Gerber preview software and usage summary

We asked what things you check before sending gerbers to the board house, and what your favorite gerber viewer is. Here is a compilation of your responses:

  • Problems with the footprint, the solder pad is sometimes buried by mask.
  • Drills outside board or flipped.
  • CAM didn’t export expected silkscreen layers.
  • Evaluating not only whether a silkscreen is present, but if it’s legable (size, location, etc).
  • For the more complicated footprints, its useful for evaluating exactly where masks are applied.
  • Quickly seeing whether all of the vias on a board are tented or not.
  • On output from older design packages, it was sometimes necessary to double check copper fills, but this generally isn’t a problem with current ECAD packages.
  • One last doublecheck to make sure soldermask is on the correct side for the correct component (PCB’s that have components on both sides).

From your responses it became clear that gerbv is the most popular software used. Also mentioned were ViewPlot, Viewmate, KiCAD, and GerberLogix.

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