How to Convert to GBR Using Raster to Vector Conversion

If you are involved in designing or handling printed circuit boards (PCBs), you probably come across the Gerber format frequently. Currently used as an actual standard in the PCB industry, the GBR extension is attached to files that contain images and descriptions of various board data, including layers, solder masks, electrical connections, drilling data etc.

GBR are vector files and converting to them can be a problematic process in case of some input file formats. Converting another vector to GBR usually implies getting unfilled areas, which is not what you want when sending your PCB plan to print. For this reason, when converting to GBR with reaConverter’s latest edition, the software will first rasterize the input vector image — a process which implies filling all closed area with black — before vectorizing the image again as a valid GBR.

The raster to vector conversion is included by default in the conversion to GBR process because it ensures the resulting files will be operational. But in some specific cases, users prefer to customize the conversion process and opt for converting directly from vector to vector. In this case they can disable the “Create GBR using raster to vector conversion” option. The output file, however, may happen to be invalid in this case.

How does it work?

Load one or more image files you intend to convert to GBR.

reaConverter can help you handle batch conversions easier by including a drag-and-drop tool and an Advanced file select option. The latter lets you automatically select a number of files from a folder according to their size or extension.

Edit Images

In case any adjustment needs to be done to the input files, reaConverter offers several actions under the Edit images tab.

Here you can rotate, crop or use other suitable options, whose effect you can check in real time by clicking the Preview box.

GBR Saving Settings

The conversion to GBR automatically includes a raster-to-vector stage, as this is the safest way to create a valid GBR. But if you prefer to convert directly from vector to vector, go to Menu → Saving settings → Format saving settings

Click the GBR tab and uncheck the box near “Create GBR using raster to vector conversion”.

You can also reach this location by placing the pointer on the GBR button from the lower part of the window and then clicking the Settings icon from its upper left corner.

Saving Options

In the Saving options tab, pick the location for the resulting GBR images.

Finally, pick GBR from buttons placed in the Convert to section, on the lower part of the window.

Then simply press Start!

Video Tutorial

Advanced users can convert to GBR with command line tool or DLL in manual, automated or scheduled mode. You are welcome to contact our technical support when you have any questions about reaConverter.