Thursday, May 17, 2012

Altium Designer » How can you export dxf files with traces and pours/planes outlined?

The short explanation is this:
1. Set electrical clearance rule to 1 mil
2. Select all critical copper areas (tracks, arcs, pads, fills, etc) and do Tools>Outline Selected Objects
3. Delete all the items you used to create the outline. You are now left with 8-mil tracks with 1 mil clearance from deleted objects.
4. Publish gerbers and open in CAMtastic
5. Export to DXF as zero width lines
6. Import into SolidWorks as a 2D sketch
7. Select all sketch entities and use offset tool to inset them 5 mils so that they now represent all the objects you outlined (the contours might not be perfectly closed - the only way I know of to close them is to tell SW to extrude the whole sketch and it will prompt you to let it close them)
8. Extrude sketch of the copper and place onto board.
9. Cut copper with drill holes (not shown in picture)

It's a lot of work but it's something. I advise not exporting inverted text because SW has a hard time with all the contours.




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