the current layer and "Only" is checked, then press "V" (shortcut for "Select/Global/New").

When done, to deselect everything use "Select/Clear Selection" (shortcut "Ctrl+U").

(2) Mirror the selection: "Edit/Edit Selection/Mirror". You can pick either a mirror on the X axis or Y axis and you also have to specify the point around which to mirror.

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Free design for manufacture design rule check of your PCB design files - CAM file issues repaired at no charge.

The SmartDFM team will perform dozens of DFM checks for PCB manufacturing issues instantly:
- Find out if your design contains any "show stoppers" that will place your order on hold.

- Our Smart DFM technology collects information from your design and prepares all of the information needed to accurately manufacture your board.

- Designs that pass our Smart DFM checks can be automatically manufactured by any PCB manufacturer.

- We guarantee that your job will contain all of the information needed by the PCB manufacturer.

- After passing the Smart DFM checks, we include a report and no-obligation quotation from one of our PCB manufacturer partners.

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5 Quick Protos from PentaLogix
You get 5 printed circuit boards manufactured for quick-turn delivery. The standard boards come bare copper no solder mask and no silkscreen, no final finish. Add-on features are available at additional costs. Standard lead times are 2 layer boards ship in 2 days; 4, 6, and 8 layer boards ship in 3-days.

What are the standard PC Board features?
Available PCB Layer counts are 2, 4, 6, and 8 layers.
Maximum board size is 11" x 16".(176 sq. in.)
Material is FR-4 IPC-4101 compliant.
Final thickness is 0.062"
1.0 oz. copper finish with 1 mil copper in the plated holes.
0.010" minimum finished hole size.
Electrical test comes included with all multi-layer (4-8 layers) boards.
Standard lead times: 2 layer boards ship in 2 days; 4, 6, and 8 layer boards ship in 3-days.

What additional add-ons can I get with my boards?
OSP finish (RoHS)
Solder finish (non-RoHS)
Green solder mask resist both sides
White silkscreen (legend)
Expedite add-on for quicker turn-around.
Learn more, get a quote and place an order at

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ViewMate software tip - Comparing two layers or two Gerber files
ViewMate Pro has a tool that will automatically compare two sets of layers. In ViewMate and ViewMate Deluxe (which don't have this tool) you need to do a visual inspection. This can be done by setting the layer colors for the two layers to examine to contrasting colors (red and green work well for this - if set this way where the two layers match the displayed color will be yellow, so whenever you see red or green you know that those parts exist in only one of the layers).
You need to make visible only the two layers that you are investigating (if there are more than two layers loaded). You can do this by using the Layers Toolbar: right click on the layer and check or uncheck "Visible".
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