Words of Advice: Drawbacks to Your PCB Data Format?


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In a recent survey, we asked the following question: What is the biggest drawback to your current PCB data format? Here are a few of the answers, edited slightly for clarity.

  1. You would have to ask the board shop about that. They never complain about what I give them.
  2. Most suppliers and defense contractors and defense customers in the US are stuck on the Gerber format. ODB++ has its advantages, I agree, but PCB and EMS suppliers are not investing in the software infrastructure to support any of the more inclusive formats like ODB++, IPC-2581 or X2. We are in the midst of a two-year ongoing battle to change to ODB++.
  3. A common interface standard. IPC-2581B is a very comprehensive neutral standard for the interchange of PCB design, fabrication and assembly data, particularly the description of the board stackup, which until now has had no formal standard. But everyone in the industry needs to adopt it.
  4. The laminate structure and thickness is only described in PDFs of our drawings.
  5. Non-descriptive naming conventions and missing data!

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