Do board houses accept .gbr files?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by magnet18, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Right, when I created gerber files from eagle they all had different extensions, like .sol and .sot and .cpr (these aren't the actual ones, I can't remember off the top of my head)
    When I made the gerbers from DesignsparkPCB, it output a bunch of .gbr files.
    Do I need to convert them, or is it fine?
  2. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008

    nerdegutta created a blog with a list of PCB houses: PCB board houses
    When you look at the sites there are some that exept gerber files.

  3. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Most board houses accept gerber files, and do not care what extension your program stuck on them when they were produced. For example, my Cadence package prefers to name them .art, but they are truly gerber format.

    However, for everyone's sanity I always rename them to .gbr.

    Do make sure it's RS274X format (no seperate apeture files).

    Do include your drill file. Do use Excellion format.

    Do include a readme.txt files explaining what may be painfully obvious but explain it anyway. Board size, copper weight, the finish, silk screen ink color, list of files and what each one does, and note any files that need to be inverted.

    Here is one random readme file I used to buy boards once:

    Code ( (Unknown Language)):
    1. Artwork 1734A-X2:
    3. This descried the files required for the LED-Top PCB. Layer stackup is in the order of the
    4. file descriptions.
    6. 1734A-X2 and 1734B-X2 are user together in one project.
    7. See RFQ for additional requirements.
    9. File Name          Description
    10. OUTLINE.GRB        overall board outline .190 by .300 inch.
    11.                    Some features exceed this outline as noted below
    12. MASK_TOP.GRB       top side solder mask layer
    13. TOP.GRB            top side copper etch layer
    14. BOTTOM.GRB         bottom side copper etch layer
    15. MASK_BOT.GRB       bottom side solder mask layer
    16. 1734A-X2-1-2.drl   plated hole drill file
    19. Notes:
    21. 1 - .02 thick FR4 glass epoxy. 1 oz copper clad both sides.
    22. 2 - Finish lead-tin plate & reflow
    23. 3 - Silkscreen not required.
    24. 4 - Panelization is desired. Manufacturer to determine array based on best use of area.
    25.     A combination of routing and scoring is desired so pallet can be assembled in one step then
    26.     segmented.
    27. 5 - There are 2 copper etch features on each side that extend to the very edge of the PCB.
    28.     To make these produceable they have been extended over the edge of thje board such
    29.     that a later cutting step will leave copper at the edge.
    30. 6 - Maximum final board dimensions .190" x .300"
    magnet18 likes this.
  4. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    Well, yeah... [​IMG] Huh! The Gerber format is the de-facto industry standard for printed circuit board image transfer. My experience is that they charge extra if you send in files in any other format.
    There are two distinct Gerber formats: RS-274X or extended Gerber format and the obsolete RS-274-D. And PCB houses do prefer the RS-274X format
    Edit: Here is more about the gerber file format Gerber files are ASCII based and can be opend in any text file reader. Then delivering files to the PCB house, Check with them if they prefer a naming naming style or not for the files.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  5. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    If a board house doesn't accept gerbers STAY AWAY.
  6. shortbus


    Sep 30, 2009
    @magnet18 - did the Designspark PBC do what you wanted? How would you rate it against Eagle?
  7. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    @ernie, thanks, exactly what I wanted :)

    It did what I wanted, but I would say it's not as easy to use as eagle, and definitely not as advanced.

    Also, when moving around the pcb's, there was a ton of lag, which got annoying, but it did the job.