What is Excellon Drill File

By Bester PCBA

Last Updated: 2023-12-11

Table of Contents

What is Excellon Drill File

An Excellon Drill File is a specific file format used in the PCB industry for generating instructions for drilling and routing machines manufactured by Excellon. It is considered an industry standard and is a subset of the RS274D format. This file format provides precise instructions for creating holes and routes on the board.

The Excellon Drill File is typically stored as a text file and consists of a series of commands, each written on a separate line. It may include a header section, denoted by the commands “M48” and “M95”, although the header is optional. The body section of the file contains the main commands for drilling and routing.

There are two different formats within the Excellon Drill File, known as FMAT 1 and FMAT 2. These formats have different commands in the body section, depending on the specific requirements of the drilling and routing machines.

The file format specifies the tool sizes, coordinates, and other parameters necessary for the drilling and routing operations. Each drill operation is represented by a command starting with the letter “T” followed by a number, indicating the tool number. The drill sizes are specified using the letter “C” followed by the drill size.

The Excellon Drill File is widely used in conjunction with the Sieb & Meyer drill format, as both formats serve the same purpose and have similar structures. It ensures compatibility and consistency between different PCB design software and CNC drilling machines.

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