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Question on Eagle CAM for Eagle 6.3.0

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Alan0354

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I finished laying out a two layer board and move on to create the gerber file. I follow a Youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_SbQeF83XU

But instead of saving in Eagle, I have my own folder on the Desktop. So I create the files for different layers and stored in my directory. I create only top, bottom and drill. I save the file as Alan1.cam.

Then I run "Process Job". and I check and I create the .dri, .drill, . bot, .gpi, .top. in the folder.

The video is not clear on where he open the gerber viewing program. I search and found in the "Control Panel", under File, Open CAM job and I chose Alan1.CAM. Nothing happen. I don't see anything.

Please tell me what I did wrong.

Thanks

Alan
 

Alan0354

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Hi Keith, I installed the GC Prevue, I try to open the file and went to the folder, but none of the file fit the extension. What should I do? Do I need to have the gerber files name a certain way?

Thanks

Alan
 

keith1200rs

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When you go in to GCprevue do IMPORT not OPEN. Select all the files except a couple - the GPI and either DRI or DRC - I cannot remember which. They are information files - you can check with a text editor which they are.

The OPEN in GCprevue opens its own format of files. It is worth saving the layout in gwk format so you can look later without having to re-import.

Keith
 
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Alan0354

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Thanks Keith.

I downloaded the GC-Prevue and ran the program. It does not like the .CAM and .gpi files that Eagle created. But it works for all the other files and it gave me the display of all the layers I want and they look fine. What are the .CAM and .gpi files? This is step by step how I create the gerber files. Can you take a look and see whether I am doing it correctly?


Gerber file creation:
1) Open brd file. Click File, CAM Processor.
2) Type name (Alan1) in Section.
3) For all files other than Drill, Device is GERBER_RS274X. For Drill, choose EXCELLON.
4) Do one file at a time start with Alan1.top for top layer. Click Layer on top and choose clear all. Then choose top, pads and vias only.
5) Click File, select the path when to generate the gerber file. Then click ADD at the bottom.
6) You'll see Alan1 on the tap, click the last tap on the right. Then change the extension to .bot for bottom layer.
7) Choose bottom, pads and vias on the right, then click ADD at the bottom.
8) Click the right most tap at the top, then change the extension to SST for silk screen top. Clear the selection and click Dimension, tPlace, tName. Then click ADD at the bottom.
9) Click the right most tap at the top, then change the extension to .SMT for solder mask top, clear the layer selection and click ONLY the tStop only. Click ADD.
10) Click the right most tap at the top, change the extension to .SMB for solder mask bottom, clear the layers selection and click ONLY the bStop only. Click ADD.
11) Click the right most tap at the top, change the extension to .DRILL for drill ( don't use DRL). Choose Device to EXCELLON, clear the layers selection and click DRILL and HOLES. Click ADD.
12) Save the file by click File, Save As, choose destination and call the file name Alan1.CAM, save.
13) Click Process Job. All the files will be saved in the designated folder.

View Gerber using GC-Prevue

1) In File, click IMPORT.
2) Go to destination folder and choose Alan1.top, .bot, .SST, .SMT, .SMB, .Drill and click Open.
3) Don't choose .CAM and .gpi as they gives error.


Why do we choose EXCELLON only for the drill file and GERBER_RS274X for the other?

Thanks for all your help. I think I have done a complete go around from creating parts, creating schematic, boards, CAM and view. If there is anything I missed that is important, please let me know.
 

keith1200rs

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That is a complicated way of generating Gerbers. The procedure I use is:

1. in the BOARD, click on the CAM icon
2. select FILE OPEN JOB and pick gerb274x.cam for example
3. click "process job"
4. repeat using excellon.cam

That's it.

CAM files are EAGLE definition files for producing output. There are several useful ones provided. If you need a different one it is easiest to start with a standard one and edit it. I have created my own for 6 layer and other special requirements such as adding milling.

Why do we choose EXCELLON only for the drill file and GERBER_RS274X for the other?
Gerber files have evolved from the Gerber company for making the "image" of the PCB. The drill format has come from the Excellon company. The machines are different and do totally different jobs. I seem to remember seeing Gerber machines in a factory cutting cloth for making clothes a while back. ODB++ may combine the data into a single file but it is not something I have used (although I believe Orcad can produce it).

Keith.
 

Alan0354

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Thanks for the reply. I think we are doing the same thing, I was just repeating the operation over and over to generate the top, bottom, silkscreen top, solder mask top, solder mask bottom and drill in all the steps.

I remember I only use gerber files for all the layers including the drill layer. Does it matter?

Looks like I got that one already.

Thanks for you time.

Alan
 

keith1200rs

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You need both Gerber and Drill files to make a PCB. While you can look at PCB with just the Gerbers, you won't see holes. I don't think the standard CAM file includes a drill file with the Gerbers but I cannot see why they cannot be included in the same CAM job (maybe they are in V6.3 - I only have 6.2 on my computer).

Keith.
 
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