Gerber File To Gcode Converter _VERIFIED_
How to Convert Gerber Files to GCode for PCB Prototyping
Gerber files are a standard format for describing the layout of printed circuit boards (PCBs). They contain information about the copper layers, solder mask, silkscreen, drill holes and other features of a PCB. GCode is a language that instructs a computer numerical control (CNC) machine how to move and operate a tool, such as a router, mill or 3D printer. Converting Gerber files to GCode can enable you to use a CNC machine to prototype your own PCBs.
Gerber file to gcode converter
In this article, we will introduce some free and open source software tools that can help you convert Gerber files to GCode for PCB prototyping. We will also explain some common steps and procedures involved in the conversion process.
Software Tools for Gerber to GCode Conversion
There are several software tools available online that can convert Gerber files to GCode for different purposes and methods of PCB prototyping. Here are some examples:
gbr2ngc: This is a no frills Gerber to GCode converter that uses a slightly modified Clipper Lib. It produces an isolation routing GCode file for the given Gerber file. Isolation routing is a technique that removes the unwanted copper around the traces and pads of a PCB. You can find gbr2ngc on GitHub[^1^].
FlatCAM: This is a PCB prototyping CAD/CAM software that lets you take your designs to a CNC router. You can open Gerber, Excellon or GCode files, edit them or create from scratch, and output GCode. FlatCAM supports various tasks such as isolation routing, board cutout, drilling, milling and more. You can find FlatCAM on its official website[^2^].
gerber2gcode: This is an application written in Python that converts a Gerber SMD solder mask file into a GCode file that can be read by common 3D printers. The 3D printer will then extrude the correct amount of solder paste on the correct pads of the PCB using any method available. You can find gerber2gcode on GitHub[^3^].
cirQWizard: This is a software designed to control PCB prototyping machines. It's much more than a Gerber to GCode converter - it generates GCode, controls the machine and guides you through the processes of insulation milling, holes drilling, contour routing and dispensing. You can find cirQWizard on GitHub[^4^].
Common Procedures for Gerber to GCode Conversion
The exact steps and procedures for converting Gerber files to GCode may vary depending on the software tool and the method of PCB prototyping you choose. However, some common procedures are:
Importing or creating Gerber files: You need to have Gerber files that describe the layout of your PCB design. You can either import them from your PCB design software or create them from scratch using the software tool.
Setting up parameters and options: You need to configure some parameters and options for the conversion process, such as the units, tool diameter, feed rate, cut depth, offset distance, fill pattern, etc. These parameters may affect the quality and efficiency of your PCB prototyping.
Generating GCode: You need to run the conversion process and generate GCode files for each layer or feature of your PCB design. You can preview the GCode in a viewer or simulator before saving it.
Exporting or sending GCode: You need to export or send the GCode files to your CNC machine or 3D printer. You can either save them on a storage device or use a communication interface such as USB or serial port.
Running GCode: You need to load and run the GCode files on your CNC machine or 3D printer. You may need to adjust some settings on your machine such as origin, speed, spindle, etc. You should also monitor the progress and check for any errors or issues.
By following these procedures, you can convert Gerber files to GCode for PCB prototyping e0e6b7cb5c