When we design a PCB, we would want to see how it may appear after it is manufactured. Professionals might have different software to visualize what they have designed. But, novices and beginners may not have access to such software and may not know which software feature would display the right layer of the PCB. For example, people using Eagle generally use preset *.CAM file for generating Gerbers and most of us don’t know which files mean which layer. We simply send the Gerber to the manufacturer and they decide which files to use for manufacturing our PCB. However, as an electronics enthusiast, we would want know the significance of each file that is generated by the CAM processor.
Recently EasyEDA has released a Free Online Gerber Viewer to visualize the Gerber files generated by a PCB CAD tool. The tool supports the Gerber RS-274X format, which is an industry-standard image description format for PCBs. EasyEDA's tool will generate images for each layer plus combined images for the top and bottom of the board. As well as providing a guide as to the finished appearance of the PCB - including your choice of solder mask colours - the tool performs various analysis steps which can help ensure that your design doesn't breach any Design For Manufacture (DFM) rules that might prevent it from being manufactured properly.
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Step 1: Upload Your Gerber Files in EasyEDA Gerber Viewer
You can directly go to https://gerber-viewer.easyeda.com/ and upload the files there to view them as images. You can try the viewer from other software and it should be compatible with the files generated by any software. Tutorials links for extracting Gerber files from Altium, Eagle, Diptrace and KiCad have been given on gerber viewer page.
Step 2: Viewing Your PCB Designs on EasyEDA Gerber Viewer
Here demonstrate EasyEDA Gerber Viewer with my Arduino RGB LED Strip PCB, you can find this project in my last instructables.
If you create schematic and PCB layout using EasyEDA then its very easy to see them in Gerber Viewer. You just need to click on ‘Fabrication Output’ button in PCB Schematic Screen, it takes you to the ‘Order page’, where you will find the Link to view your PCB layout in Gerber viewer. Click on this link and you can see your PCB as a detailed Gerber View.
Step 3: EasyEDA Gerber Viewer Tool User Interface
The Gerber Viewer is highly user friendly. In Gerber Viewer you can find lot of options and settings. A beginner PCB designer who does not know about different layers of PCB can also guess, see and understand the significance of different Gerber files. You can choose different colors for PCB and surface finish metals (Gold or Silver). EasyEDA Gerber Viewer will render it as images including a top side and a bottom side photo view. At the same time, EasyEDA runs a simple Design For Manufacture (DFM) check, from which you can see the board size, hole and track sizes and clearances of the various PCB objects such as tracks and pads.
Step 4: See the Top or Bottom Layer of PCB
There are three buttons at the top right of the Viewer window in block 1, you can easily change between Gerber viewer, Top photo viewer and Bottom photo viewer.
Step 5: 'Layers' Section Lets You Hide or Display Individual Layers in Your Design
You can enable and disable various Gerber files to see the effects on PCB image, like *.GTO file contains the silk top layer, so you can see it separately. The above image shows the Silk Top (*.GTO) of the same PCB.
Step 6: ‘theme’ Option to Select the PCB in Different Colours
Before we order the PCB from our manufacturer, we always check which color would make the kit more beautiful or more matchable with other components.
Let’s see the same PCB in different colors. This is an interesting feature offered by EasyEDA.
Click on the drop-down Theme menu, you can change the displayed surface finish colour of the PCB viewer.
Besides, You have ‘Surface Finish’ option to see the Pads and junctions in Gold or Silver colors.
Step 7: Reassign Layers
If you can't see the right photo view and you are sure you uploaded the correct Gerber file, it is possible that your file names are not automatically recognised and assigned by the viewer. This is easy to fix: you just need to reassign the Gerbers from your uploaded file to the correct Gerber layers in the viewer.
Step 8: Easily Share the Gerber Viewer Image
Click the export image button to get a link to the image on screen to export any view or layer or any Gerber file as Image file. Then you can save the image and share with your team members and friends. Or just share the web site URL of the your uploaded gerber files in the viewer, here is my gerber files in the viewer.
Step 9: Easy to Find Your PCB Parameters for PCB Order
EasyEDA provides a simple but adequate DFM check, the Analysis Results its a great tool.You can see all the details of PCB parameters before ordering, such as the board size, hole and track sizes and clearances of the various PCB objects such as tracks and pads.
Step 10: Watch the Following Video to See How EasyEDA Gerber Viewer Works:
There are lot more cool options, just upload your Gerber file and check them out in EasyEDA Gerber Viewer.
For more information, please see