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Following a comprehensive year-long review process that involved welcome input from the worldwide Gerber community, the latest tools in the Gerber format have now been finalized and are ready for integration into the main Gerber specification.
With the new Nested Step and Repeat commands, it is no longer necessary to save multiple copies of PCB data, making panelisation files smaller, easier and faster to handle and process. By streamlining repeat data processes, these new tools deliver exceptional benefits especially when managing complex and nested panels. Furthermore, the block aperture is a powerful general construct that has the potential to improve efficiencies in many other applications.
As always, Ucamco encouraged the global Gerber community to participate in the review process. In just over a year, from August 2015 to September 2016 when the review process was closed, the improvements went through 12 iterations, and were supported by comments and input from numerous Gerber users. Key among these were Masao Miyashita and Remco Poelstra, who saw just how powerful these new commands are in improving PCB data efficiencies. Indeed, as the developer of the well-known Cuprum Gerber viewer, Poelstra has already implemented these tools in the latest version of Cuprum, v 1.3.1, released in October 2016.
That they should be implemented so soon after their release demonstrates clearly that the new tools fulfil a significant need and that the new Gerber extension of which they are part will be adopted very quickly.
Cuprum is a Gerber viewer built exclusively for the Mac. Combining a first class implementation of the Gerber specification with a state of the art UX as is expected from the Mac platform. By being a first class citizen on the Mac it contains specific features such as QuickLook and support for track pad gestures.
Ucamco (formerly Barco ETS) is a market leader in PCB CAM software, photoplotting and direct imaging systems, with a global network of sales and support centers. Headquartered in Ghent, Belgium, Ucamco has over 25 years of ongoing experience in developing and supporting leading-edge photoplotters and front-end tooling solutions for the global PCB industry. Key to this success is the company's uncompromising pursuit of engineering excellence in all its products. Ucamco also owns the IP rights on the Gerber File Format through its acquisition of Gerber Systems Corp. (1998).