Here’s What You Should Know about Gerber Files

by Roger Roche
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Altium Gerber remains an integral part of the PCB industry. There’s little in terms of design or precision that can be achieved without following the Gerber format. If you’re looking to use Gerber files in the future, you should probably read this article.

This article is the first step to knowing everything you need to know about Gerber files. To get the best out of it, it’s framed in an FAQ structure.

So, here’s goes nothing!

Understanding Gerber Files

1. What is the true purpose of Gerber files?

Gerber files are mostly used in the PCB industry. Most PCB manufacturers use them to convert the design details into tangible properties. In other words, Gerber files are used to read the design details that have been written down and translate them into the design or design properties themselves.

To get the Gerber files, most PCB manufacturers use the PCB software.

2. Is it possible to edit a Gerber file?

Yes, it is definitely possible. Most Gerber files can be edited using a text editor. This is because there is really no restriction on the availability of the file format. While it can be read, it is also good to note that most Gerber files take on the vector format.

So, there will be a lot of different line segments on the silkscreen.

3. Can Gerber files be converted to Altium?

The answer to that question is a firm yes. However, you will need to follow a couple of steps to get the job done.

The first step is getting the Gerber files on the Altium designer. You can do this by creating a CAMtastic document. Once this has been done, you can start the transfer process by clicking on the file icon.

Next, click on import and then on the Gerber icon. Once you get to this stage, you should be able to choose the particular files that you want to convert to Altium.

4. What are some important features of Gerber files?

Gerber files do a lot. However, some features stand out. Some of them include the flash command codes, aperture, and macro dimensions, and configuration parameters. These features of the Gerber files contribute to making it the complete package.

5. Can Gerber Files be Converted to PDF?

Yes, they can. However, you will need to use certain tools to achieve it. The process of conversion is also lengthy. You might be better off getting some professional help if you want to pull that off.

Gerber Files are important to the PCB Industry

So, will Gerber files go away shortly? It doesn’t look like it. They perform really important roles. In fact, for some manufacturers, Gerber files are compulsory. They help the fabricating machines to deliver details about the PCBs.

These details include the copper layers and legend amongst others.

So, if you’re thinking of using Gerber files for your PCB project, you are probably on the right track. Get it right and you might have a huge smile on your face.

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