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Topic: "Only drill file seen by the board house" problem (Read 1095 times) previous topic - next topic

"Only drill file seen by the board house" problem

Problem concerning
Our manufacturer found that this Gerber file only has drill file. Other files didn't seem to have been exported.

Probably the board was made with KiCAD, and since the software has inverted vertical coordinate (y-axis is positive downward). Gerbers produced have negative y-values, this seems to give problems to the board manufacturer and sees no design at all, except for the drills.

One workaround for us is to move the whole board design up (negative y, wrt to KiCAD y-axis). This will give positive y values on the output gerbers.

Big thanks to Timo ( for his patience in solving this sort of problem with us.

Re: "Only drill file seen by the board house" problem

Reply #1
I'm the Timo in question, and I can confirm that the board was indeed made in KiCad.

I used the moving the board workaround, which seems to have done the trick (the board was now accepted). There's probably an alternative way, which is to set the board origin marker and have KiCad use that as the origin for the Gerber export. I'll try that next time I order, and will post here to tell how it goes.

Big thanks to Vimark and Jin for working to solve this problem!

Re: "Only drill file seen by the board house" problem

Reply #2
Unfortunately, the KiCAD problem just bit me too.  I submitted files multiple times until I looked in this forum and found the information about KiCAD.  I moved the board as described and verified that there were no longer negative Y coordinates in the gerbers.  Hopefully, they will go through now.  I submitted them before the new ordering page came on line.

Re: "Only drill file seen by the board house" problem

Reply #3
I had a completely and unfortunately bad experience with this problem.

This bit me as well and when I reached out to DirtyPCB they pointed me to this thread. I checked the gerbers and indeed all the Y values were negative. I moved the origin point and re-exported and verified the gerbers had no negative Y values and sent again. They came back with the same error code but a different error message. So I asked what the problem was now and they said it was essentially the same problem. So I asked which applications they were using to view my gerbers so I could install them to verify everything completely everything was working and they would get readable gerbers. Got a screeshot from a WinXP machine with software versions from the turn of the last century. Regardless, setup XP VM install the software, reexport, view, all fine. Sent it yet again. Comes back very fast now, like 2 days instead of the usual week, same error code, but now just says "we can't open this files" When I ask what could possibly have gone wrong now, can they not extract the files etc because I've done everything in my power to verify these gerbers are fine and working. Receive no reply, just got a unrequested refund this morning. I'd like to have PCB's not refunds.

Now can anyone from DirtyPCB's please comment, because really if the problem is negative Y coordinates then the problem should have gone away. Does your gerber viewer show an error message, have you tried other viewers?

Re: "Only drill file seen by the board house" problem

Reply #4
Is it possible to post the files here?

I would suspect negative X can cause problems too, but don't have any experience with KiCad. AFAIK in eagle (the free version) everything is on positive side of the axis.

Re: "Only drill file seen by the board house" problem

Reply #5
Andrimar - was this old or new site? You might have had a database bug and we may have just refunded in mass all orders with this problem.
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