Gerber file generation

I found where to select automatic solder paste generation on the footprint when making an SMT part.

The manual says that AutoTrax will automatically generate the solder paste layer.

When I generate the Gerber files it is not there.

Am I misreading the manual.

I went back to a very simple design to check this.
project
project
sample.project
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Comments

  • No SMT Pads.
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • Hi Props, Just to expand on Iliya’s response. Solder paste is only for SMT pads.. The idea is that when you get your boards produced you can order an optional stencil made of very thin stainless steel or some cheaper ones of Mylar or similar.. You position the stencil over your pcb and blob some solder paste over the pads and using a squeegee remove the excess. Remove the stencil and the SMD pads will be covered with solder paste. Position the SMD parts onto the paste and using a soldering oven or heat gun melt the paste and when it cools your SMD parts are soldered on. Though hole plated pads have their pins go through to the other side of the PCB where they are soldered (usually by hand) as such there is no need for a stencil or solder paste...in fact they won’t help with THP components.. Therefore if you have no SMD components you won’t have any solder PASTE gerbers Maybe you are thinking of solder MASK which should be there and is what is used to make the, usually, green painted layer to minimise solder shorts when soldering. Hope this clears it up a bit. Regards, Mick
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  • edited September 2019
    Hi Mick

    The LEDs are SMD devices. 

    props54636 used thermal vias.

    In order to have thermal copper generated automatically on the bottom props54636 used a TPH pad with some vias.
    Hence the need for solder paste on the top side only.

    However, no solder paste automatically added. It has to be manually added.
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • imageimage
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • OK, Sorry about that.. I replied on my iPad instead of my PC and loading his project.. I made an assumption based on your comment NO SMT pads... Lesson learned. Mik
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  • Thanks all for the info.

    I am in the process of changing out 512 LEDs.

    Oh well lesson learned.

    Paul
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  • Ah good luck with that! If DEX had another design with an internal project library, something I think is a very good decision, you would just have modified your single instance of the LED in your project library and all would have been changed instantly.

    For me, DEX is not perfect yet.
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  • DEX does not do external reference to parts etc that must be loaded on start-up.

     This is by design. There are absolutely no plans to add externals.

    External dependencies are the root of all evil. >:)

    •  Missing files
    • Changes to 1 file messes up other designs
    • Difficulty of sending designs to other 

    Not relying on external files does not make DEX flawed.

    Keep It Simple


    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • edited September 2019
    Similar design.
    1. Add LED from original design to library.
    2. Create new project.
    3. Add saved LED
    4. Array it.
    5. Renumber Parts (use renumber panel)
    6. Add power connect
    7. Add wires
    Go to PCB
    1. Roughly place parts.
    2. Use align top to align row of parts
    3. Distribute across
    4. Route
    20 minutes.

    Show it to the wife and take her to the pub:)



    image
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
    project
    project
    leds.project
    8K
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  • edited September 2019
    Bengt said:
    Ah good luck with that! If DEX had another design with an internal project library, something I think is a very good decision, you would just have modified your single instance of the LED in your project library and all would have been changed instantly.

    For me, DEX is not perfect yet.
    An example of a serious problem:

    Somebody sends you a project and says 'refresh from library does not work for IC23  - device ABC'

    If you don't have ABC in your local library at the exact same relative position as it is the sender's library and the sender's library ABC is not exactly the same as your library ABC  then you are up the creek without a paddle.

    Fortunately. with DEX, at least the project isn't screwed.


    image
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • edited September 2019
    Bengt said:
    Ah good luck with that! If DEX had another design with an internal project library, something I think is a very good decision, you would just have modified your single instance of the LED in your project library and all would have been changed instantly.

    For me, DEX is not perfect yet.
    Here is a example of why parts being kept in external files would be a terrible.

    This design has same part as 3 instances.
    Note: U1 and U2 are edited in-place.
    U3 is split into U3-1 and U3-2 and edited.

    Similar design changes can be made for the footprint and 3D package.

    Keeping the parts external is practically impossible -could be done with changes kept in a change list for each placed part but this would be a nightmare :(

    DEX is for single users at the moment.
    Large projects are a different 'kettle of fish'. I would have to add 2 '0's to the price.

    Self-contained files are good and resilient.



    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • See project.
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
    project
    project
    test.project
    3K
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  • Nice discussion.
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  • I didn't said the parts should be in an external file. I said project library and that implies a library inside the project file
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  • Bengt said:
    I didn't said the parts should be in an external file. I said project library and that implies a library inside the project file
    I believe you are suggesting something like AutoCad's block and insert.

    As It is extremely easy to modify placed parts in DEX it would break links from the inserts back to the black definition. (As I remember, in AutoCad you have to 'explode' an insert, breaking the link.)
    As replicated parts as rare, It's not worth the complexity.
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • edited October 2019
    Bengt said:
    Ah good luck with that! If DEX had another design with an internal project library, something I think is a very good decision, you would just have modified your single instance of the LED in your project library and all would have been changed instantly.

    For me, DEX is not perfect yet.
    Well, as luck would have it: 
    (steps 2-6 only needed if you don't have the original part in your library)
    1. Open project.
    2. Select 1 of the parts.
    3. Save back to library.

    image
    4. Edit save part  - I changed terminal magnet to green and modified right pad.
    5. Save part.
    6.Open Project
    7. Select parts

    image
    8. Right click

    image
    8. Click Symbol

    image
    9. Click refresh

    Done!

    image
    Original PCBimage

    New PCB

    image

    So, DEX may be closer to perfect than you think  @-)
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • You made it too simple for you. Imagine that all those diodes are spread out over your schematic so you can't select them by a simple click and drag.
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  • I don't know about other programs in this case but EdWinXP imports all parts to a project file embedded inside the project file. It has it pros and cons but eventually I have decided that it is better.

    - Super simple to edit all instances of a part at once. (Edit the part in the project library. All parts inside your project uses that so all are changed)
    - You always have your library with you together with the project.
    - The only situation when it is tricky is if you want to modify one part to make a special version of it. You will have to create that outside the project and store it in the normal external library and then replace just that. So it is a little bit tricky to understand to begin with.

    I hope that this should explain what I mean with "project library"? It is not a library saved in a folder beside the project file or something like that.
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  • Bengt said:
    You made it too simple for you. Imagine that all those diodes are spread out over your schematic so you can't select them by a simple click and drag.
    Do combination of individual select (click) and window select. (holding down Shift)
    Note single click on selected symbol, deselects it.(holding down Shift)

    Don't forget the Invert Selection button in Edit/Select.

    Or:
    1. Go to PCB
    2. Turn off all layers except Top Package
    3. Select away....
    4. Go to schematic, symbols selected. Job done.
    How many DEX users in the world have 100's of symbols on a schematic that they find it overwelming to select them.
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • Bengt said:

    - Super simple to edit all instances of a part at once. (Edit the part in the project library. All parts inside your project uses that so all are changed)

    This stops any of the symbols being different e.g. pin arragement, fonts, colors.
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • Bengt said:
    I don't know about other programs in this case but EdWinXP imports all parts to a project file embedded inside the project file. It has it pros and cons but eventually I have decided that it is better.


    Well, edwin has not had any new version since 2016. They must have reached perfection :)

    image
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • Iliya said:
    Well, edwin has not had any new version since 2016. They must have reached perfection :)
    EdWin has been out there for 35 years so that is a thought. Actually EdWinXp was replaced to a .net version but it was a pointless copy of the code line by line to the recent development tools so I can't see how that would help the development. They even managed to copy the bugs. (I knew of only one but still).

    The fact that development might have stopped doesn't change that there might be some highlights to steal ideas from. I am here now, not there and that's for good reason.
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  • Bengt said:
    Iliya said:
    Well, edwin has not had any new version since 2016. They must have reached perfection :)
    EdWin has been out there for 35 years so that is a thought. Actually EdWinXp was replaced to a .net version but it was a pointless copy of the code line by line to the recent development tools so I can't see how that would help the development. They even managed to copy the bugs. (I knew of only one but still).

    The fact that development might have stopped doesn't change that there might be some highlights to steal ideas from. I am here now, not there and that's for good reason.
    I was at a Silicon Graphics Developers conference many years ago in San Jose. Ed McCracken, the CEO, said 'If you see a great idea; steal it'

    Steve Jobs did it for years. (allegedly).
    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • Iliya said:
    Bengt said:

    - Super simple to edit all instances of a part at once. (Edit the part in the project library. All parts inside your project uses that so all are changed)

    This stops any of the symbols being different e.g. pin arragement, fonts, colors.
    Yes that would be correct.

    The key is that you might come up with a list of what you want and then the problem is how to achieve it. I think DEX has come close to perfection about the basics of libraries. It is just a few things that could improve. I will try to think of what I would like of DEX for it to be 100% perfect. In doing so I list what I want but not mention any possible solutions of how to do it. Everything can be done but the complexity can vary depending of how the program is designed.

    - I want to be able to quick and simple replace a single part with another. If pinning is different it should be handled as simple as possible. Usually I know exactly what I want but it can be tricky to tell the program that. (DEX has a solution to it and I think it is OK.)

    - I want to be able to do custom changes to a part that does not affect other parts of the same type. Like a special version of a 0805 resistor. This should be simple and there should not be any risk that I by mistake destroy my custom changed part by updating it from the library.

    - If I do such changes I want to be able to reuse it again in my project.

    - If I update my library I want to be able to quickly update all or some of my parts in my project. Best is if I can do some sort of version check and get a list of differences and update those that I decide to.

    - I want to be able to update (from library) specific part types, for example all of my 0805 resistors in my project at once.

    - If I make changes to a part inside my project I want to be able to export it back to the library to update the same part in the library. In this situation there is always a risk of corrupting your library. You might have different version paths in different projects. (Can be handled but is maybe over complicated. User responsibility + library back-up can be enough.)

    I have probably forgotten something.
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  • My latest version of EdWinXp is 1.9 released 2011. I can see that they actually has improved. The four years later version 1.95 even has a feature I asked for!

    But looking into the list of features of the resent versions (they still hold on to EdWinXP in parallell to .NET, probably because many in India there they have most customers still use Windows XP) there are some impressive features and yes, you can see that it is a mature product. But considering the price and four years between versions. No thanks.

    But there are also more things to look for to steal :-). Check buried vias feature and also feature to update all or some vias at once. Think it was in latest version
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  • DEX has buried and blind via.

    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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  • Yes I know but this was way more advanced. Much more possibilities for the user.

    And the feature of updating all or a selection of vias (and actually more or less anything) is also much, much more powerful than in DEX. And it is actually a feature that I have been using a lot so it is really useful. I can describe more about it if you like. I can start a separate discussion in that case about group selection or something like that.
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  • DEX automatically does the buried / blind vias.
    However, for DEX to do it right, it needs details on the PCB layer stack. See future discussion.

    The developer of AutoTRAX DEX. 
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