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From Gerbers to Schematic?
963 1 Feb 24.2020, 22:17:31

I designed a board in Sprint-Layout some years ago, back when I first started designing my own PCBs. It has gotten more and more complicated as I had revisions and improvements, and is now a 4 layer PCB of 150x200mm in size. None of this was done with schematics at all, just adding components and tying it into the circuitry as it needed to be.
At this point, I would like to refine the design and have a regular schematic so I can completely re-work the PCB layout w/o starting from complete scratch of the now complicated circuitry. In essence, I need to reverse-engineer my own work!
Since Sprint-Layout doesn't deal with netlists or schematics, just simply drawing circuits, is there a way to use the gerber files Sprint-Layout generates in Eagle/KiCad (2 programs I use now) or another to create a schematic?

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Feb 26.2020, 09:35:03

Think of Gerber files as essentially containing instructions for a plotter to draw trace segments and pads. The files do not contain the information which pads belong together (as part of one component or chip), let alone the chip's function. And they don't even tell you whether a trace segment is "connected" to a pad or another trace; you have to figure out whether they touch. (At least that part can be automated...)
So no, going back to a schematic from there doesn't really work in any automated fashion. Too much information about the underlying structure is missing in the Gerbers.
Also, this is probably a great opportunity to step back, give the whole circuit some thought, and draw a proper, well-organized schematic!  

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