On 05:45 AM 22/10/2001 -0400, Brian Guralnick said:
>Hi all,
>
>     I'm preparing some mechanical drawings in Protel so that a plastic 
> mold designer
>can have a reference for items on one of my PCBs.  I'm exporting Metric 
>.DXF drawing.
>To test, I re-import the .DXF on a new PCB and find that some border lines are
>completely in the wrong place.
>
>     Is it the export, or import which is messing up?
>     Is there a more secure, error free format for export to a cad format 
> for the
>plastic mold guys?
>
>____________
>Brian Guralnick

Many people say that doing DXF via Camtastic has a better chance of success.

My recipe for DXF/DWG export consists of :
1) Making a copy of the PCB (using save-as) and then removing any 
unnecessary layers (such as planes etc and leaving (maybe) the outer copper 
layers only).
2) Globally setting virtually everything to zero thickness ***especially*** 
dimensions, coordinates and mechanical layer details including board 
outline.  This ensures good snap points in the CAD package.
3) Removal of as many holes/vias and pads as possible as they are rendered 
pretty horribly when Protel attempts to fill them in.

On a particularly troublesome board I will generate gerbers (after point 3) 
and then use Camtastic to do the DXF/DWG export.

On import I explode any and all large radius arcs into multiple line 
segments as Protel has problems with these.  And even then there are 
usually problems.  I have had more repeatable success using Camtastic to 
create gerbers from the DXF and then import those into Protel.  I am not 
sure of the status of the DXF/DWG server but I have certainly sent files 
through to Protel support showing problems but I am not sure if the bugs 
have been fixed.  There were some bug fixes when the changes to allow the 
units to be forced was introduced - this certainly fixed a large number of 
import issues.

I would like the following export options to be available:
1) Export selected only
2) Export in draft mode

They should not be mutually exclusive of course.

Hooroo,
Ian Wilson

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