Mr. Lomax,

I, for one am very grateful you pushed to have the mechanical layers
available.  I have used at least one for most projects I have done with
99SE.

For example, it is very helpful to have an outline drawing of a fiddly
little box -into which a small card is to fit - available with mounting
details as a reference at all times.  I do my best to make my artpacks look
like artworks so this is a valuable aid to determining where things like
cables, connectors, dipsw banks should be to present the product to both
manufacturer and user in the best way.

The dimensioning utility is very useful although I have not yet found a way
to round & truncate the dimensions for clean printing or dxf export.  Can
this be done - I haven't tried very hard?  No-one seems to be that concerned
about hole sizes (e.g.:- generic in imperial - output required in mm) but I
personally would love a simple precision filter on hole sizes as well for
all the same reasons.

I also like being able to quickly create dxf output from a mechanical layer
for CNC gear such as lazer profile cutter for panel cutouts and the like.
Admittedly I have done this in the past just as well by exporting the entire
artpack into AutoCAD and building up from there, but excepting the rather
clunky snap behavior in Protel's block move, I believe it is actually much
faster to get it done with Protel mech'n'.

As we tend to use similar packaging for some projects, much of this work has
tended to become a collection of very useful templates which saves me hours
fiddling with calipers at the start of many projects.

Regards all,
Jim Parr.

----- Original Message -----
From: Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: Multiple recipients of list proteledausers
<[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Sunday, 18 February 2001 15:59
Subject: RE: [PROTEL EDA USERS]: Print Preview handling of Multilayer obj
ects.


> I found this message I had missed while I was travelling last year. I
think
> the matter was left in a less than satisfactory state....
>
> At 03:09 PM 12/19/00 -0800, Brad Velander wrote:
> >         Thanks for your input. I will have to look at possibly using the
> >mechanical layers and see how that will fit in my layer assignments. Not
the
> >best solution because it would utilize another layer for only Target use
but
> >at least there's now more then 4 of them.
>
> For informal projects, I put targets on Mech 1, which I have called the
> "Outline" layer, since I place a board outline there. Anything else which
> is to appear on all plots, such as the name of the board, etc., is placed
> on that layer, and I set up the gerber to plot Mech 1 on all layers. No
> additional layer is needed. For an informal fabrication drawing, any notes
> are placed on the Drill Drawing layer, as well as dimensions. Sometimes
> I've seen dimensions on the Outline layer, but I don't consider them
> necessary there...
>
> For more formal projects, I assign Mech 2 to a Format layer; it contains
> the drawing format, title block, etc. Mech 3 then becomes an Assembly
layer
> and Mech 4 a Fabrication layer. Mech 3 and 4 are plotted with Mech 2 on
all
> films instead of Mech 1.
>
> I typically import to a scratch PCB, and then copy to the design, the
Drill
> Drawing gerber to Mech 4, and I import Top Overlay and Top Padmaster plots
> to Mech 3. For Bottom Assembly, I mirror the Bottom versions of those
plots
> and place them next to the normal view. These plots will include the Mech
1
> info; I typically delete all of it except for the actual board outline
>
> I know that one service bureau, at least, has automated the process of
> making formal drawings, but I don't do so many of them that I have felt
> pushed to do so....
>
> While I lobbied fairly hard for Protel to add Mech layers, I don't recall
> having actually used one. In theory, it's really great to have these extra
> layers, and for complex projects it is practically essential (or more
> cumbersome workarounds could be used), but those complexities simply have
> not appeared on my desk since 99SE gave us the new layers.
>
> [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Abdulrahman Lomax
> P.O. Box 690
> El Verano, CA 95433
>
>
>
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