When amateurs and professional engineers create a printed circuit board through a software program that program is saved as a .pcb extension file. Files that are .pcb can only be opened by programs that run a print circuit board software problem. This types of program works when printed circuit board programmers send files back and forth to each other but when they sent that printed circuit board file to a manufacturer problems arise.
Manufacturers can only read the designed layout of a printed circuit board when it is in a special format known as gerber. This is because the equipment that creates a circuit board can only read Gerber files. Due to the equipment only reading Gerber files a print circuit board designer must take the time to covert the .pcb file to a Gerber file.
Here is a quick look at the process of how to convert a .pcb file to a Gerber file.
The conversion process is a very simple procedure. The only step that is required is the download of a program known as LinkCAD. LinkCAD will automatically run the conversion software programs so that a .pcb file will be in Gerber format.
Once the LinkCAD software has been downloaded the process is simple. In the export format section you choose Gerber and make sure that “Skip options” dialog is unchecked. From there you choose the file that you wish to convert to Gerber and then the process begins. The conversion process will take a few minutes depending upon how large the .pcb file is but after the conversion process is finished the Gerber file will be available on the computer hard drive and read to send to the print circuit board manufacturer.