LibrePCB Blog

AISLER Supports LibrePCB Projects

We are very happy to announce that AISLER now supports LibrePCB projects, so you can upload and review LibrePCB projects directly on their website and order PCBs and stencils just with a few clicks! :-)

LibrePCB Project at AISLER

Why AISLER?

AISLER, based in Netherlands, is a smart prototyping service for electronics. They provide PCBs, stencils and parts for electronic projects for an affordable price, and everything is made in Germany.

I met Felix and Patrick, the founders of AISLER, at FOSDEM 2018. Patrick held the talk Proposal for an open and democratic Design Rule format and I gave an Introduction to LibrePCB. It turned out that we all have very similar opinions how development and manufacturing of electronics could (and should) be improved. We all are trying to bring EDA to a next level, for that reason they founded AISLER and I started the LibrePCB project.

At FOSDEM Felix and Patrick offered me to integrate support for LibrePCB project files into their website, to allow ordering PCBs by uploading LibrePCB projects. And even more: For every order of an uploaded LibrePCB project they make a donation to support the LibrePCB development!

Implementation

To make this happen, I created the LibrePCB CLI which allows to automate the processing of LibrePCB projects. AISLER now uses that CLI to automatically generate Gerber files of an uploaded LibrePCB project. These Gerber files are then used to create the preview of the PCB, and to manufacture it in their fab.

Analyzing LibrePCB Project

In order to adjust the fabrication output settings (e.g. filenames) according their needs, they patch the board file boards/<BOARDNAME>/board.lp with their own settings. So you don’t have to make any fabrication output settings by yourself, they will be overwritten anyway.

Limitations

As you may know already, LibrePCB allows to have multiple boards in one project. Currently it’s not possible to select the specific board you want to order, so you will get an error when uploading a project with multiple boards. We will try to fix this limitation, but in the meantime you could manually adjust the project’s file boards/boards.lp to remove all boards except the one you want to order ;)

In addition, currently you have to manually create a ZIP archive containing the project directory, and upload that ZIP afterwards. I started to work on a solution to make this much easier.

Also it’s not yet possible for AISLER to export the BOM directly from the uploaded project because BOM export is still missing in LibrePCB. But you can still order parts at AISLER by uploading a CSV file with all parts.

Try it!

Just ZIP and upload your LibrePCB project to aisler.net to see the beautiful preview and to order the PCB :) It would be awesome if you order PCBs at AISLER as this way you directly support the development of LibrePCB!

Many thanks to Felix and Patrick from AISLER to make this happen, and for supporting LibrePCB and other open source projects!

LibrePCB 0.1.0 Released

The stable release 0.1.0 is out!

Since the release candidate 0.1.0 RC2 three weeks ago, no critical bugs were reported, so we decided to finally publish the stable release 0.1.0. The changelog compared to 0.1.0 RC2 is very short:

Changelog

Library Editor:

  • Fix saving of library URL
  • Fix saving of component property “schematic-only”

File Format Stability

As this is an official stable release, the file format is also considered as stable and you can expect that any project created with that release will be loadable with future releases of LibrePCB. So now you can really start using LibrePCB productively :)

Attention: This is not the case for the development version (e.g. the master branch of our Git repository), so you should really use this official release for productive work instead of the development version!

Download

The release can be downloaded for all major operating systems at our download page:

https://librepcb.org/download/

LibrePCB 0.1.0 RC2 Released

After two weeks of testing, we have a new release candidate ready with some bugfixes and usability improvements:

Changelog

Control Panel:

  • Hide non-existent recent and favorite projects
  • Hide debug tools in workspace settings dialog

Library Manager:

  • Don’t show 100% progress while extracting ZIP

Library Editor:

  • Fix saving of component symbol position/rotation (#356)

Schematic Editor:

  • Fix resizing of “Add Component” dialog caused by long device names

Board Editor:

  • Fix crash when trying to connect trace to pad without net
  • Fix too high default width of the dock widget at the right
  • Fix possibly hidden layers in footprint preview of the “Place Devices” dock
  • Show warning in the “Place Devices” dock if no matching device found in library
  • Set default board size to 100x80mm
  • Set default grid interval to 0.635mm

Miscellaneous:

  • Allow deselecting items while keeping other items selected (#361)
  • Add attribute units “current” and “power”

New languages:

  • Esperanto (8% translated)
  • Italian (20% translated)

Download

The release candidate can be downloaded for all major operating systems at our download page:

https://librepcb.org/download/

LibrePCB 0.1.0 RC1 Released

Great news: Our first official release candidate is out! :-)

If you didn’t try LibrePCB already, now is the time to start using (or at least testing) LibrePCB for your next projects – we would love to get your feedback!

Project Status

Please keep in mind that this is our very first release candidate, so you may encounter one or another bug or missing feature. Nevertheless, we think the application is in a very usable state now – you can download and create libraries, draw schematics, route multilayer PCBs and export Gerber files. Unfortunately features like DRC, BOM export or buses are not implemented yet, they will be provided in a future release.

If you encounter bugs, we would be happy if you report them to our issue tracker. As it’s only a release candidate, there is some time to fix the most critical issues until the first stable release.

File Format Stability

Until now, we always communicated that the file format is not considered stable. Any change in the file format could break older projects, so generally it was not recommended to use LibrePCB productively.

With this first release candidate we consider the file format to be stable, so any future release should be able to open libraries and projects created with this release candidate. Only if there is an extremely critical issue with the file format we may still do a breaking change before publishing the stable 0.1.0 release – but that’s very unlikely :)

ATTENTION: The file format is only considered stable for official releases – any intermediate version (e.g. from nightly builds) may not be upgradeable in the next release! So if you already used our nightly builds (or other binaries built from the master branch), you have to switch to official releases now. Nightly builds must really not be used for productive work. See developers information and release workflow documentation for details.

Libraries

Our official and ready-to-use libraries can easily be installed with the library manager integrated in LibrePCB. But as these libraries currently only contain very few elements, we would be very happy to get pull requests at the corresponding repositories to add much more elements!

Download

The release candidate can be downloaded for all major operating systems at our new download page:

https://librepcb.org/download/

Many thanks to all the contributors and sponsors making this release possible! It was hard work of more than five years to bring out this first release. We would really appreciate if you supported the development either with contributions or donations (e.g. at Patreon). Every dollar helps to keep this huge project alive ;-)

And now: Happy testing! :-)

Status Update 2018-09-15

The last blog post is already a few months ago, and many things happened in the meantime. Thus I would like to inform you about the current status of the project, what happened in past and what the next tasks are.

Our logo was originally downloaded from a free icon portal. Although it was legal (thanks to its permissive license), it’s not a good idea to use a free icon as a logo. Because we didn’t have the copyright on it, it was not guaranteed to be exclusively used by us (other projects could use the same icon too).

As the corresponding issue was unresolved for more than three years (it was our 6th issue!), we decided to start a design contest at 99designs to get a new logo. And here’s the winning design:

New Logo

Sure, it’s quite similar to the old logo, just nicer ;-) Probably that’s because I already liked the old logo, and maybe also a little bit because it was (too) hard for me to go with a completely different logo than the one we had for several years… Anyway, I hope you like the new logo as much as I do :)

Latest Changes

It would be too much to explain all the changes from the last months, thus here just a list of the most important pull requests merged:

The last one sounds innocent, but that’s actually the change which (finally) made the board editor really usable (it fixed many annoying bugs).

Next Steps

With all the changes from above, our milestone 0.1 is nearly complete. That means that we are now feature-complete for our first release!

So you can expect the first official stable release very soon :-)

The open tasks are now:

  1. Define a development and release workflow
  2. Prepare and test file format upgrade procedure
  3. Review the whole file format and make the last changes if needed
  4. Create and publish the first release!

So, stay tuned :)