Our production site will be closed for the Christmas holidays from 24 December 2018 to 04 January 2019 inclusive.

Data Formats

We accept several data formats for PCB layout, following these simple rules:

 

Artwork

(these normally are related to the drawing of all copper, soldermask, legend, SMD paste, carbon, peelable, selective finishing surface layers, board outline or mechanical layer, etc. ):
- Gerber RS-274X (Extended Gerber with embedded apertures - developed by Gerber Systems)
- ODB++ (OpenDataBase++ - developed by GenCAM)
- DPF (Dynamic Process Format - developed by Ucamco NV)

For on demand service we also accept:
- Gerber RS-274D (Standard Gerber with a separate aperture file - developed by Gerber Systems)
- Eagle .BRD file (CAD-data from CADsoft now Farnell)
- other CAD pcb designer files

Drilling

- ODB++ (OpenDataBase++ - developed by GenCAM)
- Gerber format RS-274X or RS-274D (only true drill data, not a drill map)
- DPF (only true drill data, not a drill map)
- Excellon (1 or 2) + appropriate tool list (ideally embedded)
- Sieb&Meyer + appropriate tool list (ideally embedded)

 

Important notes


1. Converting CAD data into production data may lead to errors which we cannot cross-check under 100% control
2. It is impossible to have legal copies of every CAD PCB design package in the market or specific software ofr CAD/CAM; moreover it is impossible to have general and necessary knowledge to use them all correctly.

Gerber has been the industry-standard format for PCB manufacture for many years, it is clear enough and unambiguous. It can be out put by every PCB design package.
You can check the result of this out put process viewing the generated gerber with one of the many free Gerber viewers available on the internet.

DATA REQUIREMENTS – input data

1. Preferred data format is ODB++ over all
Second choice formats are:
- Extended Gerber (RS-274X) for Artwork
- Excellon1 + appropriate tool list (ideally embedded) for Drilling

 

POOLING

for automated analysis reasons the PCB saving service only accepts ODB++ or Extended Gerbers (RS-274X)

2. Provide us ONLY the data files needed for production (drawing of of all copper, soldermask, legend, SMD paste, carbon, peelable, selective finishing surface layers, board outline or mechanical layer and via-fill layers as needed. File(s) for drilling. If a customer panel is present (“array”, “matrix” or “biscuit”) from the single board data to your individual specification, the panel plan can be supplied in the same format (ODB++ or RS-274X).

It is required to not provide any other un-helpfull additional file (such as original CAD data, Graphicode GWK files, PDF files, Word files (doc), Excel files (xls), part lists, placement and assembly information, etc).
It is also kindly suggested to check generated output data (pcb files) with a gerber viewer before to send it for the production. Make sure that all instructions or other necessary input needed for making the boards correctly are included in the data.

3. Appreciated are clear and easy to understand file naming, trying to avoid long filenames ( this is helpful to be sure that we can easy determine the layer function from the filename).

Example
Good = Pcb1108r01.top or 1105278cutop.gbr are good name for the top layer copper lay out of the pcbs
Bad = cs5678.gbr or pcb45893r1L2.gbr ( there is no indication about function) or code25897r01lev3toplayercopper.gbr (too long name)

Also an additional text file which explain the used naming rule is appreciated.

4. Do not scale your drawing. 1/1 (100%) data will permit to us to easily produce pcb with correct size.

5. Appreciated data are gerber files with no apertures with a zero-size (size = 0.00mm or inches).

6. Use only one unit ( mm or mls ) in all data files.

7. Use the same offset for all your Gerber layers and drill data ( use no any offset will be appreciated): this means that we are not obliged to do moving operation to re-allign layers manually.

8. Make sure that the data are seen from top to bottom through the PCB. DO NOT mirror (or reflect) any data layer – image or drill: this is an universal practice in the PCB industry so we’ll view and use your data in that way (your CAD PCB design software could do in the same way)

9. If data format are both Gerber & Excellon, use the same resolution (grid) for them so to allow a perfect match eachother. It is also a suggested practice to use a factor 10 between gerber/excellon output and CAD PCB design ( to not loose info about the data).

Example
Good = use a 10 mil resolution to draw your board in your CAD PCB design software, then use a 1mil output resolution for your output data
Bad = use a 1 mil resolution to draw your board in your CAD PCB design software, then use a 1mil output resolution for your output data

10. Flashed pads should be used as often as possible in the Gerber files: this reduces the risk to have not a correct electrical test process.

11. Put some small text (board identification, company name, etc...) in the copper layers. Make sure the text complies with the readability rules. This will reduce the possibility to do mirroring errors.

12. An aperture list for Gerber output which only shows the apertures used in the design will be appreciated during CAD/CAM operation.

13. The board outline should be included on all layers: this will enable to properly align all layers in case of an offset problem. Also the board outline must be included in a separate Gerber mechanical plan.

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