Can someone please tell me when Kicad will generate rs274x files??? I’ve spent 3 months learning Kicad and I love the the 3d viewer. But boardhouses are leaving the traditional Gerber rs274d… and demanding the files be in rs274X. If Kicad can’t fix this?.. I have to walk away and spend 3 months learning ANOTHER pcb program.
Sorry for the frustration,
This is the Extended Gerber, which is a plot option as “X2” in the File - Plot dialogue.
It has not been the default, because the low cost fabs cannot handle it.
KiCad has not used the old RS-274-D for many years as far as I know.
KiCad uses the RS-274-X2 by default, and if there are problems with gerber files for PCB manufacturers, it usually is because they use the older RS274-X1 format.
Why do you think KiCad uses the older format? Did you get a complaint from a PCB manufacturer? It might help if you turn of the extended X2 attributes in: Pcbnew / File / Plot / Gerber Options / [ ] Use extended X2 format
I’m not entirely sure, but I think this checkbox switches between the newer RS-274-X2 and the older RS-274-X1 format, and the old RS-274-D is not used at all. It has been obsolete for quite some years now.
A big part of the problems with Gerber files are because manufacturers use old formats, because they need something that works with their old machines, which are expensive to replace, and difficult to update. It is (unfortunately) relatively common that manufacturers have to write their own (sometimes bodged) software to translate incoming files to something their machines understand.
It’s a bit of a struggle. Manufacturers can not update because their hardware is expensive, and still works. KiCad can not implement all the newest features because many manufacturers use older hard and software.
Is this the other way round then, recently the default switched to X2 and many economy fabs cannot handle this, unchecking the box reverts to X1 aka “X”?
There are far too many fabs using a buggy version of CAM 350
I was being polite. This very broken “crack” version does not handle 360 degree arcs well either
I fully agree with the statements on D,X,X1.
However, that some fabricators cannot accept recent formats has nothing to do with their old but expensive equipment. No fabricator ever uses CAD files directly on their machines. They always load it it in their CAM software, and create NC machine files from there. Always. The problem is that indeed those fabricators use cracked CAM-350, or Genesis, or whatever, and are unwilling to buy up-to-date and legal versions. Now CAM software is not cheap, but costs a pittance compared to fabrication equipment.
It is indeed scary that they use CAM software with plenty of bugs. On top of that, they block the industry to move forward to newer and more capable Gerber versions.
They could at least have the honesty to crack a recent version…
Depending on the licence management methods, there may be challenges running legally in China apart from the cost. The hardware dongle method is rare these days.
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