Converting Eagle printed circuit board layout files to Gerber format - diyAudio
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Converting Eagle printed circuit board layout files to Gerber format

Posted 10th February 2012 at 11:20 PM by rjm
Updated 26th November 2013 at 11:39 PM by rjm

File this under "things-I-should-have-learnt-to-do-many-years-ago-but-was-too-lazy-to-bother".

Many pcb fab outfits that do business with hobbyists and DIYers choose to accept Eagle .brd files, which means they do the conversion to Gerber output so you don't have to. I've relied on that for far too long, but when an error showed up in one the .pdf proofs on the last batch of boards I sent out for fabrication, they asked me to send the Gerber files instead. So I bit the bullet and after a couple of false starts managed to give them what they wanted. Looking back at it, it was easy and something I should have learnt, as I wrote up above, years ago, but, for posterity, here's how it's done:

Eagle 6.1~6.5 on Windows
  1. Make a working folder for the Gerber files.
  2. Copy the Eagle board (.brd) file to this directory.
  3. Open Eagle (version 6.1)
  4. Select menu item "file/open/CAM job"
  5. The open file dialog appears, defaulting to the Eagle CAM directory. Open the file called "gerber.cam". The CAM Processor window now appears
  6. From the CAM Processor windows select menu item "file/open/board" and open the .brd file you copied to the directory in step 2.
  7. Click on the "Process Job" button. There is a short progress bar, maybe a warning about having more than one signal active.
  8. A bunch of 8 new files are created in the working folder. As prompted, you should delete the temp file which ends in .$$$
  9. OK, almost done. You still need to make the drill files. From the CAM Processor window, choose "file/open/job" and select "excellon.cam"
  10. Click on the Process Job button again, and 2 new files are created, .drl and .drd
  11. Delete, if you like, the original Eagle .brd file from the working folder. You should be left with 9 files (.cmp .drd .dri .gpi .plc .sol .stc .sts and .whl) Select them, and, on Windows at least, choose to add to a zip compressed archive.
  12. That's it, you're done. The archive is ready to be sent off to the board manufacturer.

Probably. I'm not an expert. It's what I did and I was told by the receiving party that all was present and correct.

Any comments and corrections would be welcome.

note: selecting job "Gerber274" seems to give the same result as "Gerber"
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  1. Old Comment
    pinkmouse's Avatar
    Good stuff. The only thing that may need thought is that some board houses want their own .extensions for individual board layers, or have limited drill sizes, so it's always best to add a text file with the drill sizes you have used and identifiers for each layer. I usually add a pdf of the complete board as well so they can check orientation and placement.
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    Posted 11th February 2012 at 11:04 PM by pinkmouse pinkmouse is offline
 
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