Edge cuts layer and bottom paste

Hi All,

I think these are pretty basic questions but it is my first board on Kicad. I am about to order some board on JLCPCB and It is giving me two warnings. The first warning is “P-0001-DC-DC-5V-3.3V-Edge_Cuts.gbr(Board Outline Layer):Gerber file with a board outline”. I have seen on some tutorials that to send the dimensions of the board there is a specific gerber file called outline layer ( or something similar), on the other hand I have also seen on a tutorial from Digikey that Edge-cuts gerber file is accepted to define the dimensions, I think JLCPCB will make the board even with the warning but I wonder if there is a better way to define the dimensions of the board with a different gerber file without getting a warning.

The second warning is as follows: " P-0001-DC-DC-5V-3.3V-B_Paste.gbr(null): Non-gerber274X/excellon formats". It seems like it has generated the gerber but it is empty and I think it is because my board “doesn’t need solder paste on the bottom side” but I would need some reassurance as I’m not 100% sure on this ( I think I will have to put the paste manually on Kicad). The bottom side is filled with copper, but that copper is not connected to any net and I don’t have any smd component on the bottom side, I just have some pads from through hole components that are placed on the top side. I wonder if this is the reason why I have got a bottom paste layer empty?. I think I need to put some solder paste on that layer as when I solder the through hole component they could get connected to the copper incorrectly and therefore shorted between each other.

Thanks in advance for you help.

I would suggest the following the naming convention shown here https://support.jlcpcb.com/article/29-suggested-naming-patterns *

You don’t need to send paste layers for PCB.

* Ignore the bit which says “Our site understands KiCAD’s gerber naming patterns.” Maybe it should, but it frequently gets it wrong.


Thanks bobc, do you suggest I should change the extension in order to be sure JLCPCB will get it correct?.

I don’t understand why I don’t need paste layers?. JLCPCB does it automatically?, or your opinion is that it is not needed?.

Yes, exactly that.

The paste layer is only used to apply solder paste to a PCB. Are you expecting JLC to send you boards with solder paste applied?

In fact, the paste layer would typically be used to create a stencil, usually from stainless steel.

In general, don’t send empty files to JLC. Otherwise place a dummy footprint on that layer to put something in the file.

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@Winsu might have ordered the stencil with jlcpcb which means they need the paste layer.

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Maybe there’s a misunderstanding here. Paste is solder tin paste. Mask is the (often green) covering which protects the copper so that the paste doesn’t get soldered to wrong places.

See What is the meaning of the layers in pcb_new and in the footprint editor? and How does solder mask layer work?.

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Thanks. I got a bit confused. I have always designed boards with solder paste as the population of boards were done with a pick and place machine. This is a house project and I was used to send the solder paste files by default. It is not needed if I don’t any stencil as I will solder the board at home.

Another question related with the name convention. I have noticed that for Top later the extension is GTL and for the bottom layer is GBL. For the drill is XLN. Is there any difference between plated holes and non plated holes?, is it for both XLN?.

Thanks again.

Thanks for your answer but I wasn’t planning to any stencil.

Hi eelik,

I think you are right, I misunderstood the solder paste with solder mask. I will read your links…

That is a good question, I would be interested to know the answer. I always send a merged drill file and let them decide.

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It’s best to consult the fab’s instructions. In fact I have only encountered one fab that needed merged files. The default setting in pcbnew is separate files, probably what the majority of fabs prefer.

Separated files are more flexible. With merged files fabs need to rely on the fact that the drill is inside copper to know if it needs plating. This could lead to misunderstandings.

Now that would be something. :sunglasses:

That is a thing actually (although not from them). Also JLC now does PCBA service.

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