Author Topic: Creating universal gerber files?  (Read 3442 times)

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Offline zapta

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Creating universal gerber files?
« on: May 10, 2014, 03:38:44 pm »
I want to create gerber files for an Eagle design so I can send to arbitrary PCB manufacturers (2 layers, top and bottom solder mask, top silk, 8mil traces and separation, 13mil min drill). So far I just uploaded my Eagle files to OshPark and got good results but it's getting expensive for larger quantities.

Is there such thing as a generic 2 layer Eagle cam job that I can use with common prototype PCB manufacturers (e.g. the main ones listed on pcbshopper.com)?  I see that some manufacturer have their own .cam files but I wonder if I can have a generic one that I can send to arbitrary manufacturer.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Creating universal gerber files?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 07:35:00 pm »
Surely eagle can create gerber files,

https://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/109

It's under File->CAM Processor

Usually the manufacturer will give you eagle CAM jobs or you can roll your own

Edit: I guess I didn't read the whole thing, I don't think there is such a beast, but they should be able to tell you the details so you can do your own cam file. According to that tutorial the more general ones are gerb274x.com and excellon.com but he did his own that combines probably both.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 07:43:35 pm by miguelvp »
 

Offline LukeW

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Re: Creating universal gerber files?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 09:37:19 am »
If you use Gerber 274X, Excellon drill format etc. it should be broadly compatible with every fab house.

Keep the file extensions the standard ones, that describe the layers:

Bottom Copper: GBL
Bottom Silkscreen: GBO
Bottom Soldermask: GBS
Top Copper: GTL
Top Silkscreen: GTO
Top Soldermask: GTS
Drill File: TXT
Drill Station Info File: dri
Photoplotter Info File: gpi
Mill Layer: GML
Top Paste: GTP

Sometimes some fab houses insist on something a little extra, eg. OSHPark wants a GKO (Gerber Keepout) file containing only the board outline, so OK, might as well add that to the CAM processor and keep it in there for any fab house.

Personally, I wrote a makefile that does CAM generation:

https://github.com/lukeweston/eagle-makefile/blob/master/makefile

You can edit it to taste, for example to add the GKO layer, or change the layers you want added to the silkscreen, but this gives you the basic idea.

Sometimes PCB fab houses will tell you they can't fab from your files because you need to do your layout differently, or you should change this or change that, or give your files a different name, or whatever, and personally if this happens and your files are manufacturable and you know what you're doing and your boards pass DRC then you might want to just find a different fab, because I personally just want a fab that "just fabs it" without telling you how to do your job, although in some cases like for beginners this sort of advice may have a valuable role.
 


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