OK, that's cool but the Z height only extrudes to one height, what's great about the additional way Protel DXP2004 handles it, in addition to the Z height option, is that you can add 3D models to a Protel library (from Molex for example or from your own 3D CAD), then map the proper 3D model to your library part, then when you design your board you can view, in Protel DXP2004, the 3D model. Then you can export an IGES file of this model into your 3D CAD, assuming it is capable of taking in IGES correctly.
I know from previous work that you can use a 3rd party to do this with PADS to SolidWorks, and also you can use the so-called Pro/E export (EDIF really) option ($) of PADS to send info to Pro/E (or any capable of EDIF import) but they have to have models of each part and you have to map it in the EDIF file, not simple and straightforward like the way Protel is doing it. There is no capability in PADS of mapping the correct 3D model to your parts, although perhaps you can make an attribute for the 3D model and generate a file using VBasic to help. BTW, this is another advantage of PADS, it's a VBA unlike Protel DXP and to set the record straight, ( so others don't choke) I still think Protel is inefficient compared to other layout/schematic entry, but I am impressed with how they have handled the export to 3D CAD. Now if they can add a similiar 3D CAD import .... There are other nice things too about DXP2004, but on the whole it is not a highly productive tool compared to others IMO. it is the cheapest viable option though.

So I guess it would be nice if for each part that has a IPC footprint, there would be a 3D model and somebody somewhere is collecting all these.


From: "Tom Hausherr" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Reply-To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'Protel EDA Forum'" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: Re: [PEDA] IPC-2581 & IPC-7351
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 09:33:34 -0700


Yes, the IPC-7351 specification is starting the ball rolling on a 3D
Modeling standard.

What PCB Libraries has done to introduce this is making a dedicated layer to
illustrate the Maximum Component Outline with a 1 micron line that is used
for IDF export. The trick to this is to not put anything else on that
dedicated layer. No polarity marking, no text, no multiple lines, just a
single "Closed Polygon".

Taking it to the next level, the IPC-2581 will illustrate CAD library data
with the land pattern and the physical component superimposed. So if you CAD
tool has IPC-2581 import and 3D modeling, your new CAD library will contain
both entities.

This needs to be done to insure correct land pattern data from the beginning
of the PCB design process and not preforming the current land pattern
verification before you go into fabrication.

PCB Libraries is developing a backward land pattern calculator called
"IPC-7351 LandCheck". You import your CAD data ASCII format into this
program. Then you can select any part that you want to check and select a
component family for the part. A menu and a browser / viewer will appear and
allows you to enter the basic component dimensional data. The program
instantly tells you whether the land pattern meets IPC-7351 specification
and if not provides you a report that will inform you on what is wrong.

This will also check component height. If the Height that you entered from
the datasheet does not match the Geometry Height built into the land pattern
an warning will occur.

This program is fully funtional for PADS right now and PCB Libraries is
giving away free copies to PADS Users who register for the IPC-7351
Navigator Wizard.

In the near future the IPC-7351 LandCheck will import Protel data and it
certianly will import IPC-2581 data.

The LandCheck program was originally intended to verify your old legacy
libraries to allow you to clean them up to meet the IPC-7351 specification.

Tom H

-----Original Message-----
From: Protel Hell [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2004 8:32 AM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] IPC-2581 & IPC-7351.


Is anything being done to standardize 3D modeling for PCB layout? One thing
I think Altium leads the pack on is closing the loop to mechanical layout
(3D modeling). Protel is similar to PADS with the Z height but they have
gone one better, you can map a 3D model to your library part so that you can

export  an IGES file that can be imported in your 3D modeling software.
Unlike PADS it is not an cost add on, it comes standard with DXP2004. (DXP
was extra $) So all those vendors that have models available can be used
directly by Protel. You can view a model of the pcb assembly and print in
Protel. very impressive. Sure, this can be done too on the mechanical end,
but it works so much nicer when the PCB layout person specs the model. Nice
to have one person make sure the schematic symbol, layout footprint, and 3D
model are all mapped correctly. I guess what I'm wondering is if anybody is
collecting 3D models of parts?


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