OrCAD PCB Editor file extensions

I uploaded my OrCAD files that use a .art extension. DKRed recognized the outline and trace layers. I selected the SM and SS layers, but they do not show up on the preview. Neither did the drl file.

Hi @jrb2,

The PCB Preview Panel requires these extensions to be able to provide a preview:

Silkscreen .gbo, .gto, .sst, .ssb, .legend, .silk
Paste .gtp, .gbp, .gpt, .gpb, .paste
Soldermask .gts, .bgs, .smt, .sm_, .smb, .mask, .solder
Pad .gpb, .gpt
Drill .drl, .drd, .xln, .drill
Drill Drawing .gd, .dd
Mechanical .gm
Outline .gko, .outline, .profile
Copper .pho, .copper, .physical_layer, .Layer

The tool will still accept files outside of these and transmit them to the boardhouses, but they may not preview properly on the webtool.

Thanks Lindsay. Is there any way to get a confirmation from the boardhouse before a purchase? I want to make sure the other layers will be there. Here is a screen shot;

Have you tried OSH Park? They show you renders of all layers of the board prior to fab and are very reasonably priced.

I have the same issue @jrb2 - could you let us know how your board ordering process worked out?

The accepted file extension list seems to have an issue. The normal .gbr extension for ordinary copper layers is not even listed.

I work with a lot of gerber files from many manufacturers and none of the gerbers I normally work with are compatible with the webtool according to the table. Probably just a typo.

Advanced Circuits will definitely accept Cadence Allegro standard outputs though it does complain about the mask layer. In Altium and others the mask layer is automatically swelled (meaning pulled back slightly from the copper). The standard Cadence Allegro symbols have the mask exactly matched to the copper. Most board houses will automatically swell the mask layer so it doesn’t overlap the copper when manufacturing tolerances are off a bit. You also have to put an outline drawing in the silk screen layer, Advanced Circuits seemingly doesn’t recognize the Design Outline layer (or maybe it will if you specify a line width above zero for the lines).

No issues with Cadence Allegro files at Oshpark. They are generally a bit cheaper but the lead time is quite variable. And you gotta love purple.

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Update - the .art files produced by the Allegro PCB program are simply RS 274x files. The suffix does not indicate file type for these files. I tried simply renaming my files and uploading:

ART format GBR format
TOP.art TOP.gbr
I left the drill file as .drl and it seemingly imported the .gd layer instead. It didn't complain about the .gbr file suffix so the allowed file extension table is simply wrong about that. The gerbers all looked correct in the viewer. I don't actually need these boards right now so that is as far as I went in the process.

Bottom line - should be possible to use the .art files just by renaming them. All are RS 274X format regardless of suffix. Just be sure to make an outline layer with an actual rectangle in it, not zero-line-width or a shape.

Thanks olTechie. I will try your technique next week.

  • Jim -

I have a 4 layer board created using OrCad PCB Designer Professional.
For some reason, the PCB preview panel refuses to consider my GND plane to be a layer.
While all the files have a .art extension, I even tried giving it a .layer extension, but to no avail.

I realize this may be display issues with the tool, but I don’t want to get a 3 layer board back, or a 3 + some_random_art_file as layers back.

Can someone help me with this?

Thank you!