1 2 First Previous 21 Replies Latest reply on Jan 29, 2018 6:16 AM by cathy_terwedow

    3D PCB


      OK started playing around with the 3D PCB capabilities in VX1.2

      I am trying it currently with a net list (Orcad) driven design so libraries are PADS library type, not a central library.

      I do plan on moving to DxDesigner & a Central Library.

      Just trying to set up having models linked to decals.

      Question where is this 3D Model data stored?

      Because instructions to use this functionality basically have you editing a decal from within the PCB layout, so how & where does this data get stored.

      I can't seem to find anywhere anything related to the few step files I associated with a few decals.

      Can I assume this would be different if this was doen on a design using a central library?

      Because as I see it right now, unless I am missing something, I would need to redo the link with parts in each individual board?

      Is that really correct? If so boy did Mentor miss the boat.

      Also if I then export a step file out to bring into Mech CAD tool non of the holes are there, again am I missing something or did Mentor miss on his too.

      Really need to get to the bottom of this.

        • 1. Re: 3D PCB

          I don't have 1.2 installed on this computer right now, so I can't give you the menu commands, but you can point to a central location for step files, and the links between PADS Decals and STEP models are kept in a database that is used on all designs.  You don't have to reconnect decals and models for each board. 


          Once you are in Layout, the xDx Central library isn't used, the decal information is stored in PADS libraries

          • 2. Re: 3D PCB

            Thanks Pete OK so it is global, where is this database? ie as long an anyone that has a library with step model set, hey will see them?

            There are no other pointers that need to be set up when other users want to see 3D view of other boards using same library?

            Thing is also they are now showing all the feature of the board except holes, those need to be there too.

            When using Beta & discussing these features on forum I was more under the impression they were going to set it up such that

            whether looking at the library through Lib tool or just opening the part library there would have been a place right there to define

            what 3D model was to be used for each part and then give the ability like they did to align up the model with decal. I haven't used it

            enough yet but it just seems having to go into a design to then be able to modify/add/align models was not the way to go. Would have been

            much better approach making more sense right from the library part/decal. In other words the 3D view should be enabled right in decal editor

            and the definition of what model should be defined in the part editor. Seems to me the only logical way to do this.

            • 3. Re: 3D PCB

              From a previous question.


              "With regard to the model assignment and re-use for future designs, PADS 3D is able to take advantage to the assignments already done.  “Update Library” allows to save your current assignment/alignment information to the Central Library for integrated projects, and to the Reuse location for net list projects. It will be automatically picked up for new projects and also can be updated in current designs by the “Update Models” functionality."

              Re: PADSvx12 - 3D thru hole parts issue

              • 4. Re: 3D PCB

                The holes are a miss. Read this thread. 3D Export of holes

                • 5. Re: 3D PCB

                  Yup remember this, but that was really more for IDF out, would have thought Mentor would have improved this by now!

                  With all the new 3D capability.

                  • 6. Re: 3D PCB
                    David Ricketts

                    I had these same questions, and spent a week or so back and forth with technical support to get the answers, and am still waiting for some, so here's what I know now.

                    • The Library for 3D mappings in the netlist mode is in your Reuse directory, and that's setup from your Options/Global/File Locations of Layout.
                    • The Library is not a single file, but a group of sub-folders and files.
                    • Your local mappings are in the directory that contains the PCB, in a folder that gets created with the same name as the PCB.
                    • Local Mappings are written to the Library with the Update Library command in 3D View.
                    • To update other designs with existing mappings, use the Update Models command in 3D View. The mapping must be in the Library, and part name and decal of a component must match.
                    • There exists as of the date of this post a bug with Library mappings that affects the exported step file.
                    • Board cutouts of any shape will create an opening in the board outline step file, so adding circular cutouts where your mounting holes are are a workaround.
                    • Parts with a single hole, like mounting holes, that are non-eco registered will create holes in the board outline step file.
                    • I was told that adding a "HOLE" attribute to a part (or maybe the decal?) will create a hole in the board step file, but I don't know how that works yet.
                    • I was also told of a "FIDUCIAL" attribute, but I don't know how that works either, and has nothing to do with your questions.
                    • 7. Re: 3D PCB

                      Guess what I have just been thru same path late yesterday and was about to post results, but your response pretty much sums it up.

                      We had some discussion over holes and it does not seem to me Mentor will be adding functionality to include all holes in design in any 3D output.

                      Vias I can understand. Possibly can understand all thru holes within parts, as you do seem them when lining up solid models and the Pads do come thru

                      in 3D output, so I guess that is OK. I still think the whole hole thing is a bit hokey still I mean the only way hole will automatically export 3D are non-eco

                      however if you need a plated mounting hole it really needs to be eco if you want connectivity to update. So the whole idea of adding these extra attributes is well hokey, I still say just export all holes period and be done with it. But I know Mentor is still working to improve the 3D functions & it is the first release

                      of this level of capability. I know they are working on it, but the whole library situation needs work in both flows period, not quite there yet. Also the update or change to a mapped model in netlist flow is a bit more cumbersome than Integrated flow like you say bunch of files in bunch of folders.

                      • 8. Re: 3D PCB

                        I just added the HOLE attribute to the a single pin ECO part and the hole is exported to the step file.

                        • 9. Re: 3D PCB

                          When you add the attribute, do you set the value to the diameter of the hole?

                          • 10. Re: 3D PCB



                            Just leave the value blank. After going back into the part the value does gets automatically populated  at some point. Maybe this is done at step export.

                            • 11. Re: 3D PCB


                              • 12. Re: 3D PCB

                                I am having the same problem with Plated Mounting Holes that are a Part and need to be in the Schematic to see connectivity. My idea is to make a Donuts Custom Pad. In the middle of this pad I place a Plated Mounting hole with the correct drill size and a little bit of copper around the hole. And give both of
                                them the Same Net (Net-1). Like these on CAD-Mech sides they just need to delete the part that we get from the placement outline 2.5D, the hole seems to be fine.

                                • 13. Re: 3D PCB
                                  David Ricketts

                                  Adding the HOLE attribute to the part will create the hole in the board for the 3D file. No extra work is needed.

                                  • 14. Re: 3D PCB

                                    We are using Xpedition Enterprise Flow, i am not sure where i can add the HOLE attribute. Maybe you can send a Printscreen where you have found this attribute, maybe it is only there if you have PADS?


                                    Thx in advance

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