Process for manufactoring PCB


When you send a Zip of your files for a PCB manufacture should it:

  1. Simply with the “Trace” option generate the gerber files compress and send them.
  2. Generate gerber files and add files the piercing files and piercing plan, Zip it all and send?

1 or 2?

Minimal set for a manufacturer is usually

  • Copper layers
  • Mask layers, front & back
  • Silk (legend) layers if you want them, front & back
  • (EDIT: also Edge.Cuts for the board outline is mandatory)
  • Drill file or files in the format they accept.

“Drill map” is usually not needed, sometimes they even explicitly tell they don’t want it. Drill files are usually in Excellon format. More often than not plated and non-plated holes should be in different drill files (PTH and NPTH).

But this can’t be emphasized too much: always read the manufacturer’s instructions or ask them.

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There is a good FAQ on JLCPCB web site for what files they want and how to generate them.

But as poster above says, this is not the same for every PCB house. Check their support pages for what info they require.

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Eelik has given the usual set, but there is one more, the Edge_Cuts layer that determines the boundaries of the board. 9 is the magic number for the usual two copper layer board:

F_Cu, B_Cu
F_Mask, B_Mask
F_SilkS, B_SilkS

I think I have encountered only one fab that wanted a combined NPTH and PTH.


Sometimes they ask for the B_SilkS even if its empty just to check that its not been forgotten

I always give them the full set of 9 even if some layers are not used on the “don’t ask for trouble” principle. It makes very little difference to the zip size even less so if it’s empty. Actually I always find a use for B_SilkS because I mount some components on the back.

I stared at my list and had a nagging feeling something is missing…

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