In this paper, we are going to discuss how to use Gerber file for PCB manufacturing process.
Now most of PCB design are use CAD, Computer Aided Design.
The flexible board designer has prepared his layout on CAD.
There were many software for flexible PCB board CAD design process.
But choose which one is the main issue for most green hands.
Emma doesn’t want to discuss which CAD software is good or not, but we want to introduce what is the demand of flexible PCB CAD design process.
The format of CAD system introduces
There were many CAD systems in the PCB industry, and each CAD system uses its own internal data format.
Usually differ CAD system data can not exchange.
How to conneted difference format data is really big problem.
The solution of differing CAD systems format exchange
Now there were developed a standard output format to transfer the layout data to the manufacturer.
This mean, even use different CAD software, you can output your flexible PCB design file.
Usually the extended Gerber or RS274X is accepted.
The functions of the Gerber file
You know the Gerber file is the output from CAD software.
Most of Gerber file have included the copper tracking layers, the solder masks, drill files and the component notations.
Also, some simple, flexible PCB board design just include the copper tracking layers and drill hole files.
The check guideline of CAD systems
This process also named as DFM.
By the way, most PCB manufacturers can provide DFM service for their customers.
Only some small or trade companies can not.
The first step is checking the Gerber data meet PCB factory capabilities.
Most of the time those check process are very fast, and will mostly done automatically.
Or some sales guys also can help to check it.
Then check the Gerber detail technology.
This process will handle by engineers.
Some time engineer will list some questions about the Gerber data.
We call this question list as EQ, or engineer questions.
The engineer will check the track widths, the space between tracks, the pads around the holes, the smallest hole size etc.
For some specially flexible PCB board, also will check and measure individual areas.
The last but not the least, output the data for PCB manufacturing use.
This process occurs all data are verified as well.
The output data file includes two parts, one is the use of make PCB machines, like drill file or route files.
The second type is the use of test PCB process, like the circuit film data.