By Jason
I am playing around the Fritzing 0.7.5, and have developed a small board of 3cm x 3cm.  I also got the DFRobot library (my many thanks for the open source files)  ;D

On the page for DFRobot Product Code: C-PCB-001 (2 Layer PCB, 5cm x 5cm) there is a blue section marked [u]unavailable[/u] that can not be used - It seems to be a 1cm high strip, at 3cm to 4cm from top, and 5cm wide. 

Question 1:- can I order my 3cm x 3cm PCB Fritzing design with the 5cm x 5cm PCB product offer, or should I enlarge my PCB design to a 4.99x4.99 (aka 5x5) and cut the PCB board down after it arrives? 

Question 2:- does the [u]unavailable[/u] area scale down from 5x5 to my size of 3x3? and what is the [u]unavailable[/u] area for ? (I assume its for a machine to hold the board during manufacture/cnc process)

Question 3:- how close can i have parts to the [u]unavailable[/u] area? I assume 0mm as the [u]unavailable[/u] area has some kind of buffer zone built-in.

Question 4:- Is Fritzing 0.7.5 exported files of '[b]Extended Gerber RS-274X[/b]' an Accepted file format for PCB manufacture by DFRobot.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
By Hector
Hi Jason,

The "unavailable" part drawing is just for your reference so you understand. It means you can not provide a part  that is say: 3cm X 7cm. You are restricted to a part less than 5cm x 5cm. So If your part is 3cm x 3cm you should be fine.

What is the extension provided by the fritzing program? I have used it for making mock up designs. But never used the PCB view. I honestly don't think PCBs output from fritzing will be manufacturable.

You would need to make the PCB in something like Eagle, which is free for small sized boards. If you like send your design file to manufacture AT dfrobot DOT com so we can check it, just specify it was made in fritzing.

By Jason
Hi Hector,

Thanks so much for your kind reply, and solving my mystery blue box issue  :-[ ::).

The fritzing 0.7.5 program is exporting 'Extended Gerber RS-274X' files, as follows:

All are text files. There is no silk on bottom, and no file. 2 layer board.

I have had a quick look online for a fritzing->Eagle converter but could not locate such a thing - at this time.
By Jason
the extension is fzz  ?!? :-\

The fritzing 0.7.5 program is using a file which is named MYFILENAME.fzz

(its just a zip archive of MYFILENAME.fz - a text xml file).
By Hector

I think you can open those files directly in Eagle. What I am worried about is that some of the files contributed to fritzing are not entirely accurate. I know for a fact some of our parts library are not accurate for PCB manufacturing.

I also know the shields and modules in fritzing are also not accurate. along with the trace routing. I think fritzing is a good starting point, but you definitely need to go back in a real PCB editor and double check everything.
By Jason
Thanks Hector - I'll download Eagle 6.2.0 and have a play with it (Installer is just under 50meg so it may take a while, fritzing was only a 20meg archive).  ;D
By Jason
Hector wrote:accurate

I'm not that worried about how accurate the final result is - but if its going to break the design then its a problem. I'm thinking if its only out by +/- 2% on placement/drilling or something like that - well I could dfrobot with that by altering my design to suit.

parts would only be simple servo, power, and 2 pin connectors
By Hector

The best thing you could do is send us the files and we will have a look, and give you feedback. If the files can be manufactured, we will let you know and you can make the payment.

By Jason
Hi again Hector,
sorry for the time gap in reply.

After having some time playing with Eagle (which is very complex) - I think that I will take your suggestion and send the Fritzing files next week onto manufacturing at DF just to see if its possible for them to manufacture.

Thanks again for you help.  8)
By Hector

I don't think Fritzing is capable of producing GRB files at this point. It is still a learning tool and not capable of professional grade production.

You can use Eagle CAD which has a free version, it is more complex to use and a higher learning curve, but it will allow you to produce GRB files.

I have confirmed, we can not accept fritzing files for PCB production