At 06:33 PM 2/7/2002 -0800, John Williams wrote:
> > A little interference
> > checking, nothing terribly fancy, in Protel would go a long way. Just
> > height checking, fine, as long as it is easy to set up height regions,
> > simple or complex. More complex models for components, better as an option,
> > terrible if they are a necessity.
>
>This function is available in QualECAD View3D.
>
>Take a look at:
>
>  http://www.qualecad.com/page7.html

QualECAD has been highly recommended by users. Yes, it appears that 
QualECAD allows the assignment of a height attribute to rooms, and it 
detects height violations based on the footprint 3-D models (and QualECAD 
gives users, if I am correct, gives users access to the models).

However, this is, if I am correct, a viewer. On-line DRC of height 
restriction would be *much* more useful in a practical sense. Being able to 
pick up a component and see immediately -- by the appearance of the error 
color -- that there is a height violation -- cuts out a huge amount of work.

It is like on-line DRC in general. The original CAD DRCs were batch 
programs run after the design was done. That was a great improvement, but 
on-line DRC was a true productivity boon. Fixing errors could take ten 
times as much time as making things right in the first place. Sometimes 
late discovery of an error is a major disaster, if a lot of work has been 
done that depends, say, on components location. Even if routing has been 
postponed to get approval of placement, many components might need to be 
moved to fix a problem. Much, much better if the height violation is 
avoided from the beginning.

This is a *placement* tool, thinking of 3-D in terms of viewing and 
checking is quite limited, it is the placement assistance that is truly 
important. Autoplace would necessarily respect height rules as well. It is 
difficult to think of a more central operation to PCB design than placement!


[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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