Board files that worked for me


After spending to much time figuring out what the files need to be to work with
the PCB builder I will share what I figured out as the FAQ is not that clear.
It looks like the PCB Builder is based mostly on files generated from Orcad or Altium,
although most any board program should work with the right file names and
file formatting. I use PADS and that is very flexible on generating board files.

I used the Orcad file naming system and generated these files for a 2 layer board: top copper layer bottom copper layer
board.smt top solder mask
board.smb bottom solder mask
board.sst top silkscreen
board.outline board outline only
board.drl NC drill file

All files except the drill file were in RS-274X Gerber format.
The drill file was in Excellon format with 2-4 format
(2 leading and 4 trailing digits) and no zero suppression.
Also on the drill file I needed to remove the size and feed rate
from being part of the “tool section start” command (just T@t).

Also make sure all the files have the same offset, I used
1000mil x 1000mil for the offset of all the files.

Hope this can help some people.

1 Like

Thank you for contributing you knowledge to Digikey form.

Hello @jimmartz, this has been very helpful. I am now getting stuck with the silk layer. Any chance you could share your silk settings? If it’s easier, you can paste screen shots in your reply.

These are my settings which PCB Builder is not liking (I have much to learn in this area)…

Kind regards,


That is about the same setup as I am using. Although I see that your D10 aperture is different
from what I have, but that I would not think would matter.
What am wondering is that the copper and solder mask normally would use the same
settings as the silkscreen, but you do not have any problems with them in PCB Builder?

BTW, I am using PADS VX2.1
I will add a screenshot.