Conversion of a complex, dense DWG to Gerber format.
Numerical Support Team
started a topic
over 6 years ago
Conversion of DXF/DWG to formats like Gerber data requires that all boundaries are closed. The reason your sample file won't easily convert is not all boundaries are closed... in fact in many places there are "wide open" boundaries which confuse ACE or any other converter.
A cool trick to resolve fill issues and quickly improve conversion time, is to use "Solid Hatch" inside AutoCAD (or any CAD tool). For example, after constructing your geometries you can use the command "Hatch" and select "SOLID" as the hatch type. Then select the objects that need to be filled. Solid Hatch will instantly let you know where "fill problems" exist while you are still in CAD...
COOL FEATURE: ACE can uniquely convert Solid Hatches -- so using ACE and Solid Hatch will give you a perfect view of how your filled Gerber will appear and allow you to pinpoint any "fill issues".
Here's a tutorial showing me perform solid hatch on a small section of your DWG (#31) and then you can also immediately determine fill issues:
Note: Notice certain sections are not filled by Solid Hatch, because a "closed" boundary was not drawn...
To save time I simply created a tutorial of me fixing those errors on part #31 and then convert the Solid Hatch to Gerber - see below:
1. Notice there is no segment available on the bottom or top of these honey-comb shapes. I must add lines to close these areas and then use SOLID HATCH to fill and verify...
Now After I have added the closed lines, the partial honey-comb shapes can be filled by solid hatch...
2. Export to DWG Note: I assume units are microns..
3. Convert to Gerber in ACE. Notice that I selected the option to "USE HATCH ONLY". This way ACE will ignore the lines/arcs I used to construct the SOLID HATCH.. You can always delete this extra data in your DWG if you prefer..
You will notice my boundaries are perfect and ready for export to Gerber... So simply fixing the DWG and using SolidHatch fill will allow you to convert the most complex DWG using ACE 3000.... Thanks! Note: This DWG contains many "open" boundaries, so there is about 30 minutes of editing required before the DWG is truly ready for conversion. Fortunately using the Solid HATCHis a great sanity check to visibly make sure everything is good. We always recommend when converting these try of design to Solid HATCH, and then during conversion select "USE HATCH ONLY"
Note: ACE is also a full feature editor, so when needed you can also fix and repair problems after the conversion and still output to your desired format.
We knew this one was really bad. We couldnt get the student at Penn State (who created it) to fix it for us, so I was curious if ACE had any tricks that might make it easier.
We tried to get them to hatch it for us and he didnt know how, so well do it here.
Numerical Support Team
over 6 years ago
Thanks for getting back. Yes there are a few tricks you can perform if this is something you want to convert quickly.
1. During DWG import in the options tab to use the option "Force Join To Close All Boundaries". This will force the boundaries that are not closed (because of missing segment) to be closed. http://screencast.com/t/rFBaqU5ce
2. Make sure to check all DXF layer options. http://screencast.com/t/Az4Q2o3iyJol Fill - Fills all closed boundaries. Wide Polyline - Draws an outline and fills all polylines with width (appears same as in AutoCAD). Flash - When Circle or Rectangle is detected convert to flash -- saves file size. Join - Connect adjacent lines, arcs, and open 0-width polylines and convert to filled boundaries. DeEmbed - Detect Islands and Holes within Filled boundaries.
3. To increase conversion speed, perhaps moving some parts to different layers. Since Join & DeEmbed will be used decreasing the number of entities per layer will improve the conversion time.
However the most reliable way is still to clean up the DWG and use Hatch before conversion.