DesignSpark PCB using EAGLE libraries

When I opened DS for the first time I was met with the echoes from an empty library. it’s not completely true but the default libraries was disabled and users are encouraged to find footprints online.

Sparkfun (Sparkfun.com) maintains a quite impressive EAGLE library with the footprints for all the parts they’re using in production. That means that MOST (YMMV) of the footprints have been tested and modified to suit the actual component. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use those libraries as well?

Well – you can!

the procedure goes like this:

open EAGLE -> export each library to an ‘intermediate format’ -> import schematic, footprint and component library from said intermediate file -> ? -> profit

So you have to install EAGLE first. simple enough. Next you have to download the libraries inside the library manager. Open one of them and in the menu bar you will find a button with ‘ULP’ written on it. ULP is a script you can make EAGLE run. DSPCB provides a set of ULP scripts, one of them is called ‘EAGLE library to intermediate file’. It’s located in the DSBPC install folder in a sub-folder called ‘EAGLE ULP’. Pretty straightforward.

When you have stored all the intermediate files in a known location, it’s time to import them into PCB. The trick is that DS is using 3 seperate library types, one for schematic parts, one for footprints and the component library that combines the two first. Luckily the intermediate file contains all information needed to populate all three.

Start by creating a new schematic library. choose the same name as the intermediate file. (if you’re doing multiple files it makes it much easier to find the right one). With the new (empty) library created, press ‘Add file’. Select the intermediate file and let the program work. Repeat the step for footprint and component library. use the same name and add the same file. If you have done it right, the compoent library will have both schematic and footprint parts linked.

Lastly repeat for all intermediate libraries that you have exported from EAGLE. Remember put them somewhere you know and to enable that location as a library source.

I’ve attached the Sparkfun libraries as a .zip file so you only have to unpack and add to your library. Oh and I’ve asked Sparkfun – They’re cool using the library so go nuts! Hack away!

Find the libraries here: Sparkfun Eagle Libraries for DSPCB

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