Designing a PCB, and communicating those design decisions depends on a series of files such as circuit schematic designs, Bill-of-Materials, PCB layouts and stackup design information.
In order to allow for interoperability between the large number of Electronics Design software such as Allegro, Altium Designer, KiCAD and Eagle, a collection of files called Gerbers were developed. Gerber files allow for understanding PCB designs without being locked into a certain design software.
When generating your first PCB design, there are 2 key files you should prepare:
In the format of RS-274X (Gerber x1), Gerber x2, IPC-2581, ODB++
In the format of TXT, PDF, CSV, XLSV, etc.
When generating your BOM files, there are few important components to be included:
MPN (Manufacturer Part Number)
Tag number, the component number in your design files
MPN of the component's alternative
In addition to the two above, two other file types could also be prepared to provide further information about your PCB:
These contain the PCB's dimensions and structure
In the format of DXF, STEP, or DWG
These Mechanical files should contain information about:
The precise PCB outline.
The exact position and size of some internal grooves or cuts.
Specific tolerance requirements.
It can also include some customized panel information, such as drilling patterns, hole position information, layer stacking, positioning holes, special production requirements, etc.
|DXF/DWG||.dxf .dwg||DXF: CAD drawing exchange format (vector) (ASCII or binary); DWG: CAD drawing file, binary AutoCAD supports both files.|
|Netlist Schematic||.NET||It is a netlist, you can choose a document or a project, and choose the type of netlist|
|Orcad SDT Schematic||.sch||SDT3/4 binary schematic file, AD cannot be opened|
|Orcad v7 Capture Design||.dsn||Capture design files will be automatically converted, prone to errors and failures|
|P-CAD V16 Schematic Design||.sch||ASCII file|
Which are compiled or generated by Allegro, Altium Designer, Mentor series, EAGLE, ZUKEN, KiCAD, etc., if you want to give your manufacturer the ability to easily alter designs, as Gerber files themselves aren't editable.
In NexPCB, we accept all the file formats mentioned above. However, we would highly recommend using Allegro and Altium Designer for the choice of EDA.
|Ansoft US electromagnetic technology simulation EDA software, acquired by ansis|
|Altium’s PCB layout tool|
|Altium’s PCB drawing software, AD simplification, device selection|
|AutoCAD drawing vector format file, DataExchangeFile|
|Mentor's electronic design system-level simulation platform|
.brd .bdf .idb .emn .idf
|Intermediate Date Format circuit board file. Each IDF contains a combination of board files and library files, such as: EMN/EMP BRD/LIB BDF/LDF IDB/IDL|
|3D geometric modeling intermediate data format|
|Altium’s PCB layout modeling tool|
|Altium Protel NXP’s PCB file format|
|Altium Protel Netlist|
|Portel PCB 2.8 ASCII|
|Altium Protel 2.8 PCB file|
|SiSoft Quantum-SI simulation software|
|Cadence's PCB tool|
|ISO standard for the exchange of 3D models.|
|Virtual Reality Modeling Language|
|PDF3D||PDF document with 3D properties|