HQ NextPCB Introduces New PCB Gerber Viewer: HQDFM Online Lite Edition

HQ NextPCB is proud to announce the release of HQDFM Online Gerber Viewer and DFM Analysis Tool, free for everyone. With HQDFM, NextPCB hopes to empower designers with the DFM tools and knowledge to perfect their designs as early as possible, where problems are the least costly.

The PCB manufacturing industry has and still relies on the Ucamco Gerber standard to communicate PCB production to manufacturers, which are often located overseas. While the 2D image format overcomes language barriers, the language of PCB Design for Manufacture is still ambiguous to many inexperienced designers and the division between PCB design and PCB manufacture remains an expensive obstacle leading to missed deadlines, hit-and-miss runs and quick-to-fail products.

“There are still many designers that send off their production files without any knowledge of what the files contain. Resolving issues with the fab house becomes a challenge for both sides without the appropriate tools and knowledge to debug the design, which is something we hope to change for everyone’s benefit,” said HQ NextPCB CEO, Alex Chen.

HQDFM Gerber Viewer is a completely free, online tool for displaying and reviewing PCB Gerber files and OBD++ files. It incorporates HQDFM’s Design for Manufacture (DFM) algorithms which are based on NextPCB’s 15 years of high-reliability manufacturing expertise and current industry standards.

Unlike EDA software’s built-in DRC checks, HQDFM allows designers to navigate and analyze the production files and check for design issues that may impact manufacturing or cause long-term reliability issues. With HQDFM, designers are given a manufacturer’s perspective and have valuable insights into how they can improve their designs.

Based on the free desktop version, the cross-platform, online HQDFM makes the easy-to-use Gerber Viewer function and DFM analysis available to everyone, including Mac and Linux users with no download or installation and no sign-up. Anyone can freely upload PCB production files to the online interface and view their design in seconds.

HQDFM supports X2 and RS-274x PCB Gerber formats, Excellon drill files and OBD++ files and works with Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Opera browsers.


– Check for over 20 Design for Manufacture issues
– Navigate your PCB layer-by-layer
– Free downloadable DFM Report for more detailed analysis
– Easy, one-click ordering with HQ NextPCB
– Absolutely free, no sign-up or obligation

What does HQDFM check?

Design for Manufacturability – whether PCB elements are within the capabilities of most manufacturers in the industry, from low cost quickturn services to advanced services:

– Trace width/spacing
– Drill hole/slot sizes
– Clearances to copper and board outline elements
– Special drill holes
– Solder mask openings and more

Design for Cost – detect production difficulties that may cause costs or lead times to increase:

– Drill hole fees
– Testing fees
– Surface finish fees
– Small trace widths/spacings
– Special drill hole fees

Design for Reliability – detect problems that may not affect production but impact the normal operation or lifetime of the boards:

– Shorts/opens
– Missing solder mask dams or openings
– Missing/extra pads, drill holes, annular rings

About NextPCB

HQ NextPCB and HQ Online are the overseas trading brands of Shenzhen Huaqiu (HQ) Electronics Co. Ltd., a reliable multi-layer PCB manufacturer and assembly house. Their capabilities include up to 32 layer boards, blind and buried vias up to HDI 3, custom stack-ups, full turnkey assembly and more via a smart quotation platform with dedicated one-to-one support. Also, NextPCB is offering free reliable PCB assembly for everyone.

Founded in 2009, NextPCB’s passion for fast, reliable and affordable full-featured electronics manufacturing has driven NextPCB to innovate and modernize the electronics manufacturing industry. NextPCB developed and maintains the software HQDFM, a groundbreaking tool for designers to analyze PCB Gerber files and detect design issues. Over 300,000 users around the world already choose NextPCB. Try them for your next design at HQ NextPCB.com and see how they can accelerate your workflow.

Block coding for all modern LEGO® hubs

Endless creativity and fun with smart LEGO® bricks using Pybricks

November, 2023 – Pybricks Headquarters: Today, the Pybricks team presents the first beta release of block coding for all modern LEGO® hubs. For the first time, fans of all LEGO themes can bring their smart bricks together in a single app for endless possibilities and creativity.

Whether you want to make smart train layouts, autonomous Technic machines, interactive BOOST creatures, or super-precise SPIKE and MINDSTORMS robots, you can do it with Pybricks.

Pybricks is beginner-friendly and easy to use. There’s no need to install complicated apps or libraries either. Just go to https://beta.pybricks.com, update the firmware, and start coding.

And now for the first time, no prior Python coding experience is required. You can code with familiar but powerful blocks, and gradually switch to Python when you’re ready. The live preview makes it easy to see how your blocks translate to Python code.

Meanwhile, more seasoned builders and robotics teams will enjoy advanced features such as color sensor calibration or builtin gyro control for drive bases.

The new block coding experience is exclusively available to our supporters on Patreon. You can sign up for a monthly subscription or make a one-time pledge in our shop for lifetime access.

Python coding remains entirely free and open source, and continues to be supported by a community of developers and LEGO enthusiasts around the world. Improvements are made almost every day, with the lead developers actively engaging with the community for ideas, bug fixes, and brand new features.

So grab your LEGO sets and start coding!

Cybersicherheit in Zeiten der KI – Expertentalk im Deutschen Museum Bonn

Das Deutsche Museum Bonn erfindet sich gerade neu und entwickelt sich mit großen Schritten zu einem innovativen und lebendigen Informationsforum zum Thema Künstliche Intelligenz. Das Ziel der „Mission KI“: Die Besucherinnen und Besucher aktiv in die Vermittlung und in die Diskussion rund um die Künstliche Intelligenz einzubeziehen. Dies geschieht nicht nur in der rundumerneuerten Ausstellung mit vielen Mitmachstationen, sondern auch regelmäßig in Form von Vorträgen und Diskussionsrunden mit namhaften Experten und Expertinnen.

Am 9.November 2023 lud das Deutsche Museum Bonn wieder zum „KI-Talk“ ein, der diesmal unter dem Motto „Cybersicherheit in Zeiten der KI“ stand. Als Talkgäste diskutierten Prof. Ulrich Kelber (Bundesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und die Informationsfreiheit), Thomas Tschersich (Chief Security Officer Deutsche Telekom AG), Journalistin und Autorin Eva Wolfangel („Ein falscher Klick“) und Oberst Guido Schulte vom Cyber- und Informationsraum der Bundeswehr) über gängige Bedrohungen im Netz, den Schutz unserer Daten, den Einsatz Künstlicher Intelligenz in der Cybersicherheit und vieles mehr. Moderiert wurde das in Kooperation mit dem Cyber Security Cluster Bonn veranstaltete Event von „Quarks“-Moderatorin Florence Randrianarisoa.

Die sehr interessante und lebhafte Talkrunde mit einem sehr interessierten Publikum im vollbesetzten Museum wurde live im YouTube-Kanal des Fördervereins WISSENschaf(f)t SPASS übertragen und ist dort weiterhin als Aufzeichnung zu sehen:

ABB is the first manufacturer to provide intuitive, block-based no-code programming for all cobots and six-axis industrial robots

  • First-time users can program their collaborative robots and industrial robots for free within minutes
  • System integrators and experienced users can develop, share, and customize sophisticated programs for application-specific features

ABB Robotics has expanded the scope of its free Wizard Easy Programming software for collaborative robots to include all six-axis industrial robots running on an ABB OmniCore™ controller. This makes ABB the first robot manufacturer to offer an easy-to-use no-code programming tool for cobots and six-axis industrial robots. This lowers the barriers to automation for early adopters and provides ecosystem partners and integrators with an efficient tool to support their customers.

„If we want to promote and advance the use of robotic automation on a global scale, we need to address the challenges and opportunities of the industry,“ says Marc Segura, head of the robotics division at ABB. „By adding our six-axis industrial robots to Wizard Easy Programming, ABB Robotics is responding to the skills shortage and increasing demand from manufacturing companies for simple and easy-to-use programming software for their robot fleets.“

Create robot applications without prior training

Wizard Easy Programming uses a graphic, drag-and-drop, no-code programming approach designed to simplify the development of robotic applications. The software allows both first-time and experienced robot users to create applications in minutes – a task that typically requires a week of training and another week of development work. Since its launch in 2020, Wizard Easy Programming has been used in a wide range of applications in conjunction with ABB’s YuMi, SWIFTI™ and GoFa™ collaborative robots.

Wizard Easy Programming, previously available for ABB’s collaborative robots, is now available for all of the company’s six-axis industrial robots. (Image: ABB)

The software offers users the opportunity to create complete programs for applications such as arc welding or machine tending without prior training. An intuitive graphical user interface allows you to customize existing programs and pre-programmed blocks to control various actions – from robot movements to signal instructions and force control – for added flexibility.

Efficiently generate specific codes for specific applications

Wizard Easy Programming also includes Skill Creator, a tool that helps system integrators and experts create custom, application-specific wizard blocks for their customers. Skill Creator simplifies the creation of new blocks for highly specific tasks such as machine tending and welding, but also for difficult applications such as medical tests. Ecosystem partners who develop accessories such as grippers, feeding systems and cameras will have access to a digital tool that allows them to share product-specific functionalities regardless of the type of robot to be used.

Wizard Easy Programming is pre-installed on all cobots and new six-axis industrial robots running ABB’s OmniCore controller. The leading robot controllers of the OmniCore family are characterized by an energy saving potential of 20 percent on average and a high degree of future-proofing – thanks to integrated digital connectivity and over 1,000 scalable functions.

More information about Wizard Easy Programming is available here.

ABB bietet No-Code-Programmierung mit Wizard Easy Programming ab sofort auch für Industrieroboter

  • ABB stellt als erster Hersteller intuitive, blockbasierte No-Code-Programmierung für alle Cobots und Sechsachs-Industrieroboter zur Verfügung
  • Erstanwender können ihre kollaborativen Roboter und Industrieroboter kostenlos innerhalb von Minuten programmieren
  • Systemintegratoren und erfahrene Anwender können anspruchsvolle Programme für anwendungsspezifische Funktionen entwickeln, mit anderen teilen und anpassen

ABB Robotics hat den Anwendungsbereich seiner kostenfreien Software Wizard Easy Programming für kollaborative Roboter um alle sechsachsigen Industrieroboter erweitert, die mit einer ABB OmniCore™-Steuerung laufen. Damit ist ABB der erste Roboterhersteller, der ein einfach zu bedienendes No-Code-Programmierungstool für Cobots und sechsachsige Industrieroboter anbietet. Dies senkt die Automatisierungshürden für Erstanwender und stellt Ökosystem-Partnern und Integratoren ein effizientes Tool zur Unterstützung ihrer Kunden zur Verfügung.

Die bisher für die kollaborativen Roboter von ABB verfügbare Software Wizard Easy Programming gibt es ab sofort auch für alle Sechsachs-Industrieroboter des Unternehmens. (Bild: ABB)

„Wenn wir den Einsatz von robotergestützter Automatisierung auf globaler Ebene fördern und vorantreiben wollen, müssen wir die Herausforderungen und Chancen der Industrie angehen“, sagt Marc Segura, Leiter der Robotics-Division bei ABB. „Durch die Erweiterung von Wizard Easy Programming um unsere Sechsachs-Industrieroboter reagiert ABB Robotics auf den Fachkräftemangel und die steigende Nachfrage von Fertigungsunternehmen nach einfacher und benutzerfreundlicher Programmiersoftware für ihre Roboterflotten.“

Roboteranwendungen ohne vorherige Schulung erstellen

Wizard Easy Programming nutzt einen grafischen, Drag-and-Drop-basierten No-Code-Programmieransatz, der darauf ausgelegt ist, die Entwicklung von Roboteranwendungen zu vereinfachen. Mit der Software können Erstanwender ebenso wie erfahrene Roboternutzer Anwendungen innerhalb von Minuten erstellen – eine Aufgabe, für die normalerweise eine Woche Schulung und eine weitere Woche Entwicklungsarbeit erforderlich ist. Seit seiner Einführung im Jahr 2020 kommt Wizard Easy Programming in Verbindung mit den kollaborativen ABB-Robotern YuMi, SWIFTI™ und GoFa™ in einer Vielzahl von Anwendungen zum Einsatz.

Die Software bietet Nutzern die Möglichkeit, ohne vorherige Schulung komplette Programme für Anwendungen wie Lichtbogenschweißen oder Maschinenbeschickung zu erstellen. Über eine intuitive grafische Benutzeroberfläche lassen sich bestehende Programme und vorprogrammierte Blöcke zur Steuerung verschiedener Aktionen – von Roboterbewegungen über Signalanweisungen bis hin zur Kraftsteuerung – anpassen, was ein Plus an Flexibilität bietet.

Spezifische Codes für bestimmte Anwendungen effizient generieren

Wizard Easy Programming beinhaltet zudem Skill Creator – ein Tool, das Systemintegratoren und Experten dabei hilft, benutzerdefinierte, anwendungsspezifische Wizard-Blöcke für ihre Kunden zu erstellen. Skill Creator vereinfacht das Erstellen neuer Blöcke für hochspezifische Aufgaben wie die Maschinenbeschickung und das Schweißen, aber auch für diffizile Anwendungen wie medizinische Tests. Ökosystem-Partner, die Zubehör wie Greifer, Zuführsysteme und Kameras entwickeln, erhalten Zugang zu einem digitalen Tool, mit dem sie produktspezifische Funktionalitäten unabhängig von der Art des zu verwendenden Roboters teilen können.

Wizard Easy Programming ist auf allen Cobots und neuen Sechsachs-Industrierobotern vorinstalliert, die mit der OmniCore-Steuerung von ABB laufen. Die führenden Robotersteuerungen der OmniCore-Familie zeichnen sich durch ein Energieeinsparungspotenzial von durchschnittlich 20 Prozent und eine hohe Zukunftssicherheit aus – dank integrierter digitaler Konnektivität und über 1.000 skalierbaren Funktionen.

Mehr Informationen über Wizard Easy Programming stehen hier zur Verfügung.

Igus expands its portfolio around the ReBeL with a humanoid hand made of lubrication-free high-performance plastics

Cologne, November 14, 2023 – Robots have become an integral part of industry and are increasingly finding their way into small and medium-sized companies in the form of cobots, such as the ReBeL. They sort, pick and move with the help of cameras, vacuum cleaners and gripping systems. In order to be able to take on humanoid tasks, igus has now developed a finger gripper for the ReBeL cobot. It is made entirely of lubrication-free plastics, so it is very cost-effective and easy to integrate.

With the ReBeL, igus has launched a compact and lightweight cobot on the market that makes it possible to enter robotics at low cost. This makes it particularly suitable for assembly tasks, quality inspections and in the service sector.  In order for the robot to really work, grippers and suction cups are necessary. For this purpose, igus offers a wide selection of suitable end effectors from various manufacturers on the marketplace RBTX.com. „Since the ReBeL is very light and affordable with its own weight of around 8 kilograms and a price starting at 3,970 euros, it is widely used in humanoid applications. For this reason, we received a number of customer inquiries for a robotic hand that can be easily connected to the ReBeL via plug-and-play,“ explains Alexander Mühlens, Head of the Low Cost Automation business unit at igus GmbH. For this reason, igus has now developed a particularly cost-effective ReBeL finger gripper, which is available for as little as 1,840 euros. The humanoid hand is compatible with all ReBeL models. It is controlled via DIO at the Tool Center Point, which allows for easy integration and flexibility in various applications. The special feature of the finger gripper is that it can imitate human hand movements. „With the new low-cost hand, the ReBeL can take on a wide range of simple humanoid tasks and applications. We are thinking of the area of research and development at universities, but tasks in gastronomy or in the entertainment industry are also conceivable,“ says Alexander Mühlens.

High-performance plastics ensure precise movements
All components, including the flange, cables and control, come directly from igus in Cologne. In this way, the customer receives a 100 percent compatible solution. The low price is due to the lubrication-free high-performance plastics. The plain bearings in the joints made of iglidur polymers are not only cost-effective and lubrication-free, but also enable smooth and precise movements of the individual fingers. Extensive testing in the in-house 3,800 square meter laboratory guarantees the longevity of the humanoid hand. They are extremely flexible and can be controlled via various interfaces, including USB, TTL (5 V) serial and internal scripting. In addition to the finger gripper, igus offers other products for the ReBeL Environment. These include, for example, fireproof fire protection hoods, a 7th axis, gripper sets, adapter plate sets, energy supply systems, a finished workstation and connection cables.

Hand schütteln mit einem Roboter: igus bringt bionische Hand für ReBeL Cobot auf den Markt

igus erweitert sein Portfolio rund um den ReBeL mit einer humanoiden Hand aus schmierfreien Hochleistungskunststoffen

Köln, 14. November 2023 – Roboter sind aus der Industrie nicht mehr wegzudenken und halten in Form von Cobots, wie dem ReBeL, auch immer mehr Einzug in kleinere und mittlere Unternehmen. Sie sortieren, picken und verschieben mithilfe von Kameras, Saugern und Greifsystemen. Um auch humanoide Aufgaben übernehmen zu können, hat igus jetzt einen Fingergreifer für den ReBeL Cobot entwickelt. Er besteht komplett aus schmierfreien Kunststoffen, ist daher sehr kostengünstig und lässt sich einfach integrieren.

Mit dem ReBeL hat igus einen kompakten und leichten Cobot auf den Markt gebracht, der den kostengünstigen Einstieg in die Robotik möglich macht. So lässt er sich besonders gut für Montageaufgaben, Qualitätsprüfungen und im Servicebereich einsetzen. Damit der Roboter auch wirklich arbeiten kann, sind Greifer und Sauger von Nöten. Dazu bietet igus auf dem Markplatz RBTX.com eine breite Auswahl an passenden Endeffektoren verschiedener Hersteller an. „Da der ReBeL mit seinen rund 8 Kilogramm Eigengewicht und einem Preis ab 3.970 Euro sehr leicht und erschwinglich ist, wird er viel in humanoiden Anwendungen eingesetzt. Aus diesem Grund erreichten uns einige Kundenanfragen nach einer Roboterhand, die sich einfach per Plug-and-Play mit dem ReBeL verbinden lässt“, erklärt Alexander Mühlens, Leiter des Geschäftsbereichs Low Cost Automation bei der igus GmbH. Daher hat igus jetzt einen besonders kostengünstigen ReBeL Fingergreifer entwickelt, der schon für 1.840 Euro erhältlich ist. Die humanoide Hand ist kompatibel mit allen ReBeL Modellen. Die Ansteuerung erfolgt über DIO am Tool Center Point, was eine einfache Integration und Flexibilität in verschiedenen Anwendungen ermöglicht. Die Besonderheit des Fingergreifers liegt darin, dass er menschliche Handbewegungen nachahmen kann. „Der ReBeL kann mit der neuen Low Cost-Hand eine breite Palette von einfachen humanoiden Aufgaben und Anwendungen übernehmen. Wir denken da an den Bereich der Forschung und Entwicklung an Hochschulen, aber auch Aufgaben in der Gastronomie oder in der Unterhaltungsbranche sind denkbar“, so Alexander Mühlens.

Hochleistungskunststoffe sorgen für präzise Bewegungen
Alle Komponenten, einschließlich Flansch, Leitungen und Ansteuerung kommen direkt von igus aus Köln. So erhält der Kunde eine 100 Prozent kompatible Lösung. Für den niedrigen Preis sorgen die schmierfreien Hochleistungskunststoffe. Die Gleitlager in den Gelenken aus iglidur Polymeren sind nicht nur kostengünstig und schmierfrei, sondern ermöglichen auch reibungslose und präzise Bewegungen der einzelnen Finger. Umfangreiche Tests im hauseigenen 3.800 Quadratmeter großen Labor garantieren die Langlebigkeit der humanoiden Hand. Ihre Steuerung ist dabei äußerst flexibel und kann über verschiedene Schnittstellen erfolgen, darunter USB, TTL (5 V) seriell und internal scripting. Neben dem Fingergreifer bietet igus weitere Produkte für das ReBeL Environment an. Darunter zum Beispiel feuerfeste Brandschutzhauben, eine 7. Achse, Greifersets, Adapterplattensets, Energieführungssysteme, einen fertigen Arbeitsplatz und Anschlusskabel.

IDS NXT malibu: Camera combines advanced consumer image processing and AI technology from Ambarella and industrial quality from IDS

New class of edge AI industrial cameras allows AI overlays in live video streams

IDS NXT malibu marks a new class of intelligent industrial cameras that act as edge devices and generate AI overlays in live video streams. For the new camera series, IDS Imaging Development Systems has collaborated with Ambarella, leading developer of visual AI products, making consumer technology available for demanding applications in industrial quality. It features Ambarella’s CVflow® AI vision system on chip and takes full advantage of the SoC’s advanced image processing and on-camera AI capabilities. Consequently, Image analysis can be performed at high speed (>25fps) and displayed as live overlays in compressed video streams via the RTSP protocol for end devices.

Thanks to the SoC’s integrated image signal processor (ISP), the information captured by the light-sensitive onsemi AR0521 image sensor is processed directly on the camera and accelerated by its integrated hardware. The camera also offers helpful automatic features, such as brightness, noise and colour correction, which significantly improve image quality.

„With IDS NXT malibu, we have developed an industrial camera that can analyse images in real time and incorporate results directly into video streams,” explained Kai Hartmann, Product Innovation Manager at IDS. “The combination of on-camera AI with compression and streaming is a novelty in the industrial setting, opening up new application scenarios for intelligent image processing.“

These on-camera capabilities were made possible through close collaboration between IDS and Ambarella, leveraging the companies’ strengths in industrial camera and consumer technology. „We are proud to work with IDS, a leading company in industrial image processing,” said Jerome Gigot, senior director of marketing at Ambarella. “The IDS NXT malibu represents a new class of industrial-grade edge AI cameras, achieving fast inference times and high image quality via our CVflow AI vision SoC.“

IDS NXT malibu has entered series production. The camera is part of the IDS NXT all-in-one AI system. Optimally coordinated components – from the camera to the AI vision studio – accompany the entire workflow. This includes the acquisition of images and their labelling, through to the training of a neural network and its execution on the IDS NXT series of cameras.

Qviro Helps Robotics Buyers Make Transparent Choices with Biggest Marketplace

Qviro Revolutionizes Robotics Buying Experience

Qviro, one of the leading robotics platforms, introduces a groundbreaking marketplace, offering unparalleled transparency and choice. Users can effortlessly compare the full robotics market and access a vast selection of 211 cobots

The platform ensures transparent pricing, allowing buyers access to all cobot prices on Qviro. For added assistance, it provides an average cobot price of €27,158. Additionally, Qviro includes 400+ user reviews for informed decisions.

In the cobot category, Universal Robots leads with a 4.6 rating from over 41 user reviews. Their products excel in ease of use and integration, favored by engineers and enthusiasts.

For budget-conscious buyers, Elephant Robotics and Wlkata offer educational robots starting at $599. They provide cost-effective solutions for educational and hobbyist projects. Find Elephant Robotics‘ products at Elephant Robotics Products and Wlkata’s at Wlkata Products.

Sven De Donder, Co-CEO of Qviro, said, „Our user base in Europe and North America is growing exponentially due to unmatched transparency.“

Qviro transforms the robotics buying experience, offering an all-in-one solution for enthusiasts and professionals. With diverse options, transparent pricing, and a supportive user community, Qviro meets all your robotics needs.

About Qviro:

Qviro is a Belgium-based startup that is revolutionising the procurement process of industrial technology such as robots and machines through digitization. The company’s review platform, Qviro.com, provides factories and engineers with valuable insights and customer feedback to make confident purchasing decisions. At the same time, it offers vendors market intelligence and data to help them better understand their potential customers. As a SaaS platform, Qviro is dedicated to providing exceptional customer experiences and innovative solutions that drive growth and progress in the industry. To learn more about Qviro, visit www.Qviro.com.