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How to remove/add through hole plates on vias when I export gerber files to reduce the cost? [message #169075] Sun, 29 January 2017 00:30 Go to next message
Dimitris Piralis
Messages: 3
Registered: November 2016
Junior Member
Because through hole plates (vias) cost too much I want to do vias on my own with wire and solder. How to choseĀ  plated or unplated via when I export gerber files?

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Re: How to remove/add through hole plates on vias when I export gerber files to reduce the cost? [message #169079 is a reply to message #169075] Sun, 29 January 2017 08:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rob Pearce
Messages: 484
Registered: September 2012
Senior Member
On 29/01/17 00:30, Dimitris Piralis wrote:
> Because through hole plates (vias) cost too much I want to do vias on my own with wire and solder. How to chose plated or unplated via when I export gerber files?
>
You don't.

There's no indication in the Gerber files as to whether the holes are
plated or not. Most board houses will plate them by default, or plate if
there's copper around it, but you can tell them not to in a separate
instruction.

I'm surprised you think the plating costs too much. Have you found a
board maker who charges per plated via? Usually, when people are doing
wired vias, it's because they're home etching or otherwise don't have
PTH capability. But if that were the case you wouldn't have asked.
Re: How to remove/add through hole plates on vias when I export gerber files to reduce the cost? [message #169085 is a reply to message #169075] Sun, 29 January 2017 14:56 Go to previous message
Enrico Miglino
Messages: 20
Registered: May 2015
Junior Member
Hello Dimitris,

is right as gerber export is just another way to represend your pcb layout, nothing else. So, what is in the original PCB it should be in the Gerber files.
He says:
> I'm surprised you think the plating costs too much. Have you found a
> board maker who charges per plated via? Usually, when people are doing
> wired vias, it's because they're home etching or otherwise don't have
> PTH capability.
Normally the PCB makers includes in the per-surface price of the PCB also a certain max number of vias but then they apply an extra fee. The reason is that after the photographic phase of the PCB building vias (and generally holes) are processed through the drill phase that costs in terms of drill tools and machinery usage.

So Dimitris I suggest first of all to check if your PCB producer has explicitly fixed this limit and know what it is to be sure if you are exceeding or not.
To avoid vias a trick that I have set when I mill the first prototype by myself with my router. Try following the following steps after your PCB layiout is complete (including VIAS, through the hole components routing etc.)

* Make a copy - just for production - of the same layout to jeep the original error-free design safe
* On the copy, remove all the vias and force on both sides (where the wires change layer) a small SMD soldering pin.
* Save the copy and use this to export the Gerber files.

You will get a final PCB where instead of every VIA you have a small non-isolated solderable area. At this point you can provide to make holes by yourself and you are granted for the connectivity.

*Warning*: don't forget to set the SMD points at least 20% wider than the diameter of your drill tool to be sure of soldering the manually created vias.

Enrico

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