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CAD viewers, API

Suresh Balas


CAD viewers, API | 2 October, 2001

Hi I am developing an application that is used for data collection from the shop floor and would like to provide the technicians with a CAD viewer that will help them locate and repair components faster.

1) I would like to know what the industry standard is(gencad, gencam, odb ++) ?

2) If there are vendors out there that supply viewers with APIs that will allow me to do elementary cross probing

3) any other information from people who have had experience in similar projects.

any help will be greatly appreciated. thanks suresh

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CAD viewers, API | 2 October, 2001

IPC-D-356 is a data transfer language developed by the IPC to replace Gerber. It is a far more intelligent form of physical definition for PCB/PWB. The only segment of the language that seems to have developed any market support is the physical netlist that includes x, y and top, bottom connectivity information for electrical test equipment. Some CAD systems are capable of generating the IPC-D-356 netlist, and most fabricators have a CAM system that can generate this data from the Gerber files.

Gerber viewing (viewers) are: * View Mate (View only) - * CamCAD (View only) - * GC-Prevue (View only) - * PC Gerber II (View & limited data size editing) -

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CAD viewers, API | 3 October, 2001

Whether the customer is from a large or small corporation, military or commercial, the majority of our data comes in RS274X. In theory, ODB++ seems like a good idea. It may take some time for it to actually get into the mainstream where we are. It took RS274X quite a while before it was as widely used as it is today.

As the model for most EDA software these days has been toward proprietary commercial software. Most EDA systems do not translate very well to other EDA systems. That said, there are a few companies that translate EDA files to other formats. Check Router Solutions CAMCAD software for an excellent conversion program Or use a service []. Too bad more designers are not using the open source solution of GEDA. Check At least this project is trying to use open specifications like GenCAM.

Except for extraordinary circumstances, it is easier, better, cheaper and more reliable, if you have to change between systems, to recapture on the new one from scratch, working from library, through schematic and artwork, to all the manufacturing data files. The only exception I would make to this rule is that, with a few systems, it is possible to import layers from a Gerber file and to recombine them back into an artwork file BUT you will have none of the supporting data such as net names, component data, etc.

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CAD viewers, API | 4 October, 2001

You could try an off the shelf solution such as Tecnomatix-Unicam's Quality System. I believe they allready offer this functionality plus many other features that you may find interesting.


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