> Geoff Harland wrote:
>
> > And to expand a bit on that request, do you have a viewpoint on the
merits
> > of using Gerber arc commands versus "software" arc commands, in the
event
> > that the details of routing a PCB are provided in Gerber file format?
(This
> > assumes that the PCB manufacturer can handle Gerber arc commands, but in
> > this day and age, such an assumption is not unduly far-fetched.)
>
> I have never heard of a PCB manufacturer directly using gerber data to
route
> the board.  For some of the more complicated boards I have supplied DXF
files
> for the cuts.  For some of the more simple boards (simple rectangles), the
PCB
> manufacturer has just read the mechanical data off their CAD package and
then
> manually programmed the router from that.
>
> I am not saying that gerber files can not be used (I know technically that
they
> can), that it is never done, just that I have never heard of it being done
that
> way.
>
> Hamid

I used to provide either a suitable printout or a description of a text
nature (within a README.TXT file) in order to specify how and where a PCB
(typically one of a panellised nature) should be routed (or V-grooved)

In the days before I became aware of Acrobat (and then first acquired a
"writing" form of this, serindipitously, courtesy of a CD-ROM provided by
Linear Technology :) ), the former option involved sending physical paper to
the PCB manufacturer. The latter option did not require that, but typically
brought to mind the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.

With that background, I once rang a PCB manufacturer that my then employer
used for many of the PCBs that I had designed, and enquired about the
acceptability of providing Gerber files to specify where PCBs should be
routed and/or V-grooved. I was informed that that was indeed acceptable, and
that other clients also did the same thing already.

I have since done that as a matter of course, and have yet to hear of any
instance where a PCB manufacturer did not find this arrangement to their
liking.

So my inquiry to you was based on whether there would be any drawbacks to
"software" arc commands, in which arcs are approximated by numerous very
short segments of straight line. Off-hand, I can not think of any instances
when I have designed PCBs in which the routing paths did incorporate any
arcs. But that is not to say that it might happen at some stage in the
future.

Regards,
Geoff Harland.
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