Newest EAGLE version offers one click PCB fabrication & parts selection

15 APRIL 2011

The latest version of CadSoft EAGLE has powerful functionality to save designers time and make the entire process of building a PCB board more streamlined.
Its improved DesignLink interface now allows users to do a general automatic search for parts from Premier Farnell (Newark, element14 or Farnell) product databases and much more to:

Retrieve information on parts availability, pricing, attributes from Premier Farnell (Newark, element14 or Farnell) product databases. This includes:

• General automatic search for parts
• Searching all components in a schematic

A detailed view of each component can be accessed by double-clicking on it. Users can simply update the number of boards and the order list is updated for each component automatically.
– Add components/order list to a shopping cart on the respective Premier Farnell site. Ordering and payment is completed on that site.
– Save the order code – Ability to reuse order codes. Order codes can now be saved to the schematic by selecting the checkbox. For subsequent orders, the order codes for new components can be selected on the schematic. Further, if the order codes exist in the libraries of parts being used, this can be directly added to the order list.

Getting quotes for PCB fabrication has never been easier. One click on the icon, and all the related board parameters are transferred to populate a form on element14.
Then an instant quote can be requested by accessing the “Get Quote” button.

This is an example of the parts information returned for a schematic

User Language Programming (ULP)

User Language Programming is one of the most interactive and powerful features that EAGLE has. The EAGLE User Language can be used to access the EAGLE data structures and to create a wide variety of output files. A User Language Program is a plain text file which is written in a C-like syntax. User Language Programs use the extension. You can create a ULP file with any text editor (provided it does not insert any additional control characters into the file) or you can use the built-in text editor.
A User Language Program consists of two major items, definitions and statements.
Definitions are used to define constants, variables and functions to be used by statements.

Before executing teardrops2.ulp

After executing teardrops2.ulp

A simple ULP could look like this:

#usage “Add the characters in the word ‘Hello’n”
“Usage: RUN sample.ulp”
// Definitions:
string hello = “Hello”;
int count(string s)
int c = 0;
for (int i = 0; s[i]; ++i)
c += s[i];
return c;
// Statements:
output(“sample”) {
printf(“Count is: %dn”, count(hello));

If the #usage directive is present, its value will be used in the Control Panel to display a description of the program.
If the result of the ULP shall be a specific command that shall be executed in the editor window, the exit() function can be used to send that command to the editor window.
With very few restrictions, it is possible to easily export data from EAGLE and import a wide range of data as well. ULPs can be built to manipulate a layout file or a library by generating and executing a Script File.

Board layout seen in EAGLE

After executing 3d41.ulp and rendering in PovRay

The EAGLE default installation includes over 100 very useful ULPs, and hundreds more are available at

Example of ULP’s included with EAGLE PCB software:
mount.ulp: This ULP will generate the file necessary for a Pick & Place machine.

designlink.ulp: Very elaborate ULP that allows the user to browse the Premier Farnell product databases, catalog and access component data sheets.

mill-outlines.ulp – generates milling contours for milling machines

Because EAGLE is so versatile, a wide range of functionality is available through ULPs.

Examples of ULPs available online:

teardrops.ulp: This ULP will actually convert your pads connection to a Teardrop shape. This is necessary for flex board designs.

3d41.ulp – for generating 3d data for the rendering program Povray which is a project by one of our customers. great tool!! see for details.

Post your questions, suggestions at

Source: Farnell Ltd.

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