I've just tried to send our latest Gerbers to our board house, and they can't 
interpret a thermal aperature embedded in one of the files for a power plane.

The offending item is:

%AMTHD201*
7,0,0,1.400,1.400,0.000,45*
%
%ADD201THD201*%

This situation throws up lots of questions:

What am I seeing? A Protel bug or an inexperienced board house? I've heard dark 
things said about Protel's Gerber generation in the past.

How do I interpret the above if, say, I wanted to hack my own thermal 
aperature? Or if I wanted to work out if a pair of parameters is impossible 
(e.g. if one figure is an outside diameter and the other is an inner diameter, 
then setting them both the same would give a zero width line).

Does Gerber have a standard set of aperatures, and does Protel throw in it's 
own customised ones?

I have other custom thermals on the board. Why aren't these causing problems?

Our temporary fix is for our board house to hack the aperature, and in the 
meantime I'll experiment with changing my custom thermals, and perhaps trying 
Protel's default ones.

Andrew Ircha 





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