4 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2018 12:25 PM by phiet

    Exporting Assembly Information by DXF


      We may be outdated in our approach to creating PCB assembly drawings?


      We export DXF for component outlines Reference designators and Board outline to our drawing office to create assembly drawings, add notes, exploded views etc. However the DXF export from PADS VX.0 generates a number of layers even though we only export Assembly Top Text and Board Outline.

      This takes a while to open in Solid Works for our Drawing Office to manipulate, and they have to work through the layer structure to turn off layers that are irrelevant.

      It is easier in Solid Edge but this is now a defunct tool for our organisation.


      Do others create assembly drawings in a similar way and experience these issues?

      Are there tricks to improve the process?

      Are there better methods of generating assembly drawings without having to use PCB layout resource to manage the assembly drawing process and any modifications?

        • 1. Re: Exporting Assembly Information by DXF
          David Ricketts

          When you export DXF, use the "flat" option. This reduces the layer count drastically. The "standard" export is actually the entire database in DXF format, which can be lightly manipulated by a 3rd party program and brought back into PADS as a complete database, but no development has been done on that aspect for many years. Uncheck any object you don't want in the DXF file, like Copper, Routes, and Attributes. There's still going to be a few layers you don't need, but it will be a vast improvement.


          I do my assembly drawings using a program called Blueprint, developed by former PADS employees. It's quite expensive, but does an excellent job as it imports the PADS database in ASC format, so all the information you need to document is available.

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          • 2. Re: Exporting Assembly Information by DXF

            David, thank you. Using the flat option does help although there are some strange anomalies! We have a defined assembly layer top and a defined layer assembly layer bottom. For the top assembly drawing we only want to export the assembly layer top and the board outline, but the dxf generated only shows the board outline unless the bottom outlines is selected too, then we get the top and bottom components, but we can work with this. What is proving more difficult is the bottom assembly text. In Solid Works our preferred tool for all mechanical matters does not mirror the text, Solid Edge does but  Solid Works is far less friendly in this respect. Changing the view in Pads to bottom view and exporting the dxf does not export the data as viewed. Regards Stuart.

            • 3. Re: Exporting Assembly Information by DXF


              We also use Blueprint for assemblies. But something to look at, Circuitworks will take a PADS ascii file and turn it into a 3D model in Solidworks. We use this for thermal and mechanical simulations as well as clearance checking. Not sure if text transfers for assemblies but worth checking into.


              • 4. Re: Exporting Assembly Information by DXF

                Do you try to look at new idx format with ECAD/MCAD - Circuitworks combinaison ? ECAD/MCAD is now free with VX.2.3