A Gerber file is an industry standard format used in the generation of the filmwork for the fabrication of PCBs. It is an output usually generated from the master PCB file, however can also be generated from AutoCAD DXF/DWG files.
Following the days of taped masters and Bishop Graphics, the PCB artwork was generated photographically using an aperture wheel and a light source. The Gerber file contains commands that control this equipment. Technology has again changed how the artwork is produced, however the Gerber file format remains the industry standard.
There are times when the Gerber file may require alterations or further processing, including:
- The original PCB file has been lost or damaged,
- A lost or damaged PCB file needs "reconstructing" from the Gerber,
- Changes are required outside of the PCB editor's abilities,
- Board panelisation,
- AutoCAD DXF/DWG conversions,
- ...and more.