On 04:46 PM 2/04/2001 -0700, Dennis Saputelli said:
>it works just as well to do this in acad
>i delete all the mask layers (saves a lot of redraw time) and then...
>EXPLODE ALL, this turns all the polylines into lines
>
>lines and tracks are then snappable and the file gets lots smaller
>
><..snip..>
>Dennis Saputelli

I agree about mask layers and other unused layers (paste etc) but I do not 
agree that everything can be done as well in ACAD as getting the export 
from Protel right...

A polyline in ACAD that simulates a line with thickness in Protel has 
different snap characteristics than a 0 mil wide track exported from Protel.

A line with thickness exported from Protel, exploded to lines will have 
vertex snap points at the outer edge of the Protel line - not the 
centre.  I would state that for most people (and certainly for all my 
designs) that the centre of a mech line in Protel is the reference line - 
not an edge.  So, with a polyline or even exploded lines that simulate a 
Protel-line-with-nonzero-thickness, snapping to a vertex in ACAD will, most 
likely, give a dimension error. You could set up to snap to the middle of 
the cap segment of the polyline but I have had problems with this due to 
the way the DXF/DWG export attempts to simulate the line end-cap.  Also, 
when you are dealing with dimensioning a board you are often not zoomed 
right in so you may think you have the correct snap but maybe you don't - 
it is a pain continually having to select snap modes simply to overcome 
something that is better done during the export phase.

I hate having to do global search and replace to set everything to 0 
thickness - that is why I would like an 
"Everything-Exported-as-Zero-Thickness" ACAD export option.

Dimensioning errors due to snapping to vertices of polylines simulating 
non-zero line thickness may be small but are a source of confusion and 
sometimes can cause critical placement problems (step and repeat errors on 
panels might be one example).

A zero mil wide Protel track exports to ACAD with no-endcap and correct 
vertex snap points - this has made my dimensioning and 
export-to-industrial-designers life much easier and more accurate. As well 
as making my mech CAD program fly.

Ian Wilson


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