Java Based Printed Circuit Board Routing Software from FreeRouting.net written by Alfons Wirtz.
by alfons » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:07 pm
Because I am no more maintaining the Freerouting project since 4 years and future Java versions may block my Freerouting Java Web Start application completely, I finally decided to open the source of the Freerouting project under the GNU public license version 3.
I have attached the complete source code of the Freerouting project. Please feel free downloading and using the sources according to the GPLv3 license.
This software can be used together with all host PCB design software systems containing a standard Specctra or Electra DSN interface. It imports .dsn-files generated by the Specctra interface of the host system and exports Specctra session files.(There exists also an interface to Cadsoft-Eagle.)
There are three modes for routing traces: 90 degree, 45 degree and free angle. The interactive router is production stable and unsurpassed in its free angle capabilities. An autorouter is currently under development and already stable in the conventional 45 degree mode.
After launching the router a window appears with buttons to display some router demonstrations, to open a sample design, or to open a design of your own.
After opening a design you can start the autorouter with the button in the toolbar on top of the board window.
The board editor has three different interactive states. You can switch between this states with the buttons Select, Route and Drag on the left of the toolbar.
In the beginning the board editor is in the select state. In this state you can select single board items by picking them with the left mouse button or select items in a rectangle by dragging the left mouse button. Only item types switched on in the select parameter sheet will be selected. After selecting some items the toolbar displays options for showing and manipulating these items. If you push the info button for example a window with text information about the selected items is displayed. After clicking a blue word in this text a new window with further information pops up. To return to the select state push the cancel button or click somewhere in the empty space of the board window.
By pushing the Route button you get into the state for interactive routing. In this state you can start a new trace by picking an item belonging to a net, for example a pin. Then you can follow the displayed airline with the mouse until you have reached the target item at the other end of the airline. The trace will be connected automatically to the target, if it is on the same layer. If you want to change to a different layer during interactive routing, select "change layer" and then the name of the new layer in the popup menu under the right mouse button. Then a via will be inserted, if that is possible, and a new trace starts on the new layer. You can also change the layer by pressing a number key.
After pushing the Drag button you get into the state for changing the location of vias, components or traces. In this state you can select vias or components and drag them with the left mouse button to a different location. The connected route is updated automatically. You can also move traces by pushing them from behind out of the empty space with the left mouse button pressed. That works on the current layer, which can be changed in the select parameter sheet. In this way you can make space for example to insert a new component.
For more information please use the online help in the board editor. From here you can download also a printable version of the online help.
If you have further questions or want some feedback, please sent an Email to support@ FreeRouting.net or visit our forum.
Additional steps for users of CadSoft-Eagle:
Download the latest Eagle2freerouter ulp file
Start Eagle and open in the control panel of Eagle for example the design my_design.brd.
Choose in the Files pulldown-menu of Eagle the item "execute ULP" and select the Eagle2freerouter ulp file. A file with name my_design.dsn is generated.
Start the router, push the "Open Your Own Design" button and select my_design.dsn in the file chooser.
After making some changes to the design with the router select "export Eagle session script" in the Files pulldown-menu. A file with name my_design.scr is generated.
Choose in the Files pulldown-menu of Eagle the item "execute Script" and select my_design.scr.
Here are some instructions how to run the Freerouting project in the NetBeans IDE.
Go to the Java SE download web page of Oracle to download and install JDK 8 with NetBeans 8.0
Start the NetBeans IDE and select File | New Project in the pull down menu.
In this sheet select Java Project with existing sources.
Add your downloaded Freerouting source code with Add Source Package.
Build your new project in NetBeans.
To get rid of the undefined's download and unzip the attached library jh.jar. It is the system library of the Java Help system.
Right click on the name of your new project on the left of NetBeans and select Properties.
In the Property sheet select Libraries on the left and add your jh.jar with Add JAR/Folder.
Click on Web Start in the Property sheet and select Enable Web Start.
Build the project again. The router should run now.
For optional parameters of the Freerouting outfile check the usage of the variable p_args in the source file gui/MainApplication.java.