What is Drill File (Excellon Drill File)

By Bester PCBA

Last Updated: 2023-11-27

What is Drill File (Excellon Drill File)

A Drill File, also known as an Excellon Drill File, is a specific file format for communicating drilling and routing instructions to machines manufactured by Excellon. It is considered an industry standard and is a subset of the RS274D format.

The Excelon drill file format consists of a series of commands written in a text file, with each command on a separate line. The file typically includes a header section, starting with the command M48 and ending with the command M95, although the header section is optional. The body section of the file contains the actual commands for drilling and routing.

There are two different formats within the Excellon Drill File format, known as FMAT 1 and FMAT 2, which have different commands in the body section of the file. These commands specify parameters such as hole locations, sizes, and tooling information.

The drill file serves as a communication medium between PCB design software and drilling and routing machines. It provides instructions to the machines on where to drill holes and how to route the PCB traces. The file format is compatible with other formats such as Gerber through conversion utilities, allowing for interoperability between different machines and software.

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