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Gerber files help
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justjools



Joined: Sep 26, 2017
Posts: 8
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:13 pm    Post subject: Gerber files help Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

I have designed a PCB in Illustrator 3 layers: top, bottom, silkscreen and imported them into Altium and they look fine when I save them as Gerber 2 files. I just wanted to check that I don't have to do anything special before submitting for PCB printing.

The first pic is in Altium designer, the second how it appears as the Gerber file zoomed out and then zoomed in

Thanks


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hmm, looks a bit small but hard to tell without knowing what the grid is set too. Also those traces at the bottom are awfully close together
I can't tell from the gerber view if there is any space between them. You could try this online gerber viewer, see how it turns up in there.

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Altium should have a design rule checker to tell if the PCB is ok.
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justjools



Joined: Sep 26, 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
Altium should have a design rule checker to tell if the PCB is ok.


Thanks guys. I ran the design checker quite a few times and seems it's okay. I also spent an hour checker the original Illustrator layers with a fine tooth comb so guess it's okay to send to the PCB printers.

I was surprised that the traces are thicker when imported to Altium from Illustrator and if I needed to adjust the line trace width. As you can see from the writing especially the lines are all much thicker. Is there a default width it adds when importing? The original Ilustrator lines are 0.5pt width. 1pt = 0.35mm from looking it up but I have literally traced from the original board.

I am doing this as an experiment so I can get the PCB design right for printing. Will it come out the same width as the original board when printed?

Original board
Illustrator
Altium trace


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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, next thing will be that the PCB manufacturer should have a design rule checker. When they see odd things they should contact you before making the PCB.

With a bit of an odd design the costs may run up, usually you can, on order time, select some details about smallest holes, thinnest traces etc. to be used. When you run out of the specs for what you ordered the PCB house should warn you.

Not saying that they actually will complain, but just that a decent club should do so on detecting oddities.

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justjools



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks. I figured out how to set the width when importing files into Altium but now I realised that the parts: lines and hole widths are different. The corner holes are thicker widths and the square holes are too. So do I put these on separate layers for each width? I thought I needed to supply only three layers: top, bottom and silkscreen. But with each width on a separate layer would be 5. Is this okay? Also does the silk screen layer have to be a specific one/labelled or is it just another layer? I guess this is evident anyway. Should the drill holes be on a separate layer as well or is this okay to include with lines?

Is there a default line width? The lines on the original Illustrator file are 0.5mm - is this okay?
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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I always supply 8 files when ordering a PCB:
Top copper (.GTL)
Top silkscreen (.GTO)
Top solder mask (.GTS)
Bottom copper (.GBL)
Bottom silkscreen (.GBO)
Bottom solder mask (.GBS)
Drill holes (.TXT)
Outline/milling (.GML)
so all copper on top is one layer as is the bottom but you need a seperate file for all the sizes
and locations of the holes to drill. 0.5mm is usually fine for traces but just make them as thick
as there is room for. Personally I would just redraw it from scratch and add a ground plane.

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