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Conversions / Edits

File Conversions
NPI provides a service in which CAD files are converted from one format to another. There are many types of file formats that are used by various CAD programs. Often the design house produces a format that is not usable by the fabricator or photo plotter. The standard is Gerber format; most design houses will be able to produce Gerber files for PCB fabrication.
 
What is File Conversion?
File conversion is changing the format of a file from one standard to another. NPI can change between many formats types. The goal is to produce one that is compatible with the equipment of the customer and/or his vendors. For example, Gerber format is standard for the printed circuit board industry, but DXF formats are standard for the mechanical and architectural industries. This however, does not mean that a mechanical design package is incapable of outputting printed circuit designs, it only means that it's output file must be converted before Photoplotting can take place. Due to the complexity of these formats conversions may require manual editing to achieve the proper results.
 
Some of the most common file formats are:
  • Gerber RS274 or RS274X (preferred)
  • Autocad DXF
  • IGIS
  • HPGL
  • DMPL
  • EXCELLON
  • SIEB & MEYER
Artwork Editing

NPI provides an editing service for the modification of CAD files.
Editing may be as simple as step and repeat of circuit patterns to the modification of trace, component and pad locations.
Cost is determined by the magnitude of the modification.
All modifications are done at $100.00 per hour with a minimum of $25.00.

 
What is Editing?

Editing is the addition, removal or modification of features of the photo tool. For example unwanted pads may be removed from the photo tools, existing features like traces may have the width increased or reduced. The Art work may be compensated to the requirements of the fabricator's process parameters.  " Comping " refers to making global adjustment in length, width and alignment of the photo tool. In a nut shell, editing fixes or compensates for problems. This is done to increase quality, yields and productivity.

 
When to use Editing
You should consider editing when there are simple errors in the routing of circuitry or when there is problems with the alignment of layers in the design. If there are extra features, unwanted features or missing features, editing will make sense. Layer to layer shorting of dead end vias may easily be fixed. As long as the scope of the problems are relatively small, editing is the answer. Problems of larger scope may require redesign
 
Considerations

The main concern is the scope of the changes and the availability of CAD data. Large edits are not cost effective, it is then better to redesign the board. If there are no CAD files then the art work will need to be scanned, converted to a standard CAD format and then edited.

The above formats may be supplied in ASCII, EIA, or EBCIDIC codes.

 

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