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 Post subject: Importing DXF for drill holes - which layer to use?
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 14:40 
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I have a drill layout designed in a separate CAD program which I need to import into Diptrace as a DXF.

When importing the DXF into Diptrace, I can choose a layer such as Top. The holes are visible in the layout. I can select them and set them to Through Holes on the sidebar. I thought that would make a hole that gets punched through all the layers, but the Drill File export and File > Layout Information show that there are no holes.

When I try a different layer during import such as All Holes, Pad Holes, or Mounting Holes, the imported holes don't appear on any layer. And they also don't show up in the Drill Export or Layout Information screens. The menu item for View > Objects > Holes is checked, but the holes don't appear – and the Layout Information shows that there are no holes in the file.

What's the correct way to do this? There are lots of holes, way too many to recreate one at a time in Diptrace as mounting holes, and I have to do this for many different PCBs.


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 Post subject: Re: Importing DXF for drill holes - which layer to use?
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 16:05 
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Are the drawing figures closed circles or other shapes? Are they all mounting holes? Are there other objects on the same DXF drawing layer as the holes (e.g. text, labels, etc.)?

As an experiment I created a test DXF file with three empty circles and they imported successfully into the PCB layout (DipTrace v3.1.0.1) as mounting holes using the following settings in the Import DXF dialog window...
* DXF Units: (same as file units)
* Import Mode: Add
* Click on the appropriate DXF drawing layer (the one with the holes) and set Convert to: Mt Holes.
* Disable all other options.
Finally, click on the [Import] button.

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 Post subject: Re: Importing DXF for drill holes - which layer to use?
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 18:58 
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Thanks, that's exactly what I tried. With both filled circles and outlines. Also tried checking (or alternately, unchecking) the "Fill Closed Areas" option when importing the DXF.

I see the correct hole layout in the Import preview so I don't think the DXF data is the problem.

The DXF will import OK into the Assembly, Mask, or Top/Bottom layers. I can see the circles there.

But if I try to import the same file into the All Holes, Pad Holes, or Mt Holes layer, the holes simply do not appear.

I'm also running Diptrace 3.1.0.1 (June 27, 2017) on macOS 10.12.3


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 Post subject: Re: Importing DXF for drill holes - which layer to use?
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 19:26 
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Do you have a sample failing DXF file I could try? If so, please put it in a zip folder and I'll let you know if I get similar results on my Win10-64 machine.

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 Post subject: Re: Importing DXF for drill holes - which layer to use?
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 21:25 
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Thank you, here's a single circle, exported from Illustrator.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3k9sttylq6pbky8/test.dxf


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 Post subject: Re: Importing DXF for drill holes - which layer to use?
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 07:43 
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It looks like the circle is actually a collection of polylines forming a circle. Apparently DipTrace has a problem with converting a circular polyline figure into a mounting hole, which seems like a bug to me. If you have a way to convert all of the circular polyline figures into actual circles, do that first before importing. If not, then here is a work-around that might work...

1) Open a new, blank PCB session and import the appropriate DXF file layer (your test file figure appears to be on the DXF file's soldermask layer) into DipTrace's Top Pads layer.
2) Select all objects (Ctrl + A), right-click on one of the selected objects and choose Pad Properties... in the pop-up menu.
3) In the Pad dialog window deselect the [ ]Use Pattern's Pad Properties option, choose Oval in the Shape: drop-down list, All Similar in the Apply to: drop-down list and select OK.
4) If necessary, repeat steps 2 & 3 to convert objects of different sizes.
5) Click on File in the Main Menu, Export in the drop-down menu and Gerber... in the fly-out menu.
6) In the Export Gerbers dialog window select/highlight the Top layer, make sure the [X]Use Design Origin option is enabled, confirm the proper Units setting and click on Export.
7) In the Save As dialog window note the file name, navigate to a convenient folder (e.g. desktop), click on Save and then select Close.
8) Now close the new PCB session without saving.
9) Open the target PCB layout, click on File in the Main Menu, Import in the drop-down menu and Gerber... in the fly-out menu.
10) In the Open dialog window navigate to and select/highlight the newly-created Gerber file and choose Open.
11) In the Source Gerber File dialog window set Import Mode: Add, Convert to: Mt Holes, disable all options and click on [b]Import[/b].

I hope this helps.

p.s. I posted this bug in the Bug reports forum.

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Last edited by Tomg on 07 Aug 2017, 12:41, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Importing DXF for drill holes - which layer to use?
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 12:35 
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Thanks for reporting the bug. I will post more info in the Bug Report thread:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11738


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 Post subject: Re: Importing DXF for drill holes - which layer to use?
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 17:48 
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Joined: 18 Dec 2015, 15:35
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arcsecond wrote:
Thank you, here's a single circle, exported from Illustrator.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3k9sttylq6pbky8/test.dxf

I would have to say that using a vector drawing program to produce DXF files may not work out: What version of AI are you using? When I look at the circle.dxf in turbocad I find only a soldermask layer with data, 18.69 diameter and no hole. There is no other data in that file.
Attachment:
spline3.jpg

When I use LibreCAD to create a circle it creates the circle using spline segments but when exported as DXF they are changed to a single line and import into DipTrace without issues. TurboCAD has a mode to use splines or bezier to draw with but circles don't use them, just for 'fun' I created a splined blob and imported it, it did not work for a mounting hole but as a pad it did along with your circle.
I did finally find the Grid Snap menu in LibreCAD, right click when placing an object pops up the snap menu.
Finding; objects made of many segments, splines or polylines do not work as mounting holes and the clearance for the mounting hole can be adjusted in its properties :shock: . No formula for clearance or means to import a clearance layer, another reason for a pad stack feature.


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 Post subject: Re: Importing DXF for drill holes - which layer to use?
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 18:12 
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Joined: 06 Mar 2017, 23:13
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Please check the bug report thread for updates, I suspect that it's not an issue with the DXF data from AI but an issue with importing any DXF file into Diptrace.

So what happens when you import a circle from LibreCAD and try to convert it to a mounting hole in Diptrace?


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 Post subject: Re: Importing DXF for drill holes - which layer to use?
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 18:43 
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Joined: 18 Dec 2015, 15:35
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arcsecond wrote:
Please check the bug report thread for updates, I suspect that it's not an issue with the DXF data from AI but an issue with importing any DXF file into Diptrace.

So what happens when you import a circle from LibreCAD and try to convert it to a mounting hole in Diptrace?


It works. When I exported the circle to DXF I checked it in TurboCAD and they had changed the splines to a point and diameter therefore allowing Diptrace to recognize it as a valid mounting hole. Download LibreCAD 2.13, it works for weird board layout issues and it's free, FreeCAD is good but also 3D with a longer learning curve. DesignCAD at $49 and TurboCad Starting at $149~$1,500 but is 3D. AutoCAD $1,200~$6,825


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