When you finish your PCB layout design, you will need to generate Gerber Files for use in the PCB Fabrication Process. Your Gerber Files should be submitted directly to Bittele Electronics with any other applicable PCB Design Files. Before you make your submission, we strongly recommend that you check the files using a Gerber Viewer. A single incorrect setting during export can cause significant differences between your intended design and the contents of your Gerbers. Bittele employs meticulous DFM Checking as the first step in our PCB Assembly Process, so we can likely catch many potential issues before fabrication begins, but a cursory Gerber Viewer check by the board designer can significantly improve the efficiency of the process.
A Gerber Viewer is a software package that can translate the ASCII instruction and coordinates of Gerber files into a viewable image for review. There exist numerous viable options for Gerber Viewers, but we will include a few trusted solutions below for your convenience.
This will likely be the first result on any search for “Gerber Viewer”, and rightfully so because it is a simple and accurate tool that can view both Gerber files and Excellon drill files. Online Gerber-Viewer requires no installation, no registration, and it is entirely free to use.
If you do a lot of Gerber viewing, you might consider taking the extra step and installing a dedicated software tool to make the process easier. ViewMate is a great free option that works easily and allows for some more advanced options like scaling when your drill files are inexplicably exported at a different size than your board files. ViewMate also works for ODB++ files. This software package even offers a paid version that allows for direct Gerber File editing to help with panelization, or to fix errors without going back to your CAD tool and re-exporting.
A Gerber Viewer is an absolutely crucial tool for any PCB designer, and just a few minutes spent reviewing your design can vastly improve the efficiency of your PCB project with Bittele. After all, you know your design better than anyone else.