Gerber help sought

Eric Smith eric at
Tue Apr 15 20:30:48 CDT 2008

der Mouse wrote:
> Everyone seems to want Gerbers, but without documenting exactly what
> they are.  I found a PDF describing "RS-274X", which appears to be most
> of it, but there are lots of conventions it doesn't describe.

That's the spec.  What is missing?  The Wikipedia page has useful links:

You also need an Excellon drill file:

> I've found indications that there exists some open-source software, but
> extracting documentation from code is a mess.

I dunno about extracting documentation, but gEDA is purportedly useful
for doing board layout.

I use Eagle (from CadSoft).  It's not open source, but it's less
expensive than most commercial alternatives, and it seems to work
well.  For nonprofit use, there's a "free" version that's limited
to 100x80 mm double-sided boards, or a US $125 version that can do
160x100 mm boards of up to four layers.  Beyond that, there are two
levels of commercial versions.

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