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This page contains some common questions regarding Yenka PCBs' PCB design/export and their answers.

Q. Can Yenka be used to manufacture PCBs?

A. Yes. Yenka can export your PCB design files in a number of formats for manufacture. This is done using Yenka PCBs - you'll need to open your design using the realPCB design engine, where you'll find CAD/CAM outpus in the Tools menu.

Q. Can I export my PCB design to a desktop milling machine?

A. The preferred way to export your design for manufacture is to export to "Gerber" files which are industry standard artwork files for manufacturing. See below for more information on this option.

Alternatively, you can export PCB designs in a vector format that can be used by desktop milling machine software, such as Techsoft's PCB Design and Make. You will need to open your PCB design in realPCB, export your design in a Vector (.emf) format and import this into the desktop milling software of your choice.

From Yenka, click on the green "create tracks" button in the top right corner of your 2D PCB schematic. Select "Open realPCB" from the list of options. Once inside realPCB, click on File > Export > Vector (EMF) continue through the export dialog.

The main problems with this approach are that the scaling of the EMF files can be quite hard to control when you import them. You may need to adjust import and export settings to ensure that the PCB is scaled correctly. Also, when real-PCB exports in this format the zoom level and window size can affect the scaling and quality of the output.

Q. Can I export my PCB design as a "Gerber" for manufacture?

A. You can export PCB designs in a Gerber format that can be used by PCB manufacturers. You will need to open your PCB design in realPCB, and export your design as a set of Gerber files as follows:

From Yenka, click on the green "create tracks" button in the top right corner of your 2D PCB schematic. Select "Open realPCB" from the list of options. Once inside realPCB, click on Tools > CAD/CAM outputs > Output Gerber and continue through the export dialog.

Please note that you may need to contact your PCB manufacturer and ask for a set of export options and required files.

One piece of software specifically tested to work with real-PCB is the 'Kay-Lancelot-Percival' module from the suite of software called 'Galaad'. Further details of this and the milling machines that this software can be used with can be found at http://www.galaad.net.

Q. Why does the "Real Life View" in Real-PCB appear to show components on the same side as the tracks?

A. In Real-PCB, you can choose a "Real Life View" of the PCB. However, when you are using a single-sided board, this view shows the components and tracks together, even though the tracks are actually on the bottom of the board (as if the board were transparent). This is to make it easier to see the connections. For double-sided boards, only the top layer is visible in "Real Life View" mode. When you view the boards in Yenka, you need to use the camera controls to see the tracks on the bottom of the board.

Q. Can I design with PCBs on Mac?

A. Unfortunately, no. realPCB, our PCB design engine, is currently only available for Windows.

However, your licence allows you to use both the Mac and Windows versions of Yenka. If you have access to a Windows computer, you can copy your saved models from a Mac and route PCBs using the Windows version.

Yenka will display and simulate your PCB when it is opened on a Mac, but you won't be able to edit or re-route it without going back to the Windows machine.

Q. Why do I get the error - "realPCB cannot be found."?

A. Yenka uses a third party program, realPCB, to handle PCB design and export. realPCB is installed along with the Windows version of the Yenka Plug-in.

If you are running Yenka from a shared network folder, you may find that realPCB will still not run. This is because realPCB needs some important registry information installed onto your local PC.

We provide a Windows registry patch installer to install the necessary realPCB registry settings to overcome this problem. Please download and install this on the client machines that will be running the software over the network.


If you need more information or you cannot find an answer to your question here, please email your query to support@yenka.com.