Using DipTrace with Carbide Copper

I am not sure if I am doing something unusual but I thought I would pass on using Export from DipTrace into Carbide Copper:

  1. I exported all DipTrace Gerber files in X2 and N/C drill files* in imperial units.

  2. When I import all my imperial (inch) Gerber files into Carbide Copper with it set to metric, the holes fall where they are supposed to and it works out just fine. It would seem that it is best to start with a new window every time so it “forgets” anything done previously.

3.When I load the NC file, I choose the smallest drill size for the board to drill all the holes. The holes seem to be mostly in the same order as the NC drill file, smallest (most of them) to largest holes. Currently, I am editing a copy of the NC file that I delete the traces from as it is easy to see the difference between milling and drilling NC code. I then try and pick out the breaks in the drill holes sizes. I delete the smallest holes as they are the correct size and insert a tool changes at the breaks. Running that file again to see if I got all the holes correct with the same small drill bit** to see if it is correct and then run it again and switch to the correct drills for hole sizes. One thing I noticed is to put an rapid G0 X Y move in after a tool change so it is on the working area before changing height. I also stopped a run and it seemed to require initialization again. This required me to use the MDI commands and put the coordinates of a hole on the PCB get close to it and jog it so it hits the hole exactly. Figure out the difference and re-zero the Nomad. Mixed results there.

  1. The Silk screen seems to require a fresh carbide copper window set to the top only and then load in the Gerber silk file. I locate two PCB board holes on opposite sides and fix the board down. The silk Gerber then seems to match up, pretty close anyway. Practice makes perfect (close enough).

So a question:
Is there a way to automatically put more than one drill hole size into Carbide Copper NC file? Editing an NC file by hand is a bit of a drag. I have attached a the txt file example that seems to have the holes sorted into sizes. (1.8 KB)

Fun Fact: Do not trivially hit the Clear All Offsets button in Carbide Motion. I can hear the laughter though the forum! It suffices to say, "I am glad I started with the MDF waste board first and not my Threaded Table.

Lastly, I must say, this is a good forum with lots of first hand experiences, good advice and information.


*The raw drill hole files are from the top and I am doing through hole (bottom copper) PCB’s.
**It is amazing how accurate the Nomad is as it hits the same holes seemingly exactly so long as you don’t initialize again.