4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 30, 2011 5:19 AM by ron.reiners1

    Reverse Engineer - Gerbers to Pads?




      What companies and/or software tools will reverse engineer Gerber files to re-create a lost Pads PCB Layout file?




      Jason Roetz, CID+

      Master Designer Electrical Group, Industrial Controls Division

      4201 North 27th Street Milwaukee, WI. 53216

      Telephone: 414-449-6397
      Fax: 414-449-7319

      JasonCRoetz@eaton.com http://www.eaton.com/

        • 1. Re: Reverse Engineer - Gerbers to Pads?

          Since gerbers files are made up of flashes and draws there is no no easy way to create a pads fiel from gerbers. You can convert the gerbers to dxf and read in the dxf tp Pads but that is only a start to show you where the lines and flashes are located. From that you can use the gerber apertures and  loaded dxf files to recreate teh decals. Then you can load the decals , place them over the silkscreen and then connect up a ratsnest. It can be done but its very time consuming.


          Leonard Alexman

          • 2. Re: Reverse Engineer - Gerbers to Pads?

            Leonard is basically correct, no easy way in PADS to do this, you basically need to import some basic drafting file like dxf and hand copy that in real traces in PADS.

            Of course you will need all the decals in a library & a schematic or netlist also to derive connectivity which if you are re-engineering files you already had & only missing

            pcb file that is good.

            Back in the day before it was Expedition there was a gerber import functionality long gone, you could actually bring in layer by layer gerber data and it would

            become actual trace, however the caveat was also you had to have all the parts placed & connectivity set in place already. So it did save some time.

            Back in the day I remember there was a software (can't remembe name)  that could actually take in a gerber file derive patterns for parts & connectivity

            but that was back when through hole parts rulled the world. Not sure if anything like that exist now.


            • 3. Re: Reverse Engineer - Gerbers to Pads?

              I have never tried it but CAM350 can export file in different CAD Formats.

              • 4. Re: Reverse Engineer - Gerbers to Pads?

                I have done it in the past with CAM350. I can't find my notes right now on the step by step procedures but there is instructions in the help menu.


                You can create components in CAM350 and export them back to a PADS library once the file is back into PADS. Works very well except for copper pours which usually needs some clean up. It is a little time consuming but definitely faster than a complete redraw in PADS.