Design007 Magazine

PCBD-Feb2016

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62 The PCB Design Magazine • February 2016 Karel Tavernier UCAMCo It is possible to fabricate PCBs from the fa- brication data sets currently being used; it's being done innumerable times every day all over the globe. But is it being done in an efficient, reliable, automated and standardized manner? At this moment in time, the honest answer is no, because there is plenty of room for improvement in the way in which PCB fabrication data is currently transferred from design to fabrication. This is not about the Gerber format, which is used for more than 90% of the world's PCB production. There are very rarely problems with Gerber files themselves; they allow images to be transferred without a hitch. In fact, the Gerber format is part of the solution, given that it is the most reliable option in this field. The problems actually lie in which images are transferred, how the format is used and, more often, in how it is not used. Each month we look at a different aspect of the design to fabrication data transfer process. In this monthly column, Karel Tavernier explains in detail how to use the newly revised Gerber data format to communicate with your fabrication partners clearly and simply, using an unequivocal yet versatile language that enables you and them to get the very best out of your design data. Chapter 6: Drill File Structure Drill files specify geometric information, indicating where material is to be removed and where plated copper is to be added. This geometric data must be specified in a standardized and machine-readable way. Geometrically, drill holes are characterized by their diameter, their span (start and end layers) and whether they are plated or non- The Gerber Guide Chapter 6 article

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