How to export gerber files from Altium Designer (formerly known as Protel) for pcb production at

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10 PCS, 10cm x 10cm, 2 layers prototype for $38.80 shipped!

What is the purpose of this tutorial?

In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to export Gerber files from Altium Designer (formerly known as Protel), so that you can send it to for PCB fabrication.

Softwares needed

You need winzip or winrar, you probably already have it installed. If not: winzip or winrar

Export Gerber files from Altium

Design rule check

Make sure you run design rule check (Tools->Design Rule Check...) before you generate Gerber files. DRC usually makes sure that your board doesn’t exceed the manufacturer’s production abilities.

Our PCB manufacturing capabilities are outlined at the home page of, please using Design Rule Wizard to modify the rules accordingly.

Make sure there are no errors. If there are errors, you need to fix them before you can continue to generate Gerber files.

Generate Gerber File

In PCB view, select File -> Fabrication Output -> Gerber files. Then in the popup dialog, select General tab, set Unit to inch and format to 2:5:

General tab

In Layers tab, select "Used On" for the Plot Layers drop down, select "All OFF" for Mirror layers. Check "include unconnected mid-layer pads", and uncheck "Mechanical layers to Add to All plot":

Layers tab

In the Drill Drawing tab, deselect all check boxes, and select Graphic Symbols:

Drill tab

In Apertures tab, make sure RS274X is selected:

Apertures tab

In Advanced tab, select "Separate file per layer" for Batch Mode option. Also select "Suppress leading zeros" for Leading/Trailing Zeros, select "Reference to relative origin" for Position on Film and select "Unsorted" for Plotter Type, then click OK:

Advanced tab

After a few seconds, Gerber files are generated. You don't need to save the generate CAM file, just close it.

Generate NC Drill File

Then in the PCB view, select File -> Fabrication Outputs -> NC Drill Files, in the NC Drill Setup dialog, select "Inches" for Units, "2:5" for Format, "Suppress leading zeros" for Leading/Trailing Zeros and "Reference to relative origin" for Coordinate Positions, then click OK:

NCDrill setup

Click "OK":

Import drill data

Click "OK"

Import mill

Package Gerber File

Altium saves all generated Gerber and NC Drill files in the "Project output folder", usually it is in the same folder as your PCB project folder. Rename the project output folder to something meaningful so you know what it is.

Then zip all files in the output folder and send to us for PCB fabrication.

The following summarizes the Altium Gerber file extensions:

GTL---Top layer
GBL---Bottom layer
GTO---Top overlay
GBO---Bottom overlay
GTP---Top paste
GBP---Bottom paste
GTS---Top solder
GBS---Bottom solder
G1 ---Midlayer 1
G2 ---Midlayer 2
GP1---Internal plane 1
GP2---Internal plane 2
GM1---Mechanical 1
GM2---Mechanical 2
GKO---Keepout layer
GG1---Drill guide
GD1---Drill drawing
GPT---Top pad master
GPB---Bottom pad master

10 PCS, 10cm x 10cm, 2 layers prototype for $38.80 shipped!