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Using EasyEDA Free Gerber Viewer to visualize Your PCB Designs

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Description

When we design a PCB, we would like to see how it would be after it is manufactured. Professionals might have different software to visualize what they have designed. But, novices and beginners may not have access to such software and may not know which software feature would display the right layer of the PCB. For example, people using Eagle generally use preset *.CAM file for generating Gerbers and most of us don’t know which files mean which layer. We simply send the Gerber to the manufacturer and they decide which files to use for manufacturing our PCB. However, as an electronics enthusiast, we would want know the significance of each file that is generated by the CAM processor.

EasyEDA’s Gerber viewer offers the feature of true visualization of different layers and we can literally see the image of the PCB that we would expect after it is manufactured. Upload an archive containing your Gerber files - each aspect of the design from drill patterns to silkscreen getting a separate file, all of which need to be bundled together for the visualiser - and EasyEDA's tool will generate images for each layer plus combined images for the top and bottom of the board. As well as providing a guide as to the finished appearance of the PCB - including your choice of solder mask colours - the tool performs various analysis steps which can help ensure that your design doesn't breach any Design For Manufacture (DFM) rules that might prevent it from being manufactured properly.

Viewing Gerber Files on EasyEDA Gerber Viewer

Here demonstrate EasyEDA Gerber Viewer with Tesseract Guitar Practice Amp PCB which was designed by one of EasyEDA’s users

The EasyEDA "Tesseract" DIY Guitar Practice Amplifier is an LM386 based low power amplifier designed to deliver up to about 500mW into an 8 Ohm speaker when run from a 9V battery. You can find the complete schematic and PCB design of this project via this link

https://easyeda.com/example/Tesseract_Guitar_Practice_Amp-MjP71jBni

At first, open Tesseract Guitar Practice Amp PCB in EasyEDA editor, then click on ‘Fabrication Output’ button in PCB Schematic Screen, it takes to the ‘Order page’, where you can find the Link to view the PCB layout in EasyEDA Gerber viewer. Click on this link and you can see your PCB as a detailed Gerber View. See the images below:

click on ‘Fabrication Output’ button in PCB Schematic Screen

Gerber viewer in PCB order page

EasyEDA Gerber Viewer tool user interface

  1. You can see the Top and/or Bottom layer of PCB.

  2. You can enable and disable various Gerber files to see the effects on PCB image, like *.GTO file contains the silk top layer, so you can see it separately.

  3. You have ‘theme’ option to select the PCB in different colours.

  4. You have ‘Surface Finish’ option to see the Pads and junctions in Gold or Silver colors.

  5. You can also Export any view or layer or any Gerber file as Image file using the Export button.

How EasyEDA Gerber Viewer works

The following image shows the Silk Top (*.GTO) of the same PCB shown above. We extracted this from one of the Gerber viewers online. This image gives an idea of placement of various components but we cannot visualize how the board will actually appear when it is manufactured.

Silk Top (*.GTO) of the PCB

Before we order the PCB from our manufacturer, we always check which color would make the kit more beautiful or more matchable with other components.

Let’s see the same PCB in different colors. This is an interesting feature offered by EasyEDA.

Green color for the soldermask in EasyEDA Gerber Viewer

Red color for the soldermask in EasyEDA Gerber Viewer

Blue color for the soldermask in EasyEDA Gerber Viewer

Top layer of PCB on EasyEDA Gerber Viewer- SILVER surface finish

Black color for the soldermask in EasyEDA Gerber Viewer

Top layer of PCB on EasyEDA Gerber Viewer- GOLD surface finish

Black color for the soldermask in EasyEDA Gerber Viewer

If you would like to upload your own Gerber files from a third party PCB tool. You can directly go to https://gerber-viewer.easyeda.com/ and upload the files there to view them as images. You can try the viewer from other software and it should be compatible with the files generated by any software. Tutorials links for extracting Gerber files from Altium, Eagle, Diptrace and KiCad have been given on gerber viewer page. See below images:

EasyEDA Gerber viewer page

After using EasyEDA Gerber viewer and noticed some exciting features that are rarely available on other Gerber viewers.

User friendly:The Gerber Viewer is highly user friendly. Being on the cloud means it is available to use online at anytime and anywhere, and frees you from having to install any software on your workstation.You can save the image and share with your team members and friends. Image magnification and reassignment of PCB layers are also noticeable features of the viewer. In addition to this, EasyEDA gives an overview of common mistakes that we may commit while extracting Gerber files.

Additional support from EasyEDA for correcting Gerber: EasyEDA has been established to integrate most of the aspects of electronics. As we start from our kit idea from schematic or circuit design to manufacturing, we come across several phases and EasyEDA addresses most of those phases. When we are in the Gerber viewing phase of our product development cycle, EasyEDA is there to support us when there is any error in the design file. You can submit a bug report to its support team and get the required help.

Additionally, on the Gerber viewer page you will also get an overview of common mistakes that we may commit while generating the Gerber files. All of your Gerbers are unlisted. They are not shared with anyone. If you are concerned about this, once you have viewed them, you can remove your Gerbers from the server. remove your Gerber

There are lot more cool options, just upload your Gerber file and check them out.

So with this launching of new Gerber viewer tool, EasyEDA becomes the one stop solution from drawing the circuits to taking down them on PCB for professional and industrial use. EasyEDA is a cloud based circuit design tool to help designers move from idea to manufactured prototype by providing comprehensive data and collaboration tools for electronic design. It is suitable for all users spanning from hobbyists to engineers.

Documents

Tesseract Guitar Practice Amp Schematic

Tesseract Guitar Practice Amp PCB

BOM

ID Name Designator Footprint Quantity Manufacturer Part Manufacturer Supplier Supplier Part Price LCSC Assembly Mounted Bitsbox Order Code Description
1 10k R15,R14,R2,R7,R26,R24,R1 RC07 7 Various MR2510K 10k 250mW Metal Film 2% or better.
2 51k R12,R4,R5,R8,R27,R31,R21,R11 RC07 8 Various MR25100K 100k 250mW Metal Film 2% or better.
3 100p C9 C_MLCC_RES_DIP_5.5x3mm_P5mm 1 Various NPO100P 100pF 16V ceramic capacitor. 5mm pitch resin dipped MLCC or similar.
4 2N5458 J1 TO-92 1 2N5458 QD071 2N5458 N channel JFET in TO-92 package.
5 BC547 Q1,Q2,Q3,Q4,Q5,Q6,Q7 BC547 7 BC547B QD011 BC547 NPN BJT in TO-92 package.
6 1Meg R3,R17,R16,R32,R36,R37,R19 RC07 7 Various MR251M 1M 250mW Metal Film 2% or better.
7 1Meg_LOG RV2,RV1 POT_BITech-TTE_P160KN 2 Various VR045 1M Log pot. PCB mount like: http://www.bitechnologies.com/pdfs/p160.pdf
8 10p C5 C_MLCC_RES_DIP_5.5x3mm_P5mm 1 Various NPO10P 10pF 16V ceramic capacitor. 5mm pitch resin dipped MLCC or similar.
9 100k R6,R29,R28,R33,R30,R18,R9,R34,R35,R20 RC07 10 Various MR25100K 100k 250mW Metal Film 2% or better.
10 SWITCH_SPDT SW2,SW3 HDR1X3 2 Just 3 off PTH SW057 SPDT switch wired to holes in PCB.
11 10k_LIN RV4 POT_BITech-TTE_P160KN 1 Various VR004 10k Lin pot. PCB mount like: http://www.bitechnologies.com/pdfs/p160.pdf
12 BC557 Q8 BC557 1 BC557B QD013 BC557 PNP BJT in TO-92 package.
13 DNF_51k R10 RC07 1 Various DO NOT FIT IF SW2 AND LFO PARTS FITTED (10k 250mW Metal Film 2% or better.)
14 SWITCH_DPDT SW1 HDR1X6 1 Just 6 off PTH. SW035 DPDT switch wired to holes in PCB.
15 47n C17,C24,C8,C2,C18,C14 C_MLCC_RES_DIP_5.5x3mm_P5mm 6 Various CC003 47nF 16V ceramic capacitor. 5mm pitch resin dipped MLCC or similar.
16 10R R22,R13,R25 RC07 3 Various MR2510R 10R 250mW Metal Film 2% or better.
17 100k_LOG RV6,RV7 POT_BITech-TTE_P160KN 2 Various VR085 100k Log pot. PCB mount like: http://www.bitechnologies.com/pdfs/p160.pdf
18 22n C19 C_MLCC_RES_DIP_5.5x3mm_P5mm 1 Various CC008 22nF 16V ceramic capacitor. 5mm pitch resin dipped MLCC or similar.
19 1u C11,C16,C10,C22,C15,C7,C6,C4,C3,C1,C12,C26 C_ALUnTANT_D6n9mm_P1.5-5mm 12 Various HC1U063 1uF 16V electrolytic capacitor. 5mm pitch resin dipped tantalum or 1.5mm to 2.5mm aluminium.
20 220u C20 C_ALUnTANT_D6n9mm_P1.5-5mm 1 Various LC220U35 220uF 16V electrolytic capacitor. 5mm pitch resin dipped tantalum or 1.5mm to 2.5mm aluminium.
21 47u C21,C23,C13,C27,C28 C_ALUnTANT_D6n9mm_P1.5-5mm 5 Various LC47U25 47uF 16V electrolytic capacitor. 5mm pitch resin dipped tantalum or 1.5mm to 2.5mm aluminium.
22 LED D1 LED3MM 1 Any 3mm lead spacing LED. (Almost any LED can be fitted if the leads are bent or wired to the PCB) OP009 Red 3mm LED with approx 2V forward drop.
23 10k_LOG RV5,RV3 POT_BITech-TTE_P160KN 2 Various VR099 10k Log pot. PCB mount like: http://www.bitechnologies.com/pdfs/p160.pdf
24 1k R23,R38 RC07 2 Various MR251K 1k 250mW Metal Film 2% or better.
25 SIP2 P1,P2 HDR1X2 2 Just 2 off PTH Wires can go straight to PCB.
26 LM386 U2 DIP08 1 LM386N-3 QU206 LM386 low power audio amplifier in 8 pin DIP package.
27 6.35mm_switched_3_pole_jack_skt_w-mono_plug SKT1 6.35mm_switched_3_pole_jack_skt_Neutrik_NMJ6HFD2 1 Neutrik NMJ6HFD2 or similar CN057 6.35mm switched 3 pole jack socket Neutrik NMJ6HFD2 showing use as power switch with mono plug.
28 6.35mm_switched_3_pole_jack_skt_Neutrik_NMJ6HFD2 SKT2 6.35mm_switched_3_pole_jack_skt_Neutrik_NMJ6HFD2 1 Neutrik NMJ6HFD2 or similar CN057 6.35mm switched 3 pole jack socket Neutrik NMJ6HFD2.
29 TL084N U1,U3 DIP14 2 TL084CN QU111 TL084 quad opamp in 14 pin DIP package.
30 WIRE_LINK_or_SoT_CAP C25 C_MLCC_RES_DIP_5.5x3mm_P5mm 1 Various - Wire link or user choice of capacitor.
31 unplated_M3_clearance_hole 3M5_H1,3M5_H2,3M5_H3,3M5_H4 hole_3mm5 4 n/a You don't have to buy these: they come free with the PCB.

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