How to export Gerber files from Altium Designer?

How to export Gerber files from Altium Designer?

To place orders with HQ NextPCB, you should provide an archive file (.zip or .rar) containing Gerber files and drill files for PCB manufacture.

This article will guide you through how to export Gerber files and NC drill files from Altium Designer.

How to export Gerber files from Altium Designer?

Step 1. Open Altium Designer and open your .PCBDOC design file

Step 2. Click: File -> Fabrication Outputs -> Gerber Files.

Gerber Files

Step 3. In the General tab, set the precision to 2:5 (0.01 mil resolution)

General Setting

Step 4. Choose layers to export in the Layers tab

Please ensure you have a clear outline drawn in a mechanical layer. You may need to draw this in a mechanical layer yourself.

In the Layers tab, check the box in the Plot column for the Overlay, Solder and electrical layers for both top and bottom sides and mechanical layers containing vital manufacturing information such as the board outline.

We do not advise selecting the Mirror or Mechanical Layers(s) to Add to All Plots boxes. If your board only contains two copper layers, there will not be no inner layers (G1, G2, G3, etc.).

Layers Setting

Step 5. Under the Apertures tab, please make sure the Embedded apertures (RS-274-X) box is selected.

Aperture Setting

Step 6. The following settings can be used for the Advanced tab

Advanced Setting

Step 7: Click OK to generate the Gerber files

Gerber Files will be automatically exported in the .pcbdoc file directory and Altium will open the Camtastic Viewer to view the Gerber files.

This tool allows you to verify that all layers have been generated correctly. You can also use HQ Electronics' HQDFM tool to view Gerber files and run DFM and DFA analysis on them.

How to export Drill Files from Altium Designer?

Don’t forget to export the NC Drill data after generating the Gerber files. Many Altium Designer users forget this step.

Step 1: Go back to the PCBDOC file view and choose: File -> Fabrication Outputs -> NC Drill Files

NC Drill Files

Step 2: Set NC drill file format. We recommend you choose the same units and format as set previously for the Gerber files.

Ensure the Generate EIA Binary Drill File (.DRL) box is NOT checked. We also recommend not selecting the Generate separate NC drill files for plated and non-plated holes options.

Step 3: Package all the generated Gerber files and drill files into a .zip or .rar archive file.

You are now ready to place your order with HQ NextPCB. Go to the respective order form, upload your files and fill in the order form.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at

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