Transferring PCB CAD data into ProEngineer

Pulsonix Our Pulsonix technology files have a layer class named "PADS layer 25" which equates to layer "25" in the PADS PCB CAD system. In PADS this layer is used for component mechanical outlines. There are two layers of this class in each PCB file, "3D Model Outline Top" for the top side and "3D Model Outline Bottom" for the bottom side. The component outline on this layer can be automatically imported from a PADS ASCII footprint created by the PCB Libraries IPC Land Pattern Wizard for PADS. The mechanical outline of the component body is drawn on layer "3D Model Outline Top" using the line style "Mechanical Part Outline", a solid line of 0.001 mm width. Our Pulsonix parts library has an attribute named <Component Height> for recording the component height. This is entered in millimetres. Exporting IDF from Pulsonix Pulsonix has an "IDF" export facility for exporting PCB 3D data to 3D mechanical CAD systems. This is available in the PCB editor through OUTPUT → IDF… which brings up the IDF export dialogue window.
Figure 1 Pulsonix IDF Output dialogue

Filenames for the "Board Filename" and "Library Filename" must not contain spaces or dashes for them to be viewable in ProEngineer. Enter value for board thickness; 0.8 mm, 1.6 mm and 2 mm are the most common standard board thicknesses. Select PADS layer 25 for the Component Outlines Layer Class. Select <Component Height> for the component heights. Press OK.

James Head, updated April 2008

Importing IDF into ProEngineer ProEngineer expects different file extensions to those that are output from Pulsonix. Rename .idb to .emn. This file is for the board outline and holes. Rename .idl to .emp. This file is for the components.
Table 1 Pulsonix and ProEngineer IDF files Pulsonix Extension .idb .idl File Description Board filename Library filename ProEngineer Extension .emn .emp File Description Neutral file of board outline and component placement. Profile file outlines. containing component

These instructions and dialogues are for ProEngineer Wildfire; later versions may appear different. It is easier if you use SET WORKING DIRECTORY in ProEngineer before you try to import the IDF files. In ProEngineer select File → Open then in the File Open dialogue select ECAD IDF (*.emn) from the drop-down list beside Type. Select the required file and open.
Figure 2 ProEngineer File Open for .emn file

James Head, updated April 2008

The Import New Model dialogue window will appear. Select Assembly and OK.
Figure 3 ProEngineer Import New Model Dialogue

ProEngineer will now automatically open a dialogue prompting for the location of the .emp file. Select the appropriate file and OK.
Figure 4 ProEngineer File Open for .emp file

The PCB assembly now loads. The files output from Pulsonix use round millimetres, and if the ProEngineer template is set to metric there will be no problems, but if ProEngineer is set-up to use the imperial template than there may some rounding on dimensions and some modification may be required. The component outline is for the two-dimensional component body so doesn't take account of cutouts in the 3D profile. Parts The assembly lists the components as parts by the footprint name used in Pulsonix.

James Head, updated April 2008

The footprints in Pulsonix for new designs use the IPC-7351A standard footprints and the standard naming convention. ProEngineer creates an ecad_hint.add file when it imports the IDF files for an assembly. This file lists entries for each part imported.
# map_objects_by_name-> ECAD_NAME "CAPPR350-800" ECAD_ALT_NAME "EEUFC1A471" ECAD_TYPE "" MCAD_NAME "CAPPR350-800_EEUFC1A471" MCAD_TYPE "part" MCAD_LAYER "CAPPR350-800_EEUFC1A471" END #

The ecad_hint.add file can be copied and renamed to a file and used as a template for substituting footprints, ECAD_NAME to ProEngineer modeled parts, MCAD_NAME.

James Head, updated April 2008

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