What's the best way to create a device from an existing Eagle schematic/board design?
That is, you have an existing board, for which you have the Eagle project, and you now want to make a library component so you can use that board as a component on another board.
Example, picked at random:
... and you want to use that board as a component on a new board.
Obviously the existing Eagle board project contains a lot of data that could be used in the library component, but I am not seeing a straightforward path to making that happen.
I've tried two approaches, neither of which worked well. (Using the example board.)
1. I tried copying salient layers from the Board editor to the Library package editor: Layers Pads, Dimension, tPlace, tOrigins, bOrigins, Drills, Holes
- During the group Copy process (Board editor viewing the source board) I got error message: "Can't backannotate this operation. Please do this in the schematic!". This seems bogus, since Copy shouldn't change anything in the source data. Nonetheless, something did appear to get copied to the clipboard ...
- During the Paste operation (into the destination library component Package), the initial movable visualization showed the entire board data seemingly about to be pasted (not just the layers I'd selected), but then when I went to actually paste, I got message "Skipped unsuitable objects", and the only things that actually pasted were items on the Dimension and tPlace layers. So, no pads or holes.
2. An alternate approach I tried was to use an image of the board as an underlay in the Package editor, over which to stick all new pads, holes, text and so on.
- I made an image of the board's package, either using Eagle layout editor Export > Image, or just a screen shot of the layout
- I used import-bmp.ulp, to get this background into the Package editor. This "works", though it converts the bitmap into a huge mess of rectangles and/or lines, on separate layers per color. It's good that they are on separate layers, but to use this background of course it must be visible, in which this proliferation of shapes makes it difficult to pick and move the actual useful new pads, text and so on.
- This seems very manual and crude, failing as it does to take advantage of the exact pad positioning, outline, holes, pad and pin names and so on that's already in the existing board project.
Is there a better way to go about this?