Gerber Editing

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There are plenty of free Gerber file viewers out there, but does anyone know of any free Gerber file editors? Of course editing Gerber files in general isn't a good idea, but all I want to be able to do is reduce larger pads/ apertures (typically thermal pads) in the SMT paste mask layer, so that the corresponding stencil allows for a little less paste on said larger pads, which makes SMT assembly run a lot smoother. 

Any suggestions?

 

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Last Edited: Thu. Sep 1, 2016 - 08:56 AM
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Try this

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/eda...

 

However, most PCB FAB houses let you specify some (global) correction to Paste layers, just as they do for Solder mask layers.

Why not just do that ?

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As gerber files are made out of plain text it's probably relatively easy to write some kind of script to replace some pads.

Check in a gerber viewer afterwards :)

 

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Depending on how many pins (points) you have you can download DipTrace's free version and import the gerbers to their PCB layout program and make your edits and then re-save them.

 

Jim

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Who-me wrote:

Try this

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/eda...

 

However, most PCB FAB houses let you specify some (global) correction to Paste layers, just as they do for Solder mask layers.

Why not just do that ?

 

Thanks, I'll give it a try!

 

True, and fine for production work, however I'm finding more and more of my prototypes are featuring SMT devices which simply aren't hand-solder-able, meaning I need a cheap stencil, such as those frame-less ones that some PCB Fab.s produce for free/ at a reduced cost if you order with PCBs, and typically I've found that they won't make any changes to your PCB data, they simply take it as it is (because they're doing it for free/ cheap ;) ).

 

jgmdesign wrote:

Depending on how many pins (points) you have you can download DipTrace's free version and import the gerbers to their PCB layout program and make your edits and then re-save them.

 

Jim

 

Thanks for the suggestion Jim, I'll take a look.

 

Paulvdh wrote:
As gerber files are made out of plain text it's probably relatively easy to write some kind of script to replace some pads. Check in a Gerber viewer afterwards :)

 

That's a good point, why didn't I think of that!? I'm actually a .NET developer too so if Who-Me and/ or Jim's suggestion don't work I could just write my own Gerber editor.

 

Thanks for the suggestions guys, appreciate it!

 

 

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Howard_Smith wrote:
True, and fine for production work, however I'm finding more and more of my prototypes are featuring SMT devices which simply aren't hand-solder-able, meaning I need a cheap stencil, such as those frame-less ones that some PCB Fab.s produce for free/ at a reduced cost if you order with PCBs, and typically I've found that they won't make any changes to your PCB data, they simply take it as it is (because they're doing it for free/ cheap ;) ).

 

I thought you had only gerbers, if you have the Original design files at your fingertips, why not just create the paste size you desire, using the PCB CAD inbuilt Paste Adjust Settings ? 

Give them that Paste Gerber for the paste stencil.

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Who-me wrote:

I thought you had only gerbers, if you have the Original design files at your fingertips, why not just create the paste size you desire, using the PCB CAD inbuilt Paste Adjust Settings ? 

Give them that Paste Gerber for the paste stencil.

 

I'm using Proteus 7 and I don't think it allows me to do that unfortunately (or at least I haven't been able too ha!)

 

I managed to find a program called Layout Editor (www.layouteditor.net) which looks a bit noddy (especially the company logo) but I was able import RS-274X files and edit them (layer of interest being Top SMT Paste Mask) so job done.

 

Thanks again for the suggestions!

Last Edited: Thu. Sep 1, 2016 - 08:19 AM