Simple 3D gerber viewer


Jérôme Vuarand  developed an application to visualize Gerber data, a simple 3D viewer for Gerber files.  This tool helps to review Gerber files before sending them to a PCB fab house:

Over the course of the last 5 months I developped an application to visualize Gerber data. The goal was primarily to review Gerber files before sending them to a PCB fabrication house. It is very similar to the Mayhew Labs online Gerber viewer, except it’s offline (and has a few different features).

My tool is program for Windows (32bits or 64bits) that use OpenGL for visualization (you will need a decent/recent video card). You can simply drag and drop Gerber files on it, or use the command line to configure it more deeply. I set up a page explaining most of that and giving download links

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      1. Readers of this post should note, there are newer versions available on the grbv download page as of my 6 Aug 2013 post date.

        Too bad it won’t run in Windows XP.

    1. @Andrew: I modified the tool so that it loads your data files. The Excellon files especially are very different from the one generated by Eagle, so there may still be some glitches. Also I added the .GM1 extension as the list of files considered for milling, and I slightly modified the board outline detection algorithm (when there is no outline in the files themselves) so that your board looks nice.

      You can download the new version on the grbv website, the version tag should be at least 20130807T1457.

      1. Thanks! It’s really work with that PCB!
        but with larger pcb same error. (test 2 folder)
        and with first pcb one problem – mask on bottom layer isn’t correct, it’s shifted or not 1:1 scale (test 1)

      2. @Andrew: The first board actually is OK on my computer. I think you can get it right by deleting the cache folder in the viewer directory.

        For the other board, I did fix the error here, but the board doesn’t look right, I have to investigate more.

      3. @Doub: Yep, problem with mask is gone. Thank you! As you say – it just need to delete cache folder.
        On larger board: Gerber Viewer load some layers (for example: PCB.GBL, PCB.TXT, PCB.GBS) one by one, but when try load other (for example: PCB.GTS, PCB.GTO, PCB.GTL) Gerber Viewer gives that error.

      4. @Andrew: The newer version tagged 20130808T1529 should fix all problems with your larger board. If not can you report it on the forum? It’s more convenient than in the blog comments to keep track of problems.

  1. Only Vista and later? Considering XP is still the most used OS still, this might be limiting.

    1. Yes, I realize that, and I’d be happy to help programmers port the software to platforms I cannot develop for. But this is too time consuming to do it all by myself.

      1. I think that’s probably based on Sales figures and with the huge amount of pirated copies of XP, I’d say it would still be well in front – certainly is from my dealings with peoples computers, though obviously that’s purely my observations, I could be way off. My initial comment was based on figures quoted by a respected authority I read not too long ago, though I don’t think I could provide a link now. I do recall one of the big websites (perhaps google?) doing stats on the various visitors OS’s. My point was more that there are a huge amount of XP users out there (me included), so it’s a pity it’s not usable on XP, but nonetheless, it’s very good of the author to share his work with us.

      2. Actually, Wiki supports your figures too, so I’ll concede that you are correct there, though I reckon it would be interesting to know how many are really out there. How many of us have that ‘other’ machine we use for playing around with, for certain specialised things, keep under the desk for old stuff, or have a dual boot, etc.

  2. Thank you a lot for your excellent tool. I really like how you decided to use window transparency! Kudos for the main icon – that was also what “Gerber” used to mean for me before I went into electronics ;)

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