[QUOTE]I pay $50 for each data conversion, dwg to gerber, by my plotter vendor. I will have to justify the software by being in control of the final output and saving $50 every other week or so. What's the advantage if I choose to own ACE and do the conversions myself?[/QUOTE]
The primary advantages of owning ACE is:
(1) Quality & Control. You're in complete control of the conversion output. So you don't have to hope the plotter converts your design correctly (i.e. nothing missing, poor arcs, jagged lines, etc.). (2) Money. You'll Save approximately $1,300 in conversion costs per year! (considering 26 times per year @ $50 each) (3) Editing. If any edits or changes need to be done, you may perform them immediately. (4) Faster Turnaround. If you ever have a rush job, you can benefit by providing Gerber files instead; so the plotter can immediately create plots (without also having to wait for them to also to perform conversion services). (5) Vendor freedom. Even if your plotting service is perfect, it's always good to protect yourself with a reliable backup in the event they are unavailable, or in the future go out of business. Since you output Gerbers you can use any plotting service worldwide. (6) Reverse conversion. Using ACE you may reverse convert Gerber back to DXF (or other formats) which may be loaded back into your Solid Edge software - useful when you need to generate documentation or verify dimensions. (7) Flexibility: ACE can also convert many other popular EDA/CAD/3D formats (Gerber, GDSII, ODB++, DXF, DWG, OASIS, Bitmap, Tiff, STL, PDF, etc.) and work as a Viewer for these formats. Should you ever have a customer/client who sends you a Gerber, GDSII, ODB++, DXF, DWG, OASIS, Bitmap, Tiff, STL, PDF, etc., you can easily view and convert these file formats.