Laserlab, Inc.

AutoCAD to Gerber translation/conversion services


Why convert from AutoCAD to Gerber?

Gerber is the standard file format used to drive photoplotters. These machines produce the dense, accurate, high resolution film required to make printed circuit boards, screen printing artwork, and precision devices like linear and rotary encoders. The imagesetters used by printers and publishers are similar, but lack the absolute accuracy of photo plotted film.

Other methods to produce printed circuit and screen printing artwork include printing to paper or transparency film on a laser or inkjet printer/plotter, and photo reduction on a graphic arts camera. These methods are inferior to photo plotting because they result in reduced image density, dimensional accuracy, or both.

Laserlab, Inc. has been producing high-quality photo plots for companies like Agilent, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Motorola since 1988. We started development of our Dxf2gbr© translator in 1992 to meet the stringent accuracy needs of microwave circuit designers. Since then we've used it on a daily basis and improved its capabilities as the need arose.

Translator features

Compatibility

Currently (February, 2015) Dxf2gbr© is compatible with AutoCAD 2006 and earlier. If you are using a newer version of AutoCAD, or a compatible program we should be able to work with it since we can output files in the needed .dxf format using our CAD program. We accept both .dwg and .dxf files. Generally it is best to send the .dwg file because it is smaller and easier to open. We use BricsCAD to open and edit both .dwg and .dxf files. We also use BricsCAD to output compatible .dxf files.

Learn more about and download the BricsCAD CAD program here.

Preparing an AutoCAD drawing for translation

Documentation

Technical paper on capabilities of in-house translator

Preparing for conversion

Viewing Gerber files generated by Dxf2gbr©

Sample two-sided PCB AutoCAD file

Here's a sample AutoCAD .dwg file of a two-sided PCB, along with the Gerber files and Excellon drill files for it.

The file is namedsample_two_sided_pcb.zip and is 45,863 bytes long. Download here.

Pricing

AutoCAD to Gerber translation/conversion price list

Effective August 1, 2015

prices are in U.S. dollars

Product Code Description Price
DWG2DXF Output .dxf file (each) from customer-supplied AutoCAD .dwg file 5.00
DXF2GBR Convert .dxf file to Gerber format (one .dxf file to one .gbr file) 15.00
DXF2DRL Convert .dxf file to Excellon Drill format (one .dxf file to one .drl file) 15.00
EDITING Fix problems with customer supplied files -- per 10 minutes or fraction thereof 20.00

Edited AutoCAD file policy

Upon request, Laserlab, Inc. provides each customer with the edited (corrected) AutoCAD file we use to generate your Gerber and Excellon files. This allows you to resubmit the file at a later date, perhaps with design alterations, or to submit a new design, without incurring editing fees at Laserlab, provided the exact same design conventions are used.

Terms and Conditions of sale

Laserlab, Inc. warrants that all work performed by us will result in an accurate representation of the AutoCAD file or files you supply to us. Furthermore, Laserlab warrants that the generated Gerber and Excellon files will be acceptable to your printed circuit board fabricator, if applicable. It is your responsibility to verify the correctness and suitability of the supplied Gerber and/or Excellon files prior to forwarding to a third party for further processing or releasing them to manufacturing. In the event you find errors in the Gerber/Excellon translation process, or your fabricator has issues with the files due to errors or omissions made at Laserlab, we will correct them at no charge.

Design errors or modifications are not covered under this warranty and will require submission of a new file or files and the payment of additional translation fees.


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