Gerbv is an open source Gerber file (RS-274X only) viewer. Gerbv lets you load several files on top of each other, do measurements on the displayed image, etc.
Since today's laser photoplotters treat ASCII Gerber files. more like a modern image file. why don't we switch to a current format like PostScript? The answer is a bit of a catch-22 - modern photoplotters use the Gerber file format. because most computer-aided design/drafting software creates files in that format. and most computer-aided software creates files in the Gerber format. because modern photoplotters use it.
Creating Gerber data in TARGET 3001! is a matter of seconds. The specialty of this Gerber driver is. that Extended Gerber (RS-274-X) generated but besides those data. can read by "standard" Gerber machines too. because only the old Gerber commands (RS-274-D) used. Gerber aperture data generated, superfluous for CAM factories. working with Extended Gerber but necessary for CAM factories. working with standard Gerber( RS-274-D). An more info text file generated plain talking what wanted from the manufacturer.
The Gerber format is an open 2D binary vector image file format. It is the standard file used by printed circuit board (PCB) industry software. to describe the printed circuit board images. copper layers, solder mask, legend, etc. The Gerber format is an open ASCII vector format. for printed circuit board (PCB) designs. A Gerber file contains the complete description of a PCB layer image . without requiring any external files
Developed by a company with the name of Gerber. Gerber format currently refers to a accepted standard PCB industry software sticks to. capable of describing circumstances of board images. such as conductor layers, soldermask layers, legend layers.
Printed circuit boards designed in a specialized EDA (Electronic Design Automation). or a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) system that further generate board manufacturing data. based on which circuit board fabrications commenced. PCB manufacturers won't understand all details of a PCB design file. unless Gerber format file contained in it as reference and guidelines. Gerber format file applied to describe design need of each image of a circuit board . and it can applied for both bare board fabrication and PCB assembly.
When it comes to bare board fabrication, Gerber format called for . by both standard photoplotters. and other manufacturing equipment desiring image data like legend printers. direct imagers or AOI (Automated/Automatic Optical Inspection) equipment etc. put it. Gerber format files have to depended. from beginning to the end of PCB fabrication process.
When it comes to PCB assembly. a stencil layer included in Gerber format and component locations regulated as well. which will regarded as significant reference data for SMT (Surface Mount Technology) assembly. thru-hole assembly and mix of them.
Two file formats can make Gerber file types:
The older of the two Gerber file format standards. RS-274D spreads information for a single layer across two separate Gerber files.
RS274D Standard Gerber was the first version of the PCB file format produced. by any CAD (Computer Aided Design) system. This file format known as Gerber used as input to any Photolithographic Computer. Aided Manufacturing (CAM) system inorder to realize the design. Once the bare board fabricated the Gerber file is not needed. anymore in PCB Assembly of components onto the board. RS274D Standard Gerber indeed a file format to drive vector photoplotters. which are 2D Mechanical NC machines. It's a simple ASCII format consisting of commands and X, Y coordinates.
RS-274-D file is not an image description. because it does not contain all information like the coordinate unit. and the definitions of the apertures (Apertures are the basic shapes like fonts in a PDF file.) The aperture file or wheel file is a free-format text file that contains coordinate units. and apertures. These apertures mounted on a wheel, rotated into the light beam. intended for human reading. and being set by the plotter operator. Since there are no standards for wheel files in RS-274-D, so designer. and the plotter operator had to agree their own setups. It is being designed for a manual workflow and only support simple imaging operators. thus "stroking/painting" or "vector-fill" needed in the constructions.
The newer of the two file formats, RS-274X allows all the information for a single layer to be in one file.
RS-274X Gerber also known as extended Gerber or X-Gerber. is a 2D bi-level vector image description format. that drives numerical controlled machines like raster-photoplotters. It is a superset of RS-274-D Standard Gerber. which contains human readable ASCII format. It is an image description file that consists of a sequence of commands and coordinates.
The imaging files are line draw, flash (predefined shapes at a given location), outline fill. and also the planes can speciefied. without the need to "paint" or "vector-fill" like in RS-274-D. combined together. The positive and negative objects can be also combined together. RS-274X is a complete, powerful and clear standard to describe a PCB layer. It's well suited for fast and secure data transfer. thus making it reliable for automated workflows.
RS-274X Gerber transfer layer information from CAD to CAM system. and also used to drive quality control machines for an automated optical inspection. To transfer drilling information. a Drill data in excellon format needed as a supplementary data. aside from the single conductor or mask layer image.
What does this mean in practice? Compared to RS-274X files, RS-274D files are much more prone to errors. because of the packaging of their aperture files. Aperture files for PCB manufacture come in a wide variety of types. but almost all them are proprietary to their original software. meaning the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) engineer in charge must type them by hand. Because Gerber files contain ASCII text humans cannot read. this is a lengthy and time-consuming process.
But, it's much more straightforward for engineers to use the RS-274X file format. In RS-274X, the aperture files embed as part of the file data, so there's no need for manual input. Using an RS-274X allows a PCB designer to define essential blocks of code. such as macros, pad shape and line width, in a single file. whereas an RS-274D would need these blocks to be a separate file.
The genesis of RS-274X derives from demand of greater flexibility for Gerber format. With the advent of laser/raster photoplotters, PCB manufacturers. and designers were able to make the Gerber format more flexible. so it could better suit the requirements of continued PCB design. To bring the file format in line with the advances in photoplotters. EIA launched the RS-274X file format in 1991.
The RS-274X file format allowed the designer to image any shape in one of three ways. as a full pad, a long track or on a plane or polygon. Since aperture definitions did not need a physical wheel on the photo-image. manufacturers could pull the CAD file when necessary. Aperture and macro definitions are now inclusions in the Gerber file. as a standard output. whereas they were separate files before.
The introduction of RS-274X in 1991 made it the standard file format for the transfer of PCB layer data. But, the RS-274D file format is still in use by some PCB designers. especially when they must design or copy older styles of PCB. professional engineers from reliable PCB manufacturers are. still able to do something to compensate for disadvantages of RS-274D. For example, when confronted with RS-274D formats. engineers from PCBCart usually input D-Code to get a complete content of design files.
So, if the GerberX format is so well-established and so widely used, then what’s the problem? As it turns out, there are several. Have you ever received boards with copper layers out of order? Have you ever received boards with drill holes that were mis-registered. or even completely missing? Have you ever had to explain to management. or a client how a misinterpreted fabrication note caused a schedule delay?
Gerber format RS-274X may be accurate. and reliable for rendering precise images of copper shapes. on signal and plane layers. But. the problem is that the standard does not take into account all other aspects of PCB fabrication. and assembly. For instance, there’s the transfer of the layer stackup order. and materials information. drill data, Pick & Place data, BOM data, Netlist, Test Point Report, and more.
All these other data sets must generated as a separate process by a separate utility. put, Gerber RS-274X file format does not transfer the complete design. from the design domain (CAD) to the manufacturing domain (CAM).
Without the transfer of a defined layer order. boards can end up with copper layers out of order during fabrication. or layers missing altogether. Without the transfer of drill data generated by the same process as the Gerber files. holes can end up drilled relative to an incorrect origin. or drilled relative to an incorrect version of the layout. The same goes for all other aspects of the fabrication and assembly data. Missing output data. or any one output generated from the wrong source file version, can render useless boards.
As long as designers maintain a well-defined design method. and adhere to best practices. they can generally use Gerber RS-274X with minimal fabrication issues. But, nobody’s perfect, and even under ideal conditions, problems can still arise. So, the fabricator and assembly houses. tend to bear the brunt of the responsibility for sorting through these problems. They’re forced to inspect and verify the data of all incoming jobs, to cut manufacturing issues. spending a great deal of time and resources in the process.
-Gerbv runs on Linux and other Unices (Linux native).
-An experimental Windows version is available for beta-testing.
-Gerbv displays RS-274X files. (It does not display RS-274D files)
-Gerbv handles aperture macros with up to 10 levels of recursion.
-Gerbv supports complex layer operations (e.g. knockout).
-Gerbv can display many different drill file formats. In particular, Excellon drill files supported. Other drill files with similar syntax will also display.
-Gerbv displays well-formed pick-and-place files. Pick-place files should contain XYRS (X, Y, Rotation, placement Side) information. and e held in a comma-separated ASCII (.csv) format.
-Gerbv will autodetect Gerber, drill, or pick-place file type when reading in the file.
-When built using the Cairo rendering engine. gerbv can display Gerber layers in "semi-transparent" mode. making it easy to visualize your board's stack up.
-Gerbv provides facilities for analyzing. and validating your Gerber file's syntax, code count, aperture usage. This can be useful in situations in. which you are having problems in the CAM stage of manufacturing your PC Board. (i.e. when your manufacturer is having problems with your files).
-When built using Cairo, gerbv allows for limited Gerber editing. (Currently limited to object deletion.)
-Panning and zooming (both stepwise and outline) of the image supported.
-Gerbv supports image autoscale — i.e. zoom and pan the image to fit the viewing window.
-Many files can loaded simultaneously and shown "on top of each other".
-The number of layers you may load simultaneously unlimited by gerbv.
-The layer order (stackup) may changed using an intuitive "drag and drop" menu.
-You may turn display of individual layers on and off independently using a checkbox.
-You may set layer colors independently using a pop up color choice window.
-You may change the layer polarity (negative/positive display).
-Gerbv incorporates a measurement tool so you can make measurements on the image.
-Three different measurement units supported: inch, mm, mil (1/1000 inch). Measurement units are user-selectable
-Gerbv can export a layer image to PNG, .ps, .pdf, and .svg, both from within the GUI. as well as via a command line switch (cairo version only).
-Gerbv performs negative/scratch draws.
-Gerbv includes a reload operation, which re-reads all loaded files off disk. This feature is useful when you are manually hacking Gerber files.
-Gerbv allows you to save a session into a project file. The project file stores the names of all loaded files. their stackup, color, etc. so so you can easily reload all Gerber files in a project at a later date. (e.g. after re-editing then using a PCB layout tool).
Gerber Format File
A Gerber, or Gerber Extended File, is a standard file format used in the electronics industry to store. and communicate design blueprints. They're often used to convey information of manufacturing specifications of printed circuit boards. At their core, Gerber files are like PDFs for electronics manufacturing industry. Have you ever gone through an X-ray inspection in a hospital when you suffered from a fracture of bones? You can imagine a Gerber file as an X-ray image of a real PCB. An X-ray image tells how your bones organized while a Gerber file indicates how circuits led in a PCB.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) characters. choose the information inside Gerber files. Since a computer can only understand information as sets of numbers. ASCII code works as a numerical representation of non-numerical symbols, such as "A" or the @ sign.
At the time of its creation. Gerber files used strings of ASCII as a way to call out instructions to a machine called a "photoplotter," . which used the instructions as a means to expose a picture on a piece of film by controlling a light source. which is one of leading steps in PCB Manufacturing Process.
gerber file extensions
This data contains a Gerber file for each image layer (copper layers, solder mask, legend. or silkgerber file extensions
Gerber file is the standard format of EIA. and divided into RS274-D and RS274-X. RS274-X is an extension file of RS274-D
how to open gbx files
Launch a .gbx file, or any other file on your PC, by double-clicking it. If your file associations are set up . the application that's meant to open your .gbx file will open it. It's possible you may need to download or buy the correct application. It's also possible that you have the correct application on your PC. but .gbx files aren't yet associated with it. In this case, when you try to open a .gbx file, you can tell Windows which application is the correct one for that file. From then on, opening a .gbx file will open the correct application.
-Double-Click the File. Before you try any other ways to open GBX files, start by double-clicking the file icon.
-Choose the Right Program.
-Figure Out the File Type.
-Check with the Software Developer.
-Download a Universal File Viewer.
Gerber Files for PCB running
So how are Gerber files used in PCB manufacturing? In the subtractive method of PCB manufacture. the PCB starts as a sheet of substrate material encased in copper on one or both sides. Gerber files used to provide a picture of WHERE the PCB copper should remain at the end of the process.
The picture is then used to guide the creation of channels to remove copper from the board to leave. only the conductive traces used by the actual PCB. The standard convention is to use clear markings for areas with no copper. and black markings for the actual copper traces. But it doesn't stop there. Once the copper traces marked out, layers like the solder mask and silkscreen cover them. The Gerber file will also have pictures for these other layers. representations of locations of the board's drill holes. and even a designation of the board's size.
Since Gerber files contain so much info, PCB Houses get up to 9 files - although they're making a two-layer PCB. Examples include:
-The copper traces for the top of the circuit board
-The copper traces for the underside of the circuit board
-A picture of the solder mask for the top layer
-A picture of the solder mask for the bottom layer
-Silkscreen imaging for the top layer
-Silkscreen imaging for the bottom layer
-The coordinates of all drill holes, as well as their properties
-An outline of the physical board with all the machining operations marked out. such as scoring, slots and internal cutouts
-A simple text README file explaining the uses for all files