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HQNextPCB: HQDFM Gerber Viewer and DFM Analysis Tool

HQDFM Gerber Viewer is recently launched browser based tool by HQNextPCB. It helps hardware engineers not only view their PCB Gerber Files easily without any software installation hassles but also do a free DFM analysis on the files to discover if there are any design for manufacture issues which the engineer need to consider before sending the Gerber data to the manufacturer for prototyping.

It incorporates HQDFM’s Design for Manufacture (DFM) algorithms based on NextPCB’s 15 years of high-reliability manufacturing expertise and current industry standards.

Long back I have created a blog on Gerber Viewers, you can read it here

A Gerber viewer is a software application that can be used to view and inspect Gerber files. Gerber files are a standard format for storing PCB design data, and they are used by PCB manufacturers to produce PCBs.

Gerber viewers can be used to view all of the layers of a PCB design, including the copper layers, solder mask layers, and silkscreen layers. They can also be used to measure distances, check for errors, and generate reports.

Here are some of the benefits of using a Gerber viewer:

If you are designing PCBs, it is a good idea to have a Gerber viewer installed on your computer. Gerber viewers are an essential tool for verifying PCB design data and generating manufacturing documentation.

File Format & Browser Support for HQDFM Gerber Viewer

HQDFM Gerber Viewer supports X2 and RS-274x PCB Gerber formats, Excellon drill files and OBD++ files.

It works well with all popular web browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.

Advantage of Browser based tool is there is installation required, anyone can use whether they have Windows, Linux or Mac OS. If any updates will be there in the future, user need not to go through any software update procedures.

How HQDFM Gerber Viewer and DFM Analysis Tool is better?

EDA software’s built-in DRC checks are typically more basic and only check for violations of the design rules that have been defined in the software. This can be helpful for identifying simple errors, but it may not be enough to catch all potential problems.

HQDFM offers a number of advantages over EDA software’s built-in DRC checks, including:

Overall, HQDFM is a more powerful and comprehensive design review tool than EDA software’s built-in DRC checks. It is a good option for PCB designers who want to ensure that their designs are manufacturable and reliable.

Features of HQDFM Gerber Viewer

There are various parameters which this HQDFM Gerber Viewer tool checks

Design for Manufacturability

Whether PCB elements are within the capabilities of most manufacturers in the industry, from low-cost quick-turn services to advanced services:

Design for Cost

Detect production difficulties that may cause costs or lead times to increase:

Design for Reliability

Detect problems that may not affect production but impact the normal operation or lifetime of the boards:

Tested my ESP32 Programmer Files with HQDFM Gerber Viewer

I zipped my esp32 programmer gerber files and uploaded on to HQDFM tool’s page and with in few seconds I was able to see my board.

From the left side panel one can quickly enable disable layer of interest. Very handy tool to quickly check the Gerber files.

No only that It quickly analyzed for DFM and gave a report. It highlights both warnings and ricks so that designer can take action on these points before releasing the Gerber data for production.

I found this tool quite interesting although I would have liked more if they have given the report on browser window itself and with an option when I click on the issue it takes me to the area on the PCB that it would have been very very clear where the problem is on PCB board. I thing the tool developers must be working on the feedbacks they will be receiving from all over the world and in the future we will see much more advanced options.

I remember they had this option in their earlier desktop version so I am guessing they will implement that feature here as well in the future.

If you are excited please give this tool a try.

Try HQDFM Gerber Viewer and DFM Analysis Tool for Free

If you have any further questions about their tool or service they offer, please reach out to them at Still, Here’s the link to their PCBA Service Page.

I hope you found this blog useful.

I am currently working as an embedded systems design consultant and helping companies build custom embedded products, develop test automation solution for their PCB or complete product.

If you have any feedback about the blog, you can share in the comments below or you can also contact me directly.

Read more interesting articles on Embedded Systems Design.

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