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Gerber Board Outline File Extension

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Jon Wilder

Active Member
Does anyone know what file extension is used for a board outline gerber file?
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
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What CAD package are you using? I use Altium and I use one of the mechanical layers for the board outline. I just make sure it's added to all of the gerber plots when I generate the files.
 

Jon Wilder

Active Member
I'm using Eagle. I already have the dimension and measures layers dedicated to this. But in my custom gerber job I have one tab reserved to generate a separate board outline file with both of these layers enabled. Just need to know what file extension to use when creating the outline file.

Some PCB houses require the outline as a separate file, which is why I'm asking.
 

jpanhalt

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
By chance, I may have found it (.gm1) here: http://www.daycounter.com/LabBook/Protel-Layer-File-Extensions.phtml

This discussion of the formats may also useful: https://www.protoexpress.com/content/gerber_extensions.jsp

I have not submitted 100's of different designs, more like a dozen or so from 3 different vendors, and have never been asked for the dimension layer separately. Maybe the place to go would be your anticipated vendor and ask it what extension it wants and what CAD program is it most familiar with.

John
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
This screen shot shows the Gerber File names in accordance with what most of the Chinese fabs want. I believe that Dorkbot/OSHPark recently changed to the same convention. I only recall needing a separate board outline layer once - that may have been with Dorkbot. These are the names I use for my orders with Elecrow

I always include a readme file that shows what each of the layers is, and also include notes that the board outline is on every layer, if there are non-plated holes, milling, etc. As long as all the required layers are identified and included, most fab houses will figure it out.

Note that the Gerber File standard doesn't specify layer extensions - the naming conventions come from layout software and what board fab house want. This list comes from reviewing what many fab houses want. I spent some time researching this to include different conventions in my readme generator program; that research showed this was the common standard amoung Chinese fabs and it's becoming very widespead. Beyond this, I didn't find any other widespread standards.

Gerber Layer names.jpg
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
It's on my C:> drive. I might be convinced to upload it for some amount of accolades <g>
I'm sure something could be arranged :D

Perhaps we could talk to the admins about adding it to the Tools page?
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I'm sure something could be arranged :D

Perhaps we could talk to the admins about adding it to the Tools page?
I will get everything together and post it here for sure. It's a handy program for making the read me files which can be a little tedious.
 

Cheery.Lau

New Member
no matter what software you use, and all files designed by it should be converted to gerber files for PCB production. And the gerber outline file extension is .GKO (gerber keep-out layer).


Does anyone know what file extension is used for a board outline gerber file?
 

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DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
no matter what software you use, and all files designed by it should be converted to gerber files for PCB production. And the gerber outline file extension is .GKO (gerber keep-out layer).
That is only one of countless ways to do it. Not all software packages use the keepout layer for the board outline.
 

mypcbshop.com

New Member
All gerbers are txt files anyway... They only contain x and y information for cnc's
Yeah, basically you're right.
At the end of the day, though, manfacturers do need gerber archives (or other formats, depending on the manufacturer itself), including the border/outline.
 
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