On 12:10 PM 2/04/2001 -0400, Andy Lintz said:
>I use Autocad for assembly drawings, and I also was plagued by huge files
>and long redraw times until I learned a trick.  Before exporting from Protel
>make a scratch copy of the board,  and then perform global edits on Tracks,
>Text, Designators, and Arcs that change the line width to 0.  This greatly
>reduces the file size and redraw time.  You also may want to change the
>linewidth of all Multilayer holes to 0 width in Autocad to get them to look
>a bit better.
>Andy Lintz
>PP Systems

This has been my big time saver as well - before exporting to any DXF/DWG I 
make everything 0 mil.

This has another *major* benefit that the CAD snap points work 
correctly.  A 10 mil wide track in Protel is made as a polygon in DXF/DWg 
which is no good for snapping to.  You do need to make sure that the centre 
of you mech layer tracks is your PCB edge etc.

Also, I seem to recall that pads and holes etc are rendered in a very 
inefficient method - shown as filled (I do not know a better way of doing a 
filled circle in DXF/DWG mind you). To fix, once imported in my CAD 
package, I delete almost all the pads and vias - this makes a big 
difference.  I will often place an arc on a mech layer around critical 
holes in the PCB - to shown the holes size and location and then make sure 
"export pads and via holes" is not checked - this helps keep the file size 
down.

I would like the option to export everything in draft mode to prevent this 
blow-up in file size and slow down in redraw.  Everything would be exported 
as 0 thickness and pads/vias etc would not be filled (just arcs showing the 
copper annulus and hole size).

Ian Wilson


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