Express PCB can only “Print”, I simply tell it to print to “Microsoft Print to PDF” (perhaps I should print to some other soft printer to get a picture with less information in it). The SVG comes from inkscape when I import the pdf, page one only, then tell inkscape to save as SVG (I usually use ‘plain SVG format’ instead of ‘inkscape SVG format’.
I am now working with this version (this is the PDF I generated from the software printer “Microsoft Print to PDF”.
11-01-2018 Simplified.pdf (4.4 KB)
When I leave “Embed Images” selected upon inkscape import I get this version of SVG output:
in this version I can select specific parts of the image (such as the traces being a lot of separate things, while in this version with “Embed Images” deselected upon import I get a single ‘image’, nothing seems to be separately selectable:
When I use the embed images version and I select a single trace or square solder pad, at the bottom or when I select a block of solder pad or an image it says: “Group of one object in layer 11-01-2018 Simplified” I can select more than one at a time and the message alters slightly to: “3 objects selected of type Group in layer 11-01-2018 Simplified”.
If I uncheck the “Embed Images” tic box upon import I am unable to select any of these things directly and can only select the whole image or nothing at all. It seems that the PDF files is not just a bunch of raster pics or something, (if I understand this properly that means a limited information image as what we see). I can see that the separate lines and trace paths and such are somehow being preserved in the “Microsoft Print to PDF” (this is a good thing?).
Yeah I don’t have Illustrator but I need to check at school and see if they have it. The school has stuff for free or special price sometimes because it’s a school. I definitely want a ‘work flow’ if I understand that properly. I want something I can teach others to use well and effectively without too much trouble. When I’m done at this school I want the other students to have a method of doing this that works and can keep working.
I have always used a little etch tank, cupric chloride and laser-toner for my etch resist. This method is pretty effective but messy, time consuming and involves lots of little MSDS and such that I don’t want to have to have the students deal with (cupric chloride, high strength hydrogen peroxide, HCl, protective gear, etc). They are willing to use that in the club but it would be a barrier for the students to do this in that way. The club is really just for students to (for ‘free’, tuition being paid already) come in and use the printers and carvey and sewing machine and whatever else to do creative things, to feel ‘free’ to do what they want comfortable and easily. The etch tank and materials I brought and have always used would help that some but making their carvey machine able to do this would be better overall and long term in so many ways so I want to make that happen and then immediately pass on my understanding to a couple of staff members of the club so they can be the one who ‘know this’ and pass it around. Then the club will have this capability and independent of my or any one person.
Guys, you are all SO helpful, I mean WOW!
thanks you all so very much for all your assistance and willingness to help, it’s really cool and I’d not figure this out on my own. I’ll be sure to tell everyone I show this method to that I got the solution from the forums here, encourage them to “ask for help damnit!” : ) Asking for help is useful so I’ll be sending them here for future problem they need to figure out