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Importing a footprint/symbol from a demo board

Question asked by jr3robin on Jan 24, 2018
Latest reply on Jan 25, 2018 by cathy_terwedow

Hi all,


I'm new to pads and am slowly working out how to make it do what I need. My latest issue was taking a footprint and symbol for a connector from a demo board I found online (given as .pcb, .sch files) and placing them in my central library. I found a way to do this, but I'm hoping someone can tell me a better way??  I wrote what I did below (hopefully as an example of what not to do...).


My method:


The .pcb file can be opened directly in PADS layout (or just by doubleclicking on the file). To save a footprint to the library then click on the component and right-click and select the option “Save to Library".  Select the Part Type and Decal and the partition you want to save it to. Unfortunately there seems to be some error and this cannot be seen in the correct folder in PADS Library Tools (this is sorted out in a later step).


Next open the schematic in PADS Designer by selecting File--Import--PADS Logic. Then in the schematics, select Add, and find the file. Then click Translate. This will open the schematic inside the file (note that it will make changes to your project, so you maybe do this in an empty project).


To generate symbols in a schematic sheet (that is already created) in the central library then you need to run Tools--Package and then package the symbols. This will make a new partition in the central library with the parts and symbols (no decals).


It seems to be impossible (I tried a lot of things…) to properly link an existing part to the decal (it is ok for the symbol). The decal can be seen in the part editor (and Library Manager), but does not appear in the decal list in the Library Tools. To correct this, create a new part in the PADS Library Tools, then select the decal and symbol. You need to put pin information (this can be obtained by opening the symbol, and exporting the pins into excel .csv, then copying the column and pasting it directly). When the component is created, then the decal becomes visible also in the Library Tools partition. Now the part can be placed in the schematic.


Despite everything now giving no errors, there was an error when updating the layout with the changes because it wouldn’t load the decal into the database. It seems to be related that the board wasn’t set to max layers, which can be changed by going to Setup--Layer Definition and then select Max Layers (note that this apparently can’t be undone, so back up the file before doing this).