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Revision History

The following notes describe changes, fixes and enhancements to 3DVU and associated postprocessors including those for STEP output and parasolid output. Where version numbers are skipped it is normally due to the fact that the version never left the development area.

2.61 [03/08/2017]

parasolid output fix for arcs

The parasolid (XT) output was not using enough places of accuracy when units were set to INCHES. The resulting snapping of arc definition coordinates resulted in errors when importing parasolids into SolidWorks. The accuracy has been increased and the problems resolved.

2.60 [02/16/2017]

parasolid output revised

The 3Di2XT converter to parasolids has been updated (to v1.0.7) to add the barrel entity. Prior versions of the parasolid output did not support barrels.

STEP Output revised

The 3Di2STEP converter has been updated (to v2.0.26).

2.59 [02/06/2017]

STEP and parasolid output converter updates

Updated the 3Di2XT translator to v1.0.6; Updated the 3Di2STEP translator to v2.0.25

2.58 [02/03/2017]

Progress window on top

Modified the progress bar for 3Di files passed on the command line so that it becomes the top most windows. This ensures it is visible when launched from another application.

2.57 [01/31/2017]

Enhancements to 3Di2STEP and 3Di2XT Command Line

Both 3Di2STEP and 3Di2XT were modified to fix a problem with command line processing: namely, that executing the engines from the input file directory wa not working. This has been fixed. Both engines prepend the current directory to the input and output file names if needed.

XT (parasolid) circular output fixed

3Di2XT now fully supports 3Di polyarcs in the translation. No longer are geometry or topology errors flagged in SolidWorks due to polyarcs. There was also an issue of the Boolean arc recovery function potentially re-introducing small segments. This requires re-filtering for close segments after arc recovery.

2.56 [11/18/2016]

New parasolid X_T Output

This version adds a menu option for the standard 3Di2XT translator (no FEA features).

2.55 [11/09/2016]

New parasolid X_T Output

Adds a new 3D output format: parasolid. Currenlty the dialog only supports the FEA version of parasolid. SolidWorks (and other tools that use parasolid as their modeling kernel) should import large files 25X faster and more robustly than using STEP. This does not apply to 3D modeling programs that use other kernels such as AutoDesk Inventor and ProE.

The parasolid output is licensed separately.

2.54 [8/26/2016]

Improved STEP Out for Cadence 3Di files

The STEP out module of 3DVU crashed on client 3Di files generated by Cadence.
The problem had to do with symbol outline that had a flat extrusion. Our program now assumes the same height as the rest of the layer.

2.53 [7/12/2016]

Added DXF export for 3DVU

Added an option to export DXF file from the 3DVU command line.

3dvu.exe -script:test.scr

Sample Script

open S:\0011-Block.3Di
export dxf S:\0011-Block.dxf

open S:\0012-Block.3Di
export dxf S:\0012\Block.dxf

2.52 [6/15/2016]

3Di2STEP Changes and Enhancements

Updated the 3Di2STEP engine to v2.0.18.

No Net Objects on Conductor Layers

Added support for unionizing objects on conductor layers which do not have a NET attribute defined.

Input Data Check

checks if a 3Di file meets the requirments for exporting to STEP for FEA. If the 3Di data has not been "FEA" conditioned, the user may choose to have the 3Di file automatically processed to be compatible.

This includes:

    detecting which layers are CONDDUCTOR and which are DIELECTRIC;

    adding BOARD objects to the dielectric layers;

    unionizing conductor layers;

    moving symbol and solder ball objects from the conductor layer to their own layers.

This is in support of 3Di data exported by Cadence SIP.

MM Scaling

Added an option to both 3DVU STEP export dialogs to support converting the 3Di units to MM and scaling data appropriately. This avoids problems with SolidWorks 2016 when importing data in units of microns.

Unit Scaling

Added a -units:units option to support converting the data into another unit and scaling appropriately. This avoids problems with SolidWorks 2016 treating micron data values in STEP data as exceeding the allowable design extents.

Bug Fix - dummy conductor nets

Fixed a bug where dummy conductor objects were causing vias to be mistakenly identified as interfering and were incorrectly removed.

2.51 [5/26/2016]

Software Upgrades in 3Di2STEP

Fixed a problem where a partial 3Di file (for instance, exported from 3D-VU) would have phantom negative dielectric data generated for conductor layers which were defined but contained no data.

FEA Dielectric Processing Bug Fix

Fixed a bug where dielectric boundary holes were not always being added to the correct negative dielectric polygons.

2.50 [5/12/2016]

Software Upgrades

Improved the progress bar display during Boolean operations to make it clear that progress is being made.

Improved the Boolean operations so that the Layers dialog and Z-Scaling dialog are correctly synced after the operations complete.

Select Multiple Objects

Added a new Select multiple objects option to the Info dialog. This permits selecting and highlighting more than one object by repeatedly clicking. The objects selected in this manner can be exported to a new 3Di file.

2.48 [4/22/2016]

Modified minimum vertex spacing

Previous versions of 3DVU/3Di2STEP included a filter to remove vertices that were very closely spaced. This was put into the program for SolidWorks users because SW would "crash" when fed import data with the vertices very closely spaced. The hardwired default = 1 um.

Some of our simulations users (Ansys users to be specific) wanted to simulate semiconductor layouts with critical dimensions that were submicron and this data was not being output to STEP. In order to support both the existing SW base and the Ansys semiconductor users we have made the minimum spacing a user controlled parameter.

This parameter is now available in the STEP output dialog. It defaults to 1.0 um but could be set to a value such as 0.1 um. We don't recommend setting it lower than necessary because it is impossible to know when a simulator will have problems with extremely small dimensions.

2.47 [4/08/2016]

ACIS Output

A prototype ACIS output converter has been added to 3DVU (3Di2ACIS); There are two options -- one for basic ACIS and one for FEA applications where additional processing is done to the 3D model to make it useful for Ansys tools such as Maxwell. Requires a separate license.

2.46 [3/4/2016]

Via Drill in STEP Output

This version checks if a via drill intersects with a conductor. If it does, it will issue a warning message and remove the via.

2.43 [12/23/2015]

3DVU STEP Output Update for FEA

Added a new command line option -expand_dielectric:[d] option to 3Di2STEP and a new GUI element to support it in 3D-VU.
This is a new FEA option (similar to the one we have in Read3Di), will expand dielectric board objects by the specified distance before calculating negative dielectrics. This is needed in case the data is part of a clipped board with conductor flush to the edge. Without board expansion, this leads to negative dielectric where the holes are touching the parent.
Since this function was already a part of the 3Di engine (in use by Read3Di) it already supports a polygonal board outline and uses BoolDll for true sizing. Therefore there are extra vertices at the board corners for a simple input rectangle.

2.42 [12/18/2015]

3DVU STEP Output Updates

3D-VU has an updated Export STEP dialog to support the new 3Di2STEP features.

  • Updated the 3Di2STEP engine to v2.0.11.
  • Modified the Export STEP dialog to support the latest 3Di2STEP options.
  • Added an Export STEP for FEA menu item and dialog to support advanced 3Di2STEP FEA options.

  • 2.41 [11/18/2015]

    3DVU STEP Output Updates

    3D-VU has an updated Export STEP dialog to support the new 3Di2STEP features.

  • 3Di2STEP has added support for replacing circular vias (and dielectric board holes) with a low resolution regular polygon with the specified number of sides.
  • 3Di2STEP has also added support for adding drill holes to vias by specifying the wall thickness.
  • These two options can not both be used at the same time.

    2.39 [10/7/2015]

    Software Updates

    Added code to explicitly hide the progress dialog in a second location.
    Fixed a problem where text was not displayed properly in layer dialog.
    Scrolling through the net names in the Info Dialog using arrow keys now displays info for each net in the Info window.

    2.38 [09/17/2015]

    Arc Recovery

    Added arc recovery to 3Di output by upgrading ASC23Di module of Netex-G.

    2.37 [08/21/2015]

    STEP out crash

    3DVU crashed while exporting a STEP file. This problem was fixed.

    2.36 [08/18/2015]

    Software Upgrades

    This version provides a more accurate STEP model for barrel objects.

    2.35 [08/4/2015]

    New Attribute support

    This version can handle 2DPA GEOM attribute (boundary with arc segments) found in customer file.

    2.34 [07/16/2015]

    Software Upgrades

    This version fixes the problem with respect to badly oriented holes.
    It also adds support for the -hierarchy:[attributeName] command line option to control how the STEP data is structured.
    This option can be controlled through a new dialog control in the 3D-VU Export STEP dialog.

    2.33 [06/16/2015]

    Software Upgrades

    New VS2008 Build.
    VTK 5.10 3D engine.
    3Di2STEP v2.0.5 support.
    Adds support for 3Di v2.1.1 which supports polyarcs.
    Tool to filter SYMBOL and BALL objects to their own layers.

    2.32 [05/19/2015]

    Crashing Error

    This version limits the convexing vertex count so that 3D-VU does not crash when loading the file.

    2.31 [05/11/2015]

    Registry Problem

    Fixed a registry problem which caused the 3di2step.exe to fail in floating mode.

    2.30 [04/05/2015]

    STEP Output Update

    This version supports the latest changes made to 3Di2STEP. Specifically, all combinations of step export including unionization/cicularize produce wires/spheres/barrels in the STEP output.

    2.29 [09/05/2014]

    Misc Updates

    Updated the 3Di2STEP engine to v2.0.3. This version improves the modeling of curved surfaces and holes.
    It also supports unionization and arc recovery of extrusions. This results in a faster export and reduced STEP file size.

    2.26 [11/21/2013]

    New DXF Output

    This version adds an option to export a 2D DXF file. 3Di Objects are translated as follows:
    The layer structure is preserved.
    2D polygons are converted to ZWCP.
    2D circles are converted to circles.
    2D paths are internally converted to 2D polygons, so translated to ZWCP. AWR path preservation is not supported since this will primarily be used for polygon analysis Wires are converted to polylines with width. All vertices are preserved, but the z-values are dropped. Spheres are converted to circles.
    Barrels are converted to circles using the largest radius. The smaller radii are dropped.
    All other attributes: NET, OBJECT, COLOR etc. are dropped.

    2.23 [11/28/2012]

    Fixed a bug in the 3Di2STEP translator.

    2.22 [11/27/2012]

    Incorporated the 3Di2STEP converter into the 3D-VU product. A separate license is still required to export a 3D STEP format, but a separate install is not required.

    2.21 [06/29/2012]

    Updated the Export Step dialog to support the latest features of 3Di2STEP.

    Removed the Export|ACIS menu item.

    2.20 [05/24/2012]

    Added a new Export Step dialog to support the latest features of 3Di2STEP.

    2.19 [05/10/2012]

    Added support for the latest 3Di2STEP features, specifically, an option to export AP214 STEP format which supports color.

    2.18 [03/29/2012]

    Added an Export STEP option to the file menu. This option requires that a license for exporting STEP is present and the 3Di2STEP translator is installed and licensed.

    2.17 [02/24/2012]

    Fixed a bug where the new Layers dialog was not correctly initialized when a 3Di file was opened from the command line or by double-clicking a 3Di file.

    2.16 [01/11/2012]

    Added a new Layers dialog with better control over layer and object visibility. Layers can also be renamed and saved.

    Added an option to export only selected objects to a new 3Di file.

    2.15 [10/05/2011]

    Added an option to export only visible objects to a new 3Di file.

    2.14 [07/26/2011]

    Added support for selecting multiple nets simultaneously to the Info dialog.

    2.13 [07/11/2011]

    Extents Error Fix

    The boolean engine used by 3DVU was occasionally generating illegal polygons. When these were passed to the 3D rendering engine the engine incorrectly computed the extents of the polygon with the result that the desired data was extremely small compared to this bad polygon. This has been fixed.

    2.11 [01/10/2011]

    The progress bar is now visible when 3Di files are opened by double-clicking or by being launched from a shell within another application.

    2.10 [03/10/2010]

    Added support for 3Di v1.7 which includes support for paths with different endcaps: round, flush and 1/2 width extended.

    2.09 [02/23/2010]

    Modified the size of some dialogs based on changes in Windows 7.

    2.08 [02/10/2010]

    Added the X, Y, Z co-ordinate of the current mouse position to the status bar.

    2.07 [01/05/2010]

    Modified the 3D-VU installer.

    2.06 [05/06/2009]

    Improved complex solid rendering using internal boolean operations.

    2.05 [03/11/2009]

    Added support for AWROut special entities and tables.

    3DVU V2.04 02/05/09

    Add Support for Path Element

    A new element has been added to the 3Di database - a path with constant width. 3DVU 2.04 supports this new element. The element was added for use with simulation tools that prefer to use paths when possible instead of the previous conversion of each path to a boundary.

    3DVU V2.02 05/20/08

    Display 3D Axes

    Added an option to toggle the 3D axes symbol on/off. (this can be useful if you don' want them showing during snapshots.)

    Window Placement

    Windows size and placement is now stored/restored in a new way which should be more stable. Previous versions sometimes corrupted the window position resulting in full screen only sizing.

    DRC Licensing

    DRC functionality is now licensed separately - this enable us to offer a lower cost basic viewer without the 3D DRC.

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