In this tutorial we will learn how to generate Gerber files in Kicad 6.0 for PCB fabrication.
We will talk about generating Gerber's for professional PCB manufacturing and for making it at home using Toner transfer Method.
This is a part of
- Free youtube course on designing a 4 channel Lm35 amplifier circuit (full Playlist).
- Website for designing a 4 channel Lm35 amplifier circuit course
The Gerber format is an open ASCII vector format for printed circuit board (PCB) designs. It is the de facto standard used by PCB industry software to describe the printed circuit board images: copper layers, solder mask, legend, drill data, etc.
There are two major generations of Gerber format:
- Extended Gerber, or RS-274X. This is the current Gerber format.
- Standard Gerber, or RS-274-D. This obsolete format was revoked.
Generating Gerber Files for PCB fabrication
On Kicad 6.0 ,You can generate the gerber file in two ways
- Go to File -> Fabrication Outputs ->Gerbers
2) Go to File -> Plot
After you select Gerber,
Another window called Plot will open up as shown in the above image.
- Select Plot Format as Gerber ,As we want to create a Gerber file, You can also plot to other formats like PDF ,DXF etc
- Select the Output Directory in which you want Kicad to store the generated the Gerber files.
- Select which layers you want to fabricate on the Include Layers check boxes
- Press Plot to Generate the Gerber files in the selected Directory
Generating Drill Files for PCB fabrication
You can create drill files in two ways
- Go to File -> Fabrication Outputs ->Drill Files
2) Go to File -> Plot, then select Generate Drill Files at the lower right corner of plot Window (above image)
After this you can generate the drill files by
Just select Gerber under Map File Format and Press Generate Drill Files
After generating the Gerber and Drill Files,
Zip the files and send to a PCB fabrication facility.
Building PCB at Home using Toner Transfer Method
If you are building the PCB yourself at home using toner transfer method,
We can use other options on the Plot Window,like plot the PCB in PDF.
This will generate a PDF file which you can print it on a Photo paper and use it for toner transfer method.
When Printing make sure to use 1:1 scaling.
Drilling for DIY PCB Fabrication at Home
For drilling at home manually ,there is no need to generate a drill file.
Instead you can generate a Drill Map file in PDF which shows where to drill and which drill size to use.
Click on Generate Map File Button, to create a PDF map file.
Map File is shown below.