We try our best to anticipate the default naming schemes from many PCB design packages. However, if you have problems, this is a naming scheme that is known to work.
Common filename related issues
The most common naming issue we see comes from the board outline layer. Typically, the errors fall into the following categories:
Outline must be larger than 0.25”x0.25” – This often occurs if the zip file contains multiple “board outline” file names. Typically, this is encountered when “GKO”, “GM1”, and “GM2” files are present. Removing the extra files typically corrects this.
Could not find Board Outline file – Either the board outline is missing, or we didn’t detect the filename. If there’s an outline file, rename it to GKO to get our system to detect it. If the file is not present, see our Board Outlines page for generating the file in the format we expect.
For single sided designs, we often see the following issues:
- Could not find Drill File
- Could not find —- Mask Layer
- Could not find —- Copper Layer
As our system’s error checking is aimed for 2 layer PCB board files, we require both top and bottom mask layers, as well as a drill hit. For most design tools, the easiest way to fix is to simply add an exposed via outside of the board outline layer. If the board stackup is configured for 2 layer boards, it will generate all the layers necessary, and will be trimmed before panelization without affecting your design.
For 4 layer PCB boards, ensure that the site indicates “Detected 4 layer PCB board”. If our site is not detecting the internal layers, go to our 4 Layer Stackup to ensure that we can detect the layers with the correct ordering.
Our site understands KiCAD’s gerber naming patterns. We suggest checking the Use Protel Filenames option, but it’s not required.
Note, if the language is set to something other than English, you will need to check Use Protel Filenames and manually change the extension of Edge_Cuts.gbr to .GKO.
For assistance in generating gerbers, check out our Generating Gerbers with Kicad guide
Our site accepts Eagle .BRD files directly, so most users don’t encounter file name issues. If you’re using a CAM file and encountering errors, try using our CAM processor, and see if that corrects the issue. Many CAM files produce filenames or formatting that doesn’t work well with our system.
The following issues may pop up when submitting BRD files:
- File is not a valid Eagle Board File – Our system isn’t generating the board outline properly. Make sure that the board outline is drawn on the Dimension layer.
- Top Layer Not Found / Bottom Layer Not Found – Complex ground planes and logos may cause Eagle .BRD files to not process completely on our system. Generating gerber and submitting a zip file will correct this issue.
The following may occur when submitting either BRD files or gerber:
- No silkscreen being shown on the previews – See Problems with BMP-Imports for resolutions.
The following issues may occur when submitting either gerber or a BRD file.
- Could not find drill file – For 4 layer boards, this generally means that blind/buried vias was enabled. As we don’t support blind/buried vias, you will need to load our DRC file to correct the stackup. It’s a good idea to do a DRC check after this, as you may need to make modification to the layout to prevent errors.
The following issues may occur when submitting gerber in a zip file.
- Error – This usually means that the file was generated with an older CAM file using Eagle 7.2. There’s more information and an updated CAM on our CAM Job For Eagle page.
- Board Outline Not Found – Either the board outline was not on the Dimension layer, or the outline was placed on the wrong Gerber layer. Using our CAM Job will fix this issue.
Altium typically produces a naming pattern which is understood by our site. The issues we typically see are the following:
Altium often uses the .TXT extension for drill files, which our site will understand. If multiple .TXT files are included, then we may generate a “Drill files have been merged” warning, which can generally be ignored.
For 4 layer boards, our system will detect .G1 and .G2 files, which are generated for internal signal layers. Our site will not look for GP1 or GP2 files however, as those are typically generated as “negative” polarity gerbers which our system may not process correctly.
Ares typically produces all gerber with the extension .TXT. Our site does not parse this effectively, so the files must be manually renamed to the pattern suggested above.
In some cases, the gerber do not have a board outline. See our Board Outlines page for how to correct this.
Often, Ares will generate incorrect drill formats, which may result in an “Error” message. Modifying the drill setup to match our Drill File Format will usually resolve this.
A customer has provided a renaming utility to assist with this package. This utility is available at http://www.herdware.com/gerber-file-zip-utility/
ORCAD usually produces all gerbers with a .PHO or .ART extension. Our site does not parse this situation effectively, so the files must be manually renamed to the pattern suggested above.
Some configurations produce various other extension patterns. Some of these patterns work except for the Board Outline layer which must be renamed. If you’re encountering errors renaming all Gerbers, it will usually correct the issue, or help you identify a missing layer.
Often, ORCAD produces Drill Drawing files instead of NC Drill files, or produces incorrect NC Drill format. See this video tutorial for the correct format options to generate a usable drill file.
Older versions named the drill file thruhole.tap, which our site will recognize. However, other than thruhole.tap, our system does not look for the .tap extension, so using .XLN for the drill file is recommended.