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How to generate Gerbers from Eagle files

by: Feb 26,2015 7417 Views 1 Comments Posted in PCB Layout Software

Gerbers Eagle files

Attention please, new blog of generating Gerbers from Eagle has been released,click here!

Generating Gerbers

When you’ve finalized your design, the last step before sending it off to the fab house is to generate gerber files. Gerber files are kind of a “universal language” for PCB designs. EAGLE is far from the only PCB CAD software out there, and its design files are nothing like those of Orcad or Altium. Fab houses can’t possibly support every piece of software out there, so we send them the gerber files instead.

Gerber files – note the plurality – each describe single layers of the PCB. One gerber might describe the silkscreen, while another defines where the top copper is. In all, we’ll generate seven gerber files to send to the fab house.

CAM Processor

Before we get too much further, you’ll need to download another definition file: SparkFun’s CAM file.

Then, load up the CAM processor by clicking the CAM icon – 

From here, go to the File menu, then go Open > Job…. In the file browser that opens, select the sfe-gerb274x.camfile that you just downloaded. Now the CAM processor window should have a series of tabs: “Top Copper”, “Bottom Copper”, “Top Silkscreen”, etc. Each of these tabs define how to create one of the gerber files. Now all you have to do is click Process Job. If you haven’t saved recently, it’ll prompt you to.

The gerber generation process should be pretty quick. Once it’s run its course, have a look in your project directory, which should have loads of new files in it. In addition to the board (BRD) and schematic (SCH) files, there should now be a .dri, .GBL, .GBO, .GBS, .GML, .gpi, .GTO, .GTP, .GTS, and a .TXT. Meet the Gerbers!

Gerber File

Extension

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

Delivering the Gerbers

The process of sending gerber files varies by fab house. Most will ask you to send them a zipped folder of select files. Which gerber files? Check with your fab house again (e.g. Advanced Circuits /span> OSH Park’s guidelines), but usually you want to send them GTL, GBL, GTS, GBS, GTO, GBO and the TXT files. The GTP file isn’t necessary for the PCB fabrication, but (if your design had SMD parts) it can be used to create a stencil.

So zip those gerbers up. Play the waiting game. And get ready to assemble your very own PCB!

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