Uploading Files


When submitting your files to Sunstone Circuits for manufacturing, please adhere to the following file requirements so that manufacture of your boards proceeds without delay.


PCB Design Guidelines

2-layer circuit boards require the following Gerber files:

  • Top and Bottom Copper - positive polarity
  • Aperture/Dcode file (if not RS274X)
  • Excellon Drill file
  • Drill Tool list (if not embedded within Excellon Drill file)
  • Top and Bottom Soldermask (for 2-day lead times) - negative polarity i.e. the presence of data will represent the absence of (clearance in) soldermask on the layer. Outline only will cover (flood) the layer entirely with soldermask.
  • Silkscreen 1 or 2 sides - positive polarity

4-layer circuit boards require the following Gerber files:

  • Top and Bottom Copper - positive polarity
  • 2 inner layers: polarity based on design
  • Aperture/Dcode file (if not RS274X)
  • Drill Tool list (if not embedded within Excellon Drill file)
  • Top and Bottom Soldermask (for 1,2 or 3-day lead times) - negative polarity i.e. the presence of data will represent the absence of (clearance in) soldermask on the layer. Outline only will cover (flood) the layer entirely with
  • Silkscreen 1 or 2 sides - positive polarity

6+-layer circuit boards require the following Gerber files:

  • 2 Gerber outer layers: Top: Positive, Bottom: Positive
  • Inner layers (total layers - 2): polarity based on design
  • Aperture/Dcode file (if not RS274X)
  • Drill Tool list (if not embedded within Excellon Drill file)
  • Top and Bottom Soldermask (for 3 or 4-day lead times) - negative polarity i.e. the presence of data will represent the absence of (clearance in) soldermask on the layer. Outline only will cover (flood) the layer entirely with
  • Silkscreen 1 or 2 sides - positive polarity

Gerber PCB Layout Guidelines

This checklist is a tool to help ensure that you have the correct Gerber PCB layout guidelines before submitting your PCB design files. Use to define your PCB (Printed Circuit Board) layout guidelines before submitting your PCB order.

Your board files run 'as-sent' with limited design review. Please print this checklist for the person setting up your Gerber PCB files before you order.

Gerber PCB File Submission: (Submitted during or directly after order placement)

  • I am sending 1 zip file containing only the required files for fastest processing.
  • I understand the order will be manufactured when file is received; no changes can be made after we receive the file set.

Gerber Layer File Preparation:

  • I previewed my design as seen from the top side layer of the board using a Gerber/NC Drill file viewer.
  • My design requirements fall within the PCBexpress Printed Circuit Board Assembly & Manufacturing Capabilities.
  • Files are RS274X (embedded apertures) or RS274D (includes separate aperture list).
  • All spaces/traces are a minimum of .003" (3-mil) or larger.
  • All outer layers (top and/or bottom) are positive and do not require manual merging.
  • Copper for through-hole connections from top to bottom layer are proper sizes for holes.
  • Power/Grounds/mounting holes have sufficient clearances around holes to prevent shorting.

Single Sided - 1 layer Boards: YOU MUST PREVIEW 1-Layer Files!

  • My board is viewed as looking through from top (component) layer side.
  • Right reading copper text is drawn on the single side (+ silkscreen if applicable)
  • I understand all boards are through-hole plated; Sunstone will add copper pads to bare side of 1-sided PCBs.

4+ layer order Gerber files:

  • Inner layers are individual layers (either positive or negative) that do not require merging.
  • Internal ground layers have recommended ground plane clearances for all holes, including mounting holes.
  • Ground and power layers are clearly marked to indicate proper polarity.

Board Shape Outline:

  • Cut shape is drawn around board perimeter using a non-breaking trace.

Drill Setup: (See Drill File Setup)

  • I am providing an ASCII text file showing X&Y coordinates for holes
  • I have verified NC drill file is NOT a Gerber layer or drawing.
  • I have reviewed the recommended pads & clearances for drill sizes.
  • I understand all holes are treated as through-hole plated.
  • Hole quantity greater than 35 holes per sq-inch may be subject to 10% drill fee for additional machine time.
  • Separate tool size list included or the tool sizes are listed within the header of my Excellon drill file.

Solder Mask: (if selected)

  • I have included both top and bottom solder mask files.
  • Solder mask swell is at least 0.008" larger than copper surfaces to keep mask off pads.

Silkscreen: (if selected)

  • I included a top silkscreen file and optional bottom silkscreen file (needed if added to order).
  • Automated clipping performed on this service to remove silkscreen covering solder surfaces.
  • Silkscreen traces are drawn with .007 (7mil) or larger aperture line width (not height) to ensure legibility.

File Conversion Services: (Optionally available for Ivex, Eagle, and Protel users)

  • All orders over two layers requesting Sunstone to create Gerbers from Eagle, Protel or Ivex files submitted will be placed on hold. We will return files for your preview and approval of converted files before manufacturing. I understand process lead-time does not begin until I have approved the converted files.
  • Eagle Users: Eagle layer objects that build silkscreen & inner layers need to be properly listed upon file submission, I understand if I do not list these items you will convert to default Eagle Cam Jobs -- See Eagle info.