Mr Lomax,
I don't believe that I missed your point at all, I just don't agree. There
is no such thing as a "simple" 3D model. If all you want is simple height,
you might want to follow Robi's advice and calculate the separations with a
pencil and paper. If you need interference checking as you stated in the
follow up email to this one, then you have to consider the complexity of the
components true shape and mating surfaces, if any. 
This is not done simply and if I may say so, not Altium's responsibility. I
agree that Altium would be best served by including/buying/incorporating the
utilities of Desktop-EDA or the Qualecad sort, but leave the 3D world to the
3D CAD softwares. The beauty of this scenario is that it already exists and
works very well. You know, don't re-invent the wheel....
The Desktop-EDA solution involving Solidworks is completely bi-directional
and associative. When I send a preliminary layout via export to my 3D CAD
counterpart, he does my interference checks including connector mating,
packaging etc. If something needs to be moved, he does it and sends back the
new layout which I need only to finish routing.
Again, I'd like to apologize for the flakey analogy of boat and car.

-----Original Message-----
From: Abd ul-Rahman Lomax [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2002 1:53 PM
To: Protel EDA Forum
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Re[3]: View PCB 3D

At 01:56 PM 2/7/2002 -0500, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
>"Many users will not want to have to convert all their libraries to include
>3-D information"
>This is my point exactly. Some PCB designers have no interest in the 3D
>world, so let's not create a proverbial white elephant inside of Protel.

Lloyd missed my point. A good implementation will not require users to 
provide 3-D information. It will merely allow them to attach a 3-D model to 
a footprint. Thus there would be no legacy issues.

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