On 02:55 PM 2/07/2002 -0700, Mike Leachman said:
>All, I am trying to import a file supplied by an IC supplier that contains
>library of schematic and footprint date. the type is .dfx, protel pukes when
>I try to open it. Any thoughts? mike

The technical term "pukes" is well understood - however it covers a wide 
range of possible problems.  More details?

I have found DXF/DWG import works fine on some files and woefully on 
others.  I have sent a number of files to Protel/Altium for investigation 
and not received a whole lot of acknowledgement that there are issues.

The massaging I do to make it more likely to work is:
1) Break all large radius arc into polylines or lines - Protel cannot 
handle anything outside the positive (1st quadrant) 100"x100" 
workspace.  This includes arc centres.
2) Delete as much as possible from the import.  I usually delete everything 
except the details I need plus a couple of dimensions, one in the X and one 
in the Y directions (these are used to confirm correct scaling during import).
3) Explode everything to a basic set of primitives - Lines, small circles 
and text - though text can sometimes be an issue.  Dimensions are exploded 
to the free entities.
4) I have had polylines fail to import - I have also had simple lines fail 
to import but less often.
5) Some 3D-capable CAD packages add in lighting blocks on the DXF export 
that can exist way off the details you want - these can affect the Protel 
import scaling. Try to delete them or set the import to ignore them.
6) Some CAD packages do not mark the units (mm/imperial) in the DXF file 
correctly - Protel now provides an option dueing import to force the units.
7) Only import those layers you actually need - keep the amount of data you 
are importing to the smallest possible amount.
8) Try shifting the data in the mech CAD package into the 1st (positive) 
quadrant - this sometimes helps Protel scale and shift.
9) Even doing all the above and more I have found some entities on trivial 
DXFs fail to import.  It seems that anything past a DXF entity that Protel 
chokes on is not imported.  I have one file that will not import three 
simple lines (not even polylines) but it will import all the other arcs and 
lines and dimensions OK.
10) Protel is rather stupid in that it attempts to scale the DXF file to 
fit in the legal workspace.  This would rarely be the correct behavior and 
is a source of scaling errors.  I think it should report that the import is 
too large but not scale it.  It would be nice at times to have a manual 
scaling factor that can be applied during import - you have to do any 
scaling required in an external Mech CAD package.

I have always found dxf/dwg import intermittent and so keep a Mech CAD 
package around to help do the massage.

Ian Wilson


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