Altium Designer and Gerber PCB Software
To make sure that you are sending the most up to date formatted manufacturing files to your vendor, use Altium Designer for the latest Gerber PCB software.
TOPICS IN THIS SOLUTION
Manufacturing output files have never looked more clean than with great PCB design software.
You have a printed circuit board that needs to be designed and to get that design built you will need to generate Gerber files to send to your PCB manufacturer. There are a lot of computer-aided design tools with layout software for you to choose from to create your design. From free PCB layout software to the most advanced PCB design tools, there are plenty of CAD software tools to pick from. The key, of course, is to choose the right tool that will satisfy all of your design needs and allow you to work with the latest PCB fabrication and PCB assembly technologies.
You need a single platform design tool solution that you can use from the start of your circuit design with schematic capture, all the way through the PCB editor to create your final CAD files for manufacturing. You need a system that will expertly create your Gerber data as well as the rest of your files for PCB manufacturing such as Excellon drill, bill of materials, as well as build instruction and drawing files. You need a system that will allow you to work with multiple Gerber file formats and provide you with a Gerber viewer as well. The good news is that this PCB design system is already available and used by one of the world’s largest communities of users. This design system is Altium Designer.
The Gerber file format for the creation of PCB artwork has been in use for many years along with the Excellon format for PCB drill files. Although the Gerber format has changed and grown over the years and continues to evolve today, it is still the standard used for the creation of metal, solder mask, and silkscreen images in the fabrication of printed circuit boards. To create these images, a series of G-codes are used in the Gerber files to designate the desired shapes. Gerber files are not the only PCB files used, however, to create a circuit board. There are many other files that detail what kind of parts are used, where their location on the board is, and the makeup and layer structure of the board.
How the Gerber File Works, and How it Will Improve
The Gerber file format is the standard for PCB manufacturing, and is constantly growing and changing to meet the current needs of the industry.
- Here are some basic details as to what a Gerber file is and what it is used for.
- Gerber files are just one of many manufacturing files and documentation that you will need to send out on your design. Here is a list and description of those files.
- Altium is always updating and improving Altium Designer for new formats in manufacturing outputs.
Altium Designer gives you many fabrication output options including Gerber X2 files
Once the PCB designer has completed the design, Gerber files or other formats such as DXF files are used to communicate the image details of the design to the PCB fabrication vendor. Altium Designer is equipped to generate different formats and styles of the Gerber files depending on what your prototype PCB vendor requires. Altium Designer will also create all of the other manufacturing files that are needed for the vendors as well. With all of the different files that can be generated, it is important for the PCB designer to make sure that they supply exactly what files the vendors need, and a checklist comes in handy for this. Altium Designer is much more than just Gerber PCB software however; it is a complete PCB design system that will take you from schematic creation all the way through the creation of your final manufacturing files.
Altium Designer; it Will Get You from Schematic to Gerber Files All Within the Same Design System
There’s no need to mix and match different PCB design CAD systems. Altium Designer contains all of the design tools you need to get from schematic capture all the way through your final Gerber files.
- See what it takes to generate and export Gerber files in this brief tutorial.
- A checklist is an excellent way to prevent manufacturing delays, here are some helpful tips on how to create and use one.
- Gerber files are the 10th step in the complete PCB design process. Here is a snapshot of all ten steps of designing a circuit board in Altium Designer.
The unified design environment of Altium Designer enables easy access to multiple tools
Altium Designer is a powerful 64-bit multi-threaded system that is designed to give you the maximum amount of design performance. Creating Gerber files and then reviewing them as a Gerber File Viewer is only the beginning of the manufacturing output capabilities Altium Designer has available. And should you need to make any last minute changes to the design, that won’t be a problem either. With Altium Designer’s ability to make global edits, any design changes you make will be instantly updated throughout the entire design saving you time in the long run. Altium Designer is able to do this because of its unique unified design environment where the data structures are shared throughout the system. In addition, the user interfaces for the different tools have the same look and feel enabling you to work faster without the constant need to relearn tools as you would in other systems.
Altium Designer Gives You the Design Power You Need to Get the Job Done Right
You will realize the benefits of being able to create multiple output files with the different tools that are all connected together through Altium Designer’s unified design environment.
- Altium Designer provides you with multiple features and functionality to output your Gerber and other design files for manufacturing.
- When changes to your design are required, Altium Designer helps you by making global edits easy which helps you to get Gerber files to your manufacturer sooner.
- With similar interfaces and data models for your entire design, Altium Designer helps you to get your design from start to final Gerber files quickly and efficiently.
When you need to get the Gerber files for the PCB design done now and done right, you need to put your trust in Altium Designer.