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Accurate CNC - Software Comparison

Acurate PhCNC Software Versus Others

In the last two decades of PCB design and manufacturing the tool that carried the board information around the world has evolved. We are talking about RS274-X format or so called Extended Gerber.
It is #1 "must have" for any PCB prototyping software to be able to properly interpret RS274-X files. Lately many of the design platforms have adopted the new features of extended Gerber and include them in the output (so called post process files).
The problem comes with the relatively new usage of "macros", ready made shapes with a very short description designed for repeated use (like a rubber stamp) and especially “macros” with parameters that include size, rotation, modifications etc. Our tests may look like a simple commercial for our product but they are real and true.
We include all the necessary information in order to allow anyone interested to be able to prove it for themselves.
Aiming to show the level of our software PhCNC in the processing of Gerber files, we produced a number of tests and compared it with CircuitCAM/CircuitPRO (LPKF), IsoPro (T-TECH), Design Pro (MITS) and others.
The results are visualized through a series of screens and shown as a summary in the table below. All of the used software is available for download from the sites of the relative companies (demo or trial versions).
Applied are also links for download of the software and the Gerber files themselves.

Summary Table:

Information regarding the tests

Gerber standard RS274-X is de facto industrial standard with a big variety of possibilities. Actually, only the latest CAD / CAM systems use some of the new functionalities, but this doesn’t mean that your prototyping software shouldn't have them right.
PhCNC successfully manages all Extended Gerber files, generated with any CAD system following the RS274-X specifications.

The Results:

Test #1 - Gerber file with macro apertures: gerber_test1.zip
The used macro apertures are without parameters (the most simple case!)

PhCNC Demo (Accurate CNC) : Excellent Results!

PhCNC Test1

CircuitCAM PRO (lpkf) : Excellent Results!

CircuitCAM PRO Test1

CircuitPRO (lpkf) : Excellent Results!

CircuitPro Test1

IsoPro (t-tech) : Fail!
Note: May be for some reasons the gerber is interpretate as drill file !?

IsoPro Test1

Design PRO 1.1.12.2 (mits) : Fail!

DesignPro Test1

PCAM (everprecision) : Fail!

PCAM Test1

CopperCAM (galaad) : Fail!

CopperCAM Test1

PCBmill : Fail!

PCBmill Test1

DeskPCB (deskcnc) : Fail!

DeskPCB Test1

DeskCNC : Fail!

DeskCNC Test1

Test #2 - Simple gerber file 1: gerber_test2.zip

PhCNC Demo (Accurate CNC) : Excellent results!

PhCNC Test2

CircuitCAM (plkf) : Excellent results!

CircuitCAM Test2

CircuitPRO v1.4 (plkf) : Excellent results!

CircuitPRO v1.4 Test2

IsoPro 2.7 (t-tech) : Excellent results!
Note: Unfortunately without the key it was not possible to test the insulation!

IsoPro 2.7 Test2

Design Pro 1.1.12.2 (mits) : Good results (1 problem)!

Design Pro 1.1.12.2 Test2

Wrong insulation paths

Design Pro 1.1.12.2 Test2

PCAM (everprecision) : Fail!

PCAM Test2

CopperCAM : Fail!

CopperCAM Test2

DeskCNC/DeskPCB (deskcnc) : Fail!

CopperCAM Test2

PCBMill (CNCdrive) : Fail!

CopperCAM Test2

Test #3 - Simple Gerber file2: gerber_test3.zip

PhCNC Demo (Accurate CNC) : Excellent results!

PhCNC Test3

CircuitCAM (lpkf) : Excellent results!

CircuitCAM Test3

CircuitPRO v1.4 (lpkf) : Excellent results!

CircuitPRO v1.4 Test3

IsoPro (t-tech) : Good results!

IsoPro Test3

Design Pro 1.1.12.2 (mits) : Excellent results!

Design Pro 1.1.12.2 Test3

PCAM (everprecision) : Fail!

PCAM Test3

DeskCNC/DeskPCB (deskcnc) : Fail!

DeskCNC/DeskPCB Test3

Coppercam (galaad) : Fail!

CopperCAM Test3

Some of the errors:

CopperCAM Test3

PCBMill (cncdrive) : Fail!

PCBMill Test3

Test #4 - Gerber file with macro apertures with parameters: gerber_test4.zip
The most difficult test: the file contains more than 25 different macro appetures!

PhCNC Demo (Accurate CNC) : Excellent results!

PhCNC Test4

CircuitCAM 5.0 (lpkf) : Fail!

CircuitCAM 5.0 Test4

CircuitCAM 6.1 (lpkf) : Fail!

CircuitCAM 6.1 Test4

CircuitPRO 1.4 (lpkf) : Good results (1 missing aperture)!

CircuitPRO 1.4 Test4

IsoPRO (t-tect) : Fail!

IsoPRO Test4

Design PRO 1.1.12.2 (mits) : Fail!

DesignPRO 1.1.12.2 Test4

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