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Gerber File Creation

Posted on 2014-03-17
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Last Modified: 2014-03-21
Hello Experts,

I have a .brd file, and I need a low-cost or free application to generate the BOM and gerber files from the file.  Does anyone know of an application that I can use to quickly generate the necessary information?

Regards,
aj85
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Question by:aj85
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LVL 48

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 39936056
There is a free viewer here - Allegro http://www.cadence.com/products/pcb/Pages/downloads.aspx

Also try Eagle http://www.cadsoftusa.com/download-eagle/ and see the instructions here as well http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/blogs/rjm/833-converting-eagle-printed-circuit-board-layout-files-gerber-format.html

Don't know how well the links will work as unsure if brd is common across all utils that use it.
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Author Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39936076
Hello,

When I tried the Eagle download, and opened the file, I get the following:

Error:

line 1, column 1: Start tag expected.

Any ideas what is causing this?

Regards,
AJ
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 39936088
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Author Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39936094
I installed KiCad, but when I try to open my file, the only extension the software supports is a .pro file.  The version I have downloaded is 2.9.4, is there some other version that I should be using?
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LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39936101
Circuit Board CAD programs use a lot of proprietary formats.  Do you know what program generated the file you have?
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Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 250 total points
ID: 39936103
It looks like this free viewer may get you started at least.  http://www.cadence.com/products/pcb/Pages/downloads.aspx
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Author Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39936108
No, unfortunately.  I thought it was an Orcad or Eagle file.  I can view the file in a viewer from Oracle, but I need to generate the previously mentioned file, so create the board.
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LVL 48

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 39936115
Does the Cadence Allegro viewer open the file for you?

If it does then you'll need the Allegro Orcad PCB editor.
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LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39936121
Not 'Oracle', Orcad.  As in Cadence Allegro Orcad.  They bought them a few years ago.
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Author Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39936134
Hello Dave, I have an application called Autovue from Oracle, that allows for the viewing of the file, but I will try the Allegro viewer.
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Author Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39936141
Hello All,

I am able to view the file in the Allegro viewer.  What is the next step?
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LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39936143
That's interesting, I never heard of that.  But in this PDF http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/autoVue/autovue-supported-file-formats-065285.pdf , it does list Cadence Allegro BRD format as one of the file formats it supports.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39936148
What is the next step?
You can ask the company that is going to make your boards if they can read that file and make the boards directly from it.
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LVL 48

Accepted Solution

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dbrunton earned 250 total points
ID: 39936153
Looks like you need either the Orcad or Cadence software.

You can go here http://www.cadence.com/products/orcad/pages/downloads.aspx#demo and download the demo software and test that.
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Author Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39936155
Hello Dave, yes it supports a multitude of file formats, I just have not been able to use it for generating the Gerbers, perhaps there is another version.  Anyway, I will try asking the board fabricator if they can just use the .brd file, but most need an RS274x file.
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Author Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39936162
Hello Dbrunton,

I will try downloading the demo.  Do you know the cost for this software, or estimated cost?
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LVL 48

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 39936167
Also look at Altium.  It can import .brd files

http://techdocs.altium.com/display/ADOH/Moving+to+Altium+Designer+from+Cadence+Allegro+PCB+Editor

Altium has a range of products but don't know which one would be suitable and cost.
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Author Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39936168
Okay thanks, I will take a look at Altium as well, but it looks expensive. Lol
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 39936176
These can be horrendous.  I can't find pricing details and if I can't find those they are expensive.

No, don't use Altium.  You need Cadence on the system first to import into Altium.

Cadence Allegro roughly 5000 - 10000 dollars.  That's a rough price.  I'd evaluate the software and then contact them directly or their sales office.  They have a base product and you add to it depending on your needs.
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