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How can I check spacing between components using only Gerber files?

Gerber data is "unintelligent" (simply X,Y coordinates) and does not contain any component information (like ODB++ and IPC-2581).  The gerber file shown on your screen capture has components merely drawn as individual trace segments (no component information).  If you perform "Component check" on plain Gerber files, FAB 3000 cannot find any component errors since there are no defined components (only traces).

If you're interested, you can generate components from Gerber files using FAB 3000.

However if you happen to have an IPC-D-356 netlist file (which is typically included with Gerber files for Net Compare and bare-board testing), FAB 3000 can easily generate centroids from that netlist file and determine spacing.  Here's a quick tutorial showing me perform the following:

  1. Load Gerber and IPC Netlist file (using Auto Load...)
  2. Use the command "Convert External IPC Netlist to Component" (located in menu: Assembly / Convert External IPC Netlist to Component...)
  3. Note: Once the components have been generated I may perform component distance checks and more.
  4. Perform Component Checks (using DFM Check)...

Note:  There was no sound in this tutorial, and I purposely made the distance check between components large to show errors.

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