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The Best Suited Naming Patterns for PCBs

The Best Suited Naming Patterns for PCBs

There are numerous PCB design packages where the default naming schemes are very difficult. Therefore, there is a need for making the default naming schemes to an easy one. This article is having all the necessary information that you might require for the resolution of problems related to the naming schemes of the PCB design packages.

layer names

The above figure is illustrating an idea of the naming scheme of certain PCB design package. In a fewer cases, the operating system might be hiding the extension of file. However, it only occurs on the windows operating system where the tools for design are generating files with extensions .ger and .gbr etc.

Most Common Issues Related to Filenames

There are some issues which are most commonly occurring related to the filenames. Such errors are from the categories mentioned below in detail.

  1. The outline should be larger than at least 0.25”x0.25”. This problem is often occurring in case if the zip files are containing numerous files with board outline. Usually this problem is occurring when GM2, GM1, and GKO files are existing and this error can be easily corrected by removing the extra files.
  2. Another error is when the board outline file cannot be found. In such cases, no matter whether the board file is missing or there is no detection of the filenames. In case if there is an outline file then it should be renamed to GKO for enabling the system to detect it well. However, if presence of file is not possible, then outline of board should be checked for the generation of the expect PCB file format.
  3. When the single sided designs are considered, then the following issues may occur at most.

Because the error checking mechanism of the system is only considered for 2 layered board files, therefore there is a requirement for checking of both bottom and top mask layers along with the drill hit. For most of the tools of designing, the simple way for fixing this error is adding an exposed via outside layer of the board. However, if the stackup of board is being configured for 2 layered boards, then it will be generating the necessary layers and can be trimmed before panelizing and affect the design. In case of 4 layered boards, it must be ensured that site is indicating the detection of 4 layered board. If the site is not able to detect all 4 layers, then there is a need to go to 4 layered PCB stackup for ensuring the detecting of layers with correct order.

The following is the information regarding naming pattern of Printed Circuit Boards in various PCB Packaages.

  1. KiCAD

RayPCB has an expert employee setup and has an understanding of the KiCAD’s patterns of naming. Therfore, at RayPCB we suggest checking of use protel filenames, however it is not required in most of cases. Note that if any other language is selected than English then there is a need for checking the use protel filenames and chaning the extension of edge_cuts.gbr to that of .GKO manually.

  1. Eagle

Eagle is comprising of useful processor having computer aided manufacturing function for better loading of CAM files and it generates the files you need in a quicker time. Following 2 issues are majorly faced when eagle package is used.

  • The drill file is often not found in case of 4 layered boards which means that the buried or blind vias have been enabled. Because at RayPCB we are not offering blind vias, therefore you will need to have a DRC check for correcting the stackup.
  • The board outline is often not found which is because of the board outline not in correct dimensional layer or because of the placement of outline over wrong gerber layer.
  1. Altium

The Altium is producing the naming pattern which is easily understood at RayPCB and it has issues discussed below.

  • Altium is using extension .TXT for the drill files which is understandable. If there is use of multiple .TXT files then there may be a warning “drill files have been merged” which can be ignored as it has no impact.
  • In case of 4 layered boards, the system is detecting .G2 and .G1 files which are only generated for the internal layers of signaling.
  1. Proteus Ares

The PCB package Proteus Ares is generally producing the files with .TXT extension. At RayPCB we are not able to analyze the error in effective manner, therefore there must be a renamed patterned in case of above error. However, in fewer cases when there is no outline for the gerbers, the board outline page can be seen for its correction.

The Proteus Ares is often generating the files with incorrect drill formats which are resulting in the error message and it can be resolved after the modification of the drill setup for matching the drill file format. The customers are provided with the utility of renaming for better assistance of the package.

  1. Cadence Allegro / ORCAD

The ORCAD is occasionally producing the gerber with an extension of .ART or .PHO. However, at RayPCB we are not able to handle the error in effective manner, therefore such files must be renamed manually according to suggested pattern. There are a few configurations which are producing additional extensions. A few of such patterns are working with an exception of the board outline layer which has to be renamed at any case. However, if you are facing errors related to renaming then gerbers will be correcting such issues and it also assist in identification of missing layers.

The ORCAD is also often producing the drill drawing files but not the NC Drill files. It also often produces the incorrect NC drill format as well. The older version of ORCAD is naming the drill files with thruhole.tap which is recognizable. However, it is also a fact that .tap extension is often not detected so use of .XLN is suggested for better detection.