Here are my notes on this. I use it often. You might need to work through the ASCII files to update an existing board shape.
This is from tech note mg26104. NOTE that this procedure only works in PADS with <File><Import>(DXF); it DOES NOT WORK with the (Drafting Toolbar)<Import DXF File>.
- Create a layer within AutoCAD entitled ‘BOARD_OUTLINE_00’.
- Draw your board outline using closed Polylines in AutoCAD, assign a real width to the polylines.
- Select the board outline, and within the Properties of AutoCAD, assign it to the BOARD_OUTLINE_00 layer.
- If you do not have a cutout, proceed to Step #9.
- Create a layer within AutoCAD entitled BOARD_CUTOUT_00.
- Draw your cutout(s)using closed Polylines in AutoCAD.
- Select the cutout(s), and within the Properties of AutoCAD, assign the cutout(s) to the BOARD_CUTOUT_00 layer.
- Select the board outline and cutout(s), and make a Block called BOARD_1.
- Save the file as a DXF format file and import into a blank PowerPCB design file.
how would I work thru the ASCII files for an existing board shape? I don't want to re-route the entire board...
Take your new shape and import the DXF into a new design. ASCII out that and you'll see what the board outline section looks like.
ASCII out your present fully routed design. Open it with an editor and find the board outline section and replace it with your new section for the board outline.
Import that ASCII and you'll have a fully routed board with the new shape.
Open a new pads layout. Import your dxf board outline. Convert the shape to a 2D line. (Note the layer it is on, and need to be a continuous shape).
Select the shape. Copy it to the clipboard CTRL-C
Now open your routed design. zoom out as needed, then CTRL-V to copy the clipboard 2D shape to the new design.
Position the 2D shape over the current board outline. Delete the Board outline. Select the 2D shape and select properties, change it from 2D Line to Board outline.
The other posts have done a good job explaining how to get a new DXF file loaded, but I want to correct an assumption you and many others have made.
You can make any board outline, no matter how intricate, just using PADS. It may not be easy, it may not be fast, but the tools are there if you want to learn them. In fact, the latest versions of PADS has improved these tools considerably. Of course, using DXF import is a preferred method, but don't short-change PADS.