13 Replies Latest reply on Aug 15, 2013 5:41 AM by jduquette

    Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks

    chrisjs

      Can anyone tell me why, when exporting an .asc file to use in Solidworks, that all is seen in the board outline and not the populated pcb design?  I recently updated to PADS 9.4 but also tried it on our previous 9.3 version and have the same results.  Would there be something else that may've been overlooked when generating it?...it's an easy process so i don't know what that could be.  Our mechanical team is saying that their forums are pointing to "create the .asc file in an earlier PADS version" but I don't know of a way to do this.  Could there be something on the Solidworks side of things that may not allow them to view the full design anymore?

      Thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
          jduquette

          When you use the IDF export tool it generates two files, *.emn and *.emp.  One has the board outline, and one has the parts.

          • 2. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
            yan_killy

            Chris,

             

            I think your issue is on SolidWorks end of it. If you need an older version on ASCII, in ASCII Output dialog you can select 'Format' drop down arrow and select the version you want. Do you know the version?

             

            Regards, Yan 

            • 3. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
              chrisjs

              i am unsure of your comment.  i only see one .asc file when it's generated, not .emn and .emp...or is this something that is seen when imported into Solidworks? 

               

              and i need to restate the fact of generating the .asc file in different versions.  i recal now that the version can be selected when  going through the process.

               

              and i've always been selecting "all" and letting the drafter determine what he/she wants from the .asc file but is there an issue with this?  too much info perhaps?  i'm reaching here since i don't know whats changed in the last couple of months to not let us view the .asc file like we used to.  the older generated files still seem to be imported into solidoworks fine still...just generating new is the issue.

              • 4. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
                jduquette

                <File><Export> then select IDF (not ASC) from the dropdown list.  This will make emn and emp files in the IDF 3.0 format.

                • 5. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
                  chrisjs

                  i do not have IDF as an option in PADS Layout.

                  • 6. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
                    chrisjs

                    I have yet to find a reason why this happens seldomly.  Another event has happened where the .ascii file did not work for the Solidworks users to create a 3D rendering. 

                     

                    Attached is the error message from Solidworks, perhaps someone has a guess on why?  I appreciate all the help!

                    • 7. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
                      jduquette

                      So I'm still curious, and with over 14000 views on this thread, I guess other people are too!

                       

                      So how are you interfacing with SoldWorks without the IDF option?  What version of PADS are you running?

                       

                      I always use the IDF option and it works well.  Once I understand more about the process you are using I may be able to help.  Are there any exception reports generated in PADS?  That may have a clue to what is getting corrupted.  You may need to cut some text out of the file.

                      • 8. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
                        chrisjs

                        Perhaps you can inform me more on the IDF option.  We do not have this in our package as it seems since it isn't in my drop down selection. 

                         

                        We've always sent the mechanical group the .ascii file type and they have done the legwork on making the 3d rendering in Solidworks (version 2012).  I am currently running PADS 9.4.  I have also sent them a .dxf filetype but they most prefer the .ascii. 

                        • 9. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
                          jduquette

                          IDF is included with the ES package or an option for the lower level packages.  I select IDF when I export and it generates a *.emn and *.emp file that imports directly to SolidWorks.  It still needs a bit of processing in Solidworks as there doesn't seem to be a clean translation as PADS doesn't define STP files for the components (like Altium does), so my ME still has to do some post processing to get a file that looks real.

                           

                          I'd like to see the process they use to convert the .asc file.  Unless they automated the process it sure seems like a lot of work.  That might justify the cost of the IDF option.

                           

                          Mentor - can't you just define an attribute that sets the STP file (and orientation and offset) that gets passed to the IDF output?  Is it more complicated than that?

                          • 10. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
                            chrisjs

                            For our Solidworks users to use the .ascii file, they have Circuitworks do the conversion.  I was told that it was pretty simple. 

                             

                            But for whatever reasons, there seems to be 1 out of 15 .ascii files or so that cause an error and the 3D rendering cannot be converted.

                            • 11. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
                              chrisjs

                              Does anyone have an idea on this issue i still have?  The latest error from Solidworks/Circuitworks is attached.  I'm not certain if there is a particular part in these designs that has the particular conversion problem?  Could there be an issue with some attribute that is in the incorrect type/format???

                               

                              Again, today i went in Layout and performed File/Export and it instantly is ready to save as an "ASCII (.asc)" file type.  From there i select "all" and it is pushed through to where i saved it. 

                               

                              I'm not sure why some files convert and others don't...frustrating.  And i'm sure to obtain this other method of converting involves our license to be upgraded (if you call it that in all cases) to an ES or LS package.  Currently we have an old suite (065 i believe).

                              • 12. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
                                kbak

                                Hi

                                 

                                If some .asc files are read correctly into Solidworks and some are not, then I guees the problem is in the Solidworks end.

                                You can try exporting the .asc file from PADS in older formats and see if this helps.

                                 

                                We are using the IDF interface when sending data to CATIA.

                                But this is not without problems due to lack of functionality in CATIA.

                                 

                                regards

                                Klaus

                                • 13. Re: Problem with .asc file when exporting to Solidworks
                                  jduquette

                                  As that error is from Solidworks I agree that the problem is on their end.  It looks like SW is attempting to convert text into a number and fails.  I suggest you try a SW forum and see if anyone there knows the fix.

                                   

                                  If you want to continue debugging this from the PADS end, I suggest you start to parse your ASC file and see what line is causing the problem.  Then you may be able to find a workaround in PADS; as long as you avoid some construct you can translate properly.