- Published: Thursday, 12 July 2018
- Written by Jon Chandler
Circuit boards are wonderfully cheap to had made (even with the "president's ill-conceived tariffs). Having custom circuit boards made is really open to everybody. But there are a lot of steps between finishing a circuit board design and having it ready to send to a fab house. I've developed a piece of software to make the process a little easier.
When the board design is finsihed, Gerber files must be generated. A file is required for each layer of the circuit board. Top and bottom copper - 2 layers. That doesn't seem so difficult. Actually, your board layout's CAM processor generates many more layers: the silkscreen layers showing the labeling of the board, the soldermask layers, paste layers if you're having a stencil made, the Excellon drill file, various layers showing routing and Vscores. The list gets pretty long.
The pcb fabricators like each of these layers to be the board name plus a particular extension for each. I like to include a readme text file listing the board parameters, including the name of the file for each layer. This gets pretty tedious! I have created the Gerber File Readme Generator to make this process a breeze. Enter in a few parameters, click a few boxes, and the file is written to disk. A very tedious task is done in a few seconds.Discuss this article in the forums (4 replies).