Spotlight: The Centroid File

We recieve a lot of questions about the Centroid file that we require. The file just tells our machine where each part goes on the board and what direction to point the part when putting it on the board. It's not the only file we need, but it is certainly one of the most important.

There are two ways that we can end up with a good Centroid file; a) you can provide it, or b) we can generate it from the other CAD and BOM files that you provide. If you want us to make it, we'll charge $50.00 to $100.00 for a typical board, sometimes more for really complex boards.

Most CAD systems will automatically output the file for you. It might also be called an "Insertion file", a "pick and place file" or an "X-Y file."

If you use:

  • PCB123: If you use PCB123 and tell them that you are sending the boards to Screaming Circuits, they will send us the Gerbers and Centroid without an extra charge.
  • Eagle: Download the User Language Program (ULP), described here on our web site, and run it on your board.

If you want to create it yourself, of just understand it better, download our PDF describing it and our sample Centroid file from our website.

Duane Benson
A = sd1
V = Ad2

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