DipTrace Forum

Free angle component rotation
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Author:  pkr [ 25 Jan 2017, 08:51 ]
Post subject:  Free angle component rotation

I notice in the release history -


under v1.30, that it states support for 'Free angle component rotation'. Does this mean I can rotate components on the PCB to any angle?

I want to arrange LEDs in series around the circumference of a circular PCB, keeping the LEDs orientated to the radii.

If I've interpreted the v1.30 feature 'Free angle component rotation' correctly, how do I do this?

If that's possible, I then want to create circular traces linking the LEDs in series. I know I can draw an arc, but I fail to see how this can be converted into a trace. Is there any other way of creating circular traces ( preferably by specifying the radius, centre and end point(s) ).


Author:  Tomg [ 26 Jan 2017, 10:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: Free angle component rotation

I don't know about version 1.3, but in the latest release...

Component Rotation
1) Double-click on the component (not its pads) and enter the desired value in the Angle: box on the lower-left side of the Component Properties dialog window.
2) Select OK.
3) To rotate without worrying about exact angles, right-click on the component (not its pads), select Free Rotate in the pop-up menu and move the mouse to rotate. Once you have found an angle you like, click.

Curved Traces
1) Click on the Route Manual icon.
2) Under the Properties tab of the Manual Routing panel at the upper-right side of the screen, select Arcs/Curves in the Route Mode (M): drop-down list.
3) Start the trace by clicking on one of the component pins. If you need to set a different trace width, press hotkey "W" and make a selection.
4) Click in an area that is close to what you think will be the location of the midpoint of the curved trace (arc).
5) Click on the destination pin to finish the trace.
6) If the midpoint of the curved trace needs to be fine-tuned, turn off the grid, click on the Edit Traces icon and move the midpoint with your mouse until you are satisfied with the new location.
7) Click in an empty section of the Design Area to return to the Default Mode.
8) Turn the grid back on if needed.

Attached is a zip folder named "Curved Trace.zip" that contains a short video showing the routing of a curved trace.

Author:  pkr [ 27 Jan 2017, 07:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: Free angle component rotation

That is fantastic. Thank you Tom.

One other issue related to this.

The component being rotated is one I created in Pattern Editor. It consists of two rectangles ( different sizes ), the centre point is defined as the actual centre of the component. The two rectangles were drawn with the polygon tool and the then converted to pads.

I can rotate the component 90° and it's fine. I can bring in a standard library component and I can free Rotate that with no issue.

But, if I rotate the component I've made, when I run the design verification ( F9 ) it gives me a gap error. It's clearly something I've done or not done in the design of the component. Any ideas?


Author:  Tomg [ 27 Jan 2017, 09:27 ]
Post subject:  Re: Free angle component rotation

Here are some things to check...
1) Look for a tiny object beneath D1. Select/highlight only D1 and slide it away from its original position without rotating it to see if the error disappears. If it does, select all (Ctrl + A) to highlight the tiny, hidden object.
2) If you have a copper pour on the PCB, it needs to be refreshed after moving/rotating components (Objects > Update All Copper Pours). You can assign a hotkey for this function if you are using version 3.
3) You may have accidentally embedded another pad or polygon into the large pad while creating the pattern. Try showing the pad numbers in the PCB Editor (View > Pad Numbers > Show) to see if there might be a third pad.
4) Bring up the pattern in the Pattern Editor and start moving things around to see if you can uncover a hidden object. Check the Layers panel (upper-right side of the screen) to see if there are more than two copper objects showing.

If these suggestions are not helpful, feel free to upload your pattern and I'll take a look at it.

Author:  pkr [ 28 Jan 2017, 15:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Free angle component rotation

Hi Tom,

Thanks again for your reply.

I had a fiddle in the pattern editor and it's fine now. Couldn't find any rogue elements there but obviously something was amiss.

Thanks again.

Author:  Howardwj [ 23 May 2017, 12:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Free angle component rotation

I would like to do a free rotate on some rectangular pads in Pattern Editor. I've tried lots of things but always ended up with 90 deg.
So I decided to import a DXF file of the pattern I want which I generated in TurboCAD. This was fine but the holes didn't show and there were all sorts of numbers where the hole should be.
Any help appreciated. Thanks. Howard.

Author:  Tomg [ 24 May 2017, 06:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: Free angle component rotation

For an all-DipTrace solution, try the following procedure...
1) Launch the PCB Layout editor.
2) Create the desired pad (not yet rotated) centered about the Design Area origin.
3) Left-click on the new pad to select/highlight it, mouse-over the selection box outline (not the pad itself), right-click and choose Define Angle in the pop-up menu.
4) Select the desired angle in the fly-out menu.
5) In the Place Component panel on the left side of the screen, select the User Patterns group and choose the target custom pattern library. If the Pattern Editor is open, make sure that it has a different library selected, otherwise the next step will be blocked.
6) In the PCB Layout editor, left-click on the new pad again to select/highlight it, mouse-over the selection box outline (not the pad itself), right-click and choose Save to Library in the pop-up menu, click on Add to "[target custom pattern library name]" in the fly-out menu and click on the [Yes] button in the Confirm dialog window.
7) Go to the Pattern Editor and select the target custom pattern library. You should be able to find the new rotated pad (probably named "Pad") at the bottom of the patterns list.
8) Now you can copy and paste the new rotated pad into the pattern of your choosing.

(You can also build the entire pattern in the PCB Layout editor, add silkscreen, change pad angles, group it into a component, assign a pattern name and basic RefDes letter, and save the pattern into the User Patterns library of your choice without ever having to open the Pattern Editor.)

If you would prefer using the DXF file method...
1) Create the pads in the TurboCad DXF file without holes. They will be converted to Through-Hole pads in DipTrace.
2) Click on Pattern in the Main Menu of the Pattern Editor, choose Import from DXF... in the drop-down menu, navigate to and select/highlight the desired DXF file in the Open dialog window and click on the [Open] button.
3) In the Import DXF dialog window set DXF Units: (same as file units), set Import Mode: Add, select/highlight the desired layer, set Convert to: Top Signal, enable the [X]Fill Closed Areas option and click on the [Import] button.
4) Right-click on the outline of the first filled object and select Convert to Pad in the pop-up menu. This will become pad number 1. Repeat for the rest of the filled objects in the desired numerical order.
5) Right-click on the first newly-converted pad, choose Properties... in the pop-up menu, click on the [Type/Dimensions] tab, set Type: Through-Hole, set Diameter: (to the desired hole size) and select OK. Repeat for each of the remaining newly-converted pads one at a time. (Don't try doing this as a group all at the same time or the pad angles will change.)

Let me know if you are successful.

Author:  Howardwj [ 24 May 2017, 15:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: Free angle component rotation

Thanks Tomg. Absolutely superb.
I used the TurboCad method as I already had measurements etc for the valve base. I now have my B9A and tomorrow my B7G patterns.
Thanks again. I'm sure others will find you post helpful.

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