Circuit Boards

Anyone "import" circuit boards? What program do you use? Pros? Cons?
I know of Circuitworks and there is one for Protel files...
Reply to
Jeff N
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I use circuitworks and it works excellent. The only "con" was/is that I have to go back and add a component height attribute to my PCB Parts in the libraries. No big dealy but time consuming.
One feature that would be nice though (not sure if it is possible) is when I make changes to the PCB Placement, that somehow one could import the changes into the assembly the 3D model of the PCB resides in.
Reason why is sometimes to accommodate the enclosure I have to change the PCB placement or vice versa.
Or sometimes the PCB changes because of function or component changes So far I haven't found a easy way of updating the enclosure assembly with the new PCB placement 3D model. Hope I'm making sense Regards Frank
Jeff N wrote:
Reply to
FrankW
My EE was asking me about getting circuitworks. What did this cost you? How does it work? Is it bi-directional?
Reply to
Mickey Reilley
We use Desktop EDA's SolidWorks/IDF 3D Modeler to bring in boards from Veribest. See
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They have a free demo version, and it is simple, slick and versatile. Also cheap. Has saved our asses a number of times with regard to collisions.
bp
DVC Co.
Reply to
Brian Park
Circuitworks provided excellent results for me I believe it is bi-directional as in you can design pcb outline with comps on it then import into PCB software and vice-versa. I don't remember how much it costed. sorry.
Mickey Reilley wrote:
Reply to
FrankW
Tripod Data Systems
We use Protel and the link from Desktop EDA. We've been pretty happy with it. The EE and the ME have to get together and agree on the orientation and origin of the parts, but I would think this has to happen with any system.
The biggest pain we have is using it on flex circuits. When the Protel link builds the assembly in SolidWorks, it fixes the position of every part. When I insert bends into the part to fold it, the parts don't follow, since they aren't mated. I have to mate each of the parts on the moving sections before I insert the bends. If we go through a design revision that moves parts on the flex, I have to go through the whole process over again.
One other minor pain is how slow SolidWorks is if you import the pads on a reasonably complex PCB. (Don't even think about importing all of the outer layer traces! It would be nice if we could have the circuitry showing when we make pictures of the assembly, but that just isn't feasible, given how slow SW is.) I usually import the pads so that I can check how parts line up, then suppress them for most work.
Jerry Steiger
Reply to
Jerry Steiger
Sounds like I should just stick with importing a .dxf onto the top of the board as a sketch and only worry about the tallest component height.
Reply to
Jeff N
I used to do that before I got Desktop EDA's software. Not a good idea. I missed one component on a board (a crystal) that caused all sorts of grief, way in excess of $10,000 - board spin, re-machine metal, etc. It really does pay for itself very quickly, and at $695, it's cheap. My boss paid up without argument after that fiasco.
Brian Park DVC co.
Reply to
Brian Park
It depends on what you are designing. If you're working with simple rectilinear shapes, that may very well be the way to go. We do hand-held computers with funny contours and sometimes we have to jam a lot of stuff in a small space. I wouldn't want to try it the old fashioned way.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems
Reply to
Jerry Steiger

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