Artwork Conversion Software, Inc. has developed a layout translator between Mentor Graphics' Board Station and AutoCAD's DXF file format.
PCB designers using Board Station have not had an easy low cost way to import and export mechanical design data - they have either had to pay $10K+ for a solution from Mentor or $5K+ for a couple of third party solutions. This seems a bit excessive for a function that is very essential to the overall electromechanical design of today's products.
Artwork now offers a low cost translator ($995 in each direction, $1495 for both directions) that reads Board Station's geometry file, component file and traces file. It converts the information contained in these three files to AutoCAD's DXF file format. The complete board layout and all annotation, text and title borders are then directly available to the mechanical designer using AutoCAD or virtually any other mechanical design software.
Artwork has taken our extensive experience in writing DXF translators for the electronic industry and used it to insure that the conversion from Board Station to DXF is accurate and robust. We've made sure that the DXF file is readable by versions of AutoCAD from 11 through 13, AutoCAD LT and the many other CAD programs that read DXF.
The translators, men2dxf and dxf2men, will run on the most popular Board Station platforms: HP 700 workstations and Sun Sparc (both SunOS and Solaris). We will make a Windows 95/NT version available later.
Complete specifications are available on our WEB page at www.artwork.com/mentor/men2dxf.htm. The program basically supports [geom + comp + trace] to DXF and in reverse goes from DXF to geom. Data that pertains to netlists or routing rules is ignored.
We will test the program extensively at several sites during January and February - barring unforseen aggravations we will release it in March 97.
Contact Steve DiBartolomeo, Applications Manager, at Artwork Conversion.