At 08:00 PM 1/7/2004, you wrote:
In Protel DXP, SP2 - After generating gerber files I select fabrication outputs - final to generate printed facsimiles of the gerber files. THE DRILL SYMBOLS IN THE PRINT PREVIEW ARE DIFFERENT THAN THE GERBER FILES!!!

Irritating, I'm sure.


The same symbols are used, but they are assigned to different holes! This is completely unacceptable. I thought maybe I could switch to characters as drill size indicators - this works fine for the gerber files, but when selecting fabrication outputs - final, it comes back with the same old symbols.

I'd suggest, frankly, that you abandon symbols, and possibly also characters (i.e., letter codes). It is far, far easier to read a fabrication drawing -- for checking purposes -- if the hole sizes are actually printed instead of some code that requires you look at a chart. Letters are easier than symbols, and the actual size is even easier.


Originally, symbols were used because they were designed to be bombsightable. I.e., the photoplots were digitized to create a drill file. That isn't done any more. The fabrication drawing, as far as the holes are concerned, has become merely a reference. So why not make it easy?

(If holes are very close together, you may want to make the character size for the numbers very small, though there is little harm of they sometimes overlap, you should still be able to read them.)

This means the only way to be assured I'm getting correspondance is to dxf out from Camtastic. This means I cannot print to Acrobat Distiller like I want to. Anybody had a similar problem?? and does anybody know of a way around it??

Consider the gerber files to be the true output, not some reference prints made from Protel. Then print the gerber files. You can do it with CAMtastic, or you can do it from Protel by importing the gerbers back into a file and printing that. I don't know if or why you can't print to Distiller from CAMtastic, but I assume you can from Protel. (I print to PDF Writer....)


Problems with assigning drill symbols have been around for quite some time. Protel does not allow control over this (unlike some cad systems which make the symbol part of the padstack) -- unless you want to dedicate a mech layer and incorporate drill symbols in your footprints -- and I do recall encountering some inconsistencies in the past. Assignment of symbols is, obviously, arbitrary, but one would think that they would be assigned according to the same procedure in photoplot generation and in printing, but it appears that they may not be. Each of the drawings would be correct, however, considered by itself, so I'm not sure why it is so important!





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