Friday, June 3, 2011

Diagonal components in Eagle

Oooh! Diagonal chips are so cool!
(Picture from Sparkfun)
I always thought it was neat when little surface mount chips like AVRs or ARMs were mounted diagonally on breakout boards like on the Arduino Mini you can get from Sparkfun. It makes routing easier in some circumstances.

If only Eagle CAD could do that...

But it can!

You can position ANY component on your PCB to any arbitrary angle. And it's really easy. Here's how.

Let's look at this pesky bypass capacitor. There's no room between these traces for it. The board is jam packed. But hold on. If you mount the component diagonally it just might fit!

In the Board view, right click on the component in question and select Properties from the contextual menu.

In the properties dialog, simply edit the Angle field. For diagonal placement, enter 45°, 135°, 225°, or 315°. It doesn't matter as you can always rotate the component 90° at a time as before. Click ok, and then rotate the component as needed.

There, that's better. Diagonal fits!

Voila, the little capacitor can now be squeezed in between these traces. Moving things around just a little bit, I was able to eliminate the DRC error (white box/line) and all was hunky dory.

1 comment:

  1. Or you can use the normal "move" tool (the crossed arrows). Just pick up the part, then type in the angle you want in the "Angle" box, which is in the top left of the screen, just above the command bar.

    Not really any easier or quicker, but as usual there is more than one way to do it.