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HQ NextPCB Introduces New PCB Gerber Viewer: HQDFM Online Lite Edition

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HQ NextPCB is proud to announce the release of HQDFM Online Gerber Viewer and DFM Analysis Tool, free for everyone. With HQDFM, NextPCB hopes to empower designers with the DFM tools and knowledge to perfect their designs as early as possible, where problems are the least costly.

The PCB manufacturing industry has and still relies on the Ucamco Gerber standard to communicate PCB production to manufacturers, which are often located overseas. While the 2D image format overcomes language barriers, the language of PCB Design for Manufacture is still ambiguous to many inexperienced designers and the division between PCB design and PCB manufacture remains an expensive obstacle leading to missed deadlines, hit-and-miss runs and quick-to-fail products.

“There are still many designers that send off their production files without any knowledge of what the files contain. Resolving issues with the fab house becomes a challenge for both sides without the appropriate tools and knowledge to debug the design, which is something we hope to change for everyone’s benefit,” said HQ NextPCB CEO, Alex Chen.

HQDFM Gerber Viewer is a completely free, online tool for displaying and reviewing PCB Gerber files and OBD++ files. It incorporates HQDFM’s Design for Manufacture (DFM) algorithms which are based on NextPCB’s 15 years of high-reliability manufacturing expertise and current industry standards.

Unlike EDA software’s built-in DRC checks, HQDFM allows designers to navigate and analyze the production files and check for design issues that may impact manufacturing or cause long-term reliability issues. With HQDFM, designers are given a manufacturer’s perspective and have valuable insights into how they can improve their designs.

Based on the free desktop version, the cross-platform, online HQDFM makes the easy-to-use Gerber Viewer function and DFM analysis available to everyone, including Mac and Linux users with no download or installation and no sign-up. Anyone can freely upload PCB production files to the online interface and view their design in seconds.

HQDFM supports X2 and RS-274x PCB Gerber formats, Excellon drill files and OBD++ files and works with Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Opera browsers.

Features:

– Check for over 20 Design for Manufacture issues

– Navigate your PCB layer-by-layer

– Free downloadable DFM Report for more detailed analysis

– Easy, one-click ordering with HQ NextPCB

– Absolutely free, no sign-up or obligation

What does HQDFM check?

Design for Manufacturability – whether PCB elements are within the capabilities of most manufacturers in the industry, from low cost quickturn services to advanced services:

– Trace width/spacing

– Drill hole/slot sizes

– Clearances to copper and board outline elements

– Special drill holes

– Solder mask openings and more

Design for Cost – detect production difficulties that may cause costs or lead times to increase:

– Drill hole fees

– Testing fees

– Surface finish fees

– Small trace widths/spacings

– Special drill hole fees

Design for Reliability – detect problems that may not affect production but impact the normal operation or lifetime of the boards:

– Shorts/opens

– Missing solder mask dams or openings

– Missing/extra pads, drill holes, annular rings

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