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I'm trying to understand the difference between the vias and plated through-holes in these reference Gerber files. On layer 3, I don't understand why there are so many holes (vias)?.

Why are some holes on layer 3 and the NC drill not on the other layers?

And the other holes in the NC drill that don't appear on any of the other layers, what are they? Vias? (I can see them in the final render.)

Layer 1 Layer 1 Layer 2 Layer 2 Layer 3 Layer 3 Layer 4 Layer 4 Layer thru-hole NC drill/thru-hole

Final PCB top render

final2 PCB bottom render

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Vias usually are played through holes. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Nov 12 '19 at 16:02
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Why are some holes on layer 3 and the NC drill not on the other layers?

I think they are there but you can't see them because copper floods over them i.e. they don't have thermal reliefs that make it easy to see them.

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Layer 3 has an "island" in the middle of it, presumably for power distribution. Therefore, any of the vias that are intended to short the ground planes of the other layers together must be isolated within that island, which is why you see the extra dots there.

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