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Exporting Gerber files from Ares (Proteus)

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by TheKrieger, Apr 16, 2012.

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  1. TheKrieger

    TheKrieger

    29
    0
    Nov 4, 2011
    Greetings,
    I'm currently in the process of manufacturing some PCB's. However, I exported my design from Ares and it generated several .txt files (even though I chose Gerber/Excellon output); which are not useful to the manufacturer. Is there a way to convert those files to normal Gerber files (with file extension .gbr o something similar)?
    Ares can also output the design in IDF and ODB++ files.
     
  2. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    Ummm, if your manufacture is confused in anyway by the outputted .txt files you should run away and run fast... Those text files are the Gerber files, and they are named appropriately by layer...

    I have been using Proteus/Ares for, over 10 years now and have had 1000s upon 1000s of boards manufactured at dozens of PC board houses and have never had one complaint or issue with the outputted Gerbers, the mere fact they are confused even one bit tosses up a red flag I can't see around...
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  3. TheKrieger

    TheKrieger

    29
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    Nov 4, 2011
    Really? Well, that sucks... And what about all of the other formats (like .gbr extensions)? Are they also valid? What's the difference?
     
  4. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    .gbr files are just text files with a different extension...

    If you want rename the outputted .txt files to .gbr have at it... If Windows explorer won't let you change the extension (depends on settings) open them in notepad, and choose Save As and choose Aave as type - all files" add a .gbr extension to your saving name, and remember to name them according to layer...

    But, as I stated if your manufacture is confused over this, I'm really concerned about their abilities or qualifications...
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  5. TheKrieger

    TheKrieger

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    Nov 4, 2011
    Well, you do have a point. However, I do would like to know more about the renaming process; I know that, for example, the bottom copper must be .gbl and the solder resist must be .gbs. But what about other layers like the Mech, Silk, Drill and so on? I have been searching through the Internet for an answer, but found nothing.
     
  6. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    There is no "must be" file extension...

    There is simply no universal extension or even naming scheme to Gerber files... You are looking for something that doesn't exist, the format is simply a collection of text files, most will agree it's not the most well thought out standard as it lacks naming standards, but that is the way it is...

    The manufactures should be looking inside the files at the file name at the included readme file output form Ares that details it even further and loading it appropriately into their CAM software in the appropriate layer position... They should not be depending, expecting or relying on a file extension to determine the layer as most CAD packages vary in the naming output... If the manufacture has a question about what layer is what, they should contact you directly for clarification, but the default output names form Ares is hardly confusing and dead simple to figure out...
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  7. TheKrieger

    TheKrieger

    29
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    Nov 4, 2011
    That's the answer I was looking for. Through my "research" I did found out that everyone makes different types of files, so I was very confused. I thought that by being a "protocol" there was some kind of specification for the files apart from the contents syntax.
    Thanks for the explanation, I really appreciate it!
     
  8. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    Good to hear you are on the right path, and honestly consider a new manufacture, it boggles my mind that they would expect any type of naming standard... There are plenty of reliable proven board houses out there that have a proven track record (based on reviews you can find in simple Google searches) to choose from...
     
  9. TheKrieger

    TheKrieger

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    0
    Nov 4, 2011
    I'll keep searching; it has been difficult though, there aren't many board houses here in Mexico that fit my needs. Anyways, thanks again for clearing my mind!
     
  10. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
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    Apr 7, 2012
    Is there are reason you are limiting yourself to domestic houses?
     
  11. TheKrieger

    TheKrieger

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    Nov 4, 2011
    Shipment not only rises costs but also delays the assembly process. And I 'd prefer not to deal with customs.
     
  12. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
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    Apr 7, 2012
    From my experience there is no increase in cost with overseas manufacturing, the shipment cost (I always ship 2 day) is easily negated in the manufacturing cost savings... Same with turn times, unless you need them same day or overnight you can easily get 2-3 day turns from overseas vendors and still be competitive, again due to lower manufacturing cost...

    Of course doing a run of 1 or 2 boards overseas is silly, but for even small volume orders it works out...

    The customs is a fair issue, in the US PC boards are a tariff and duty free import so it's not a concern to me...
     
  13. TheKrieger

    TheKrieger

    29
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    Nov 4, 2011
    Hmmm... Maybe I haven't found the correct company, do you have any contact information for the ones you mention?
     
  14. GonzoEngineer

    GonzoEngineer

    321
    2
    Dec 2, 2011
    Schovaers Electronics!

    They are in Utah, and have made my boards for over twenty years!

    Best place in America to deal with.......whether its an order for two protorypes, or 100 production boards.
     
  15. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    What kind of volume? And what size board?
    Any special requirements? example irregular shape, non-green resist, non-white silk, gold plate, special rating?
     
  16. TheKrieger

    TheKrieger

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    Nov 4, 2011
    At least 1,000... Board is about 50 cm^2, requires RoHS compliance and being Lead-free. But I also need it to be assembled.
     
  17. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
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    Apr 7, 2012
    Missed the update to this, can't help with any shop that will assemble... I always do my own assembly as I have never found anyone that would be competitive enough vs me putting the labor hours in and keeping the money in my own pocket for my projects...

    But, back to the topic, I came across this on the Sparkfun website today and found it relevant to the original topic...

     
  18. TheKrieger

    TheKrieger

    29
    0
    Nov 4, 2011
    Well, thank you. I think it can be of use to someone...
     
  19. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,473
    2,819
    Jan 21, 2010
    Check out the eevblog. He's had a number of videos about getting boards manufactured in China (well manufactured overseas -- code for China).

    I'm not sure if he's mentioned names in the videos, but he may have on the blog.

    He is getting his assembly done a little more locally, but he may have advice you can use.

    We delete spam all the time from Chinese board manufacturers. The problem is knowing who is good, and for that a personal recommendation can't come recommended highly enough.
     
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