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Traces to silkscreen

trace2silk by Hannu 'Vuokko' Vuolasaho on 2018-03-10

Tags: howto, silkscreen, pcb artwork

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Abstract: On a printed circuit board, the silk print is many times a good documentation source. In this mini howto it is shown how to make really well documenting layout by duplicating the top copper traces on silk. Another usage of the silk print print is to make PCB art.

  This simple board uses custom made footprints for documentation purposes. However the traces are hidden under the solder mask. See the difference between original layout and the final output layout.

1) Make target silk layer. Right click top-silk and select "Insert new, after this layer" and give it some meaningful name like trace silk.

2) The traces which are going to go to silk print needs to be selected. Select only top copper as active and use Select-> Advanced search and select . Below is rules which was used in this howto.

3) Copy the selection to buffer with CTRL-C or Edit-> Copy selection to buffer . Use reference point which is easily snapped. In this howto the CONN1 pin 1 was used. Now the copper lines are in buffer and next they are moved to silk print.

4) Map the layers with Buffer-> Layer bindings... and window below should appear. Change the copper to silk and board layer should change to trace silk.

5) Paste the buffer with CTRL-V or Edit-> Paste buffer to layout . Use the same reference point as copying the selection. And that's it.

If there is need to modify traces then just delete the trace silk layer. After the modifications are done, recreate the trace silk layer and copy the copper traces to it.

And those who are curious about the circuit in this howto, here is the schematics. It is DAC output to line out circuit.