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September 9, 2019 13:44

Are all network layers routed automatically on Gerber exports?

I need all layers in my pcb design to be integrated into one board.  When I view the pcb in 3D View, I get one board for every 2 layers.  Will this effect the Gerber specs any in production?

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September 10, 2019 07:52

On boards of more than two layers, the 3D view hides the insulating layer that is actually present between each each of the two-layer "boards" shown in the stack.

It does this to make it easier to see the actual copper in the inner layers. If you set the exploded view gap in the 3D settings to a value like 1000 mil, you can easily see the patterns on the inner layers as you rotate the board. The top half of the attached image shows the exploded view of the chipKIT Max32 sample project included with DS PCB, which is a 4-layer board.

You can also uncheck the substrates of each pair of layers in the 3D view settings, so you just see the copper, without the board in between. The bottom half of the attached image shows the same sample board with the substrate displays unchecked (turned off). This view can get a bit more confusing visually, especially in areas where there is little copper on either layer of the pair, like the vicinity of the power connector on the sample project. It can be useful, though, when checking for things like areas underneath an RF module that need to be clear of copper.

The substrates that DS PCB always hides (the ones between rather than within the pairs of layers) would just be in the way of viewing the inner copper layers in DS PCB.
(They could be relevant in a higher-end package that supported buried vias, or fancy things like embedded resistors and capacitors. But if you are working on boards that really need those features, you are probably in a high-volume or specialized niche where the cost of a higher-end layout package is the least of your worries.)

As Boss said, though, the 3D view feature is there as an aid to visualization.
It is the actual set of gerber files that you submit to a manufacturer that determine which layers will be present on the final board. It never hurts to include an explicit explanation to your manufacturer as to how many layers, the order of the layers, and any special requirements such as plating thickness on each layer, substrate thicknesses, etc.

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September 10, 2019 07:52

There is a good FAQ on this https://designspark.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004812433-How-do-I-produce-Gerber-files-
When you use the manufacturing outputs to produce your plot files (one file for each layer) each one you tick or check will be produced.
Check these with a free Gerber viewer to ensure each layer is as expected.
The 3D view is just an aid/visualization.

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