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ASM 500W Family Revision History

This document summarizes enhancements and fixes to the ASM 500 Windows family of DXF to Gerber Translators. Please consult this page on a regular basis to determine what changes have been made to our programs. This revision history covers:

Version 6.69a (12-4-2014)

New Install

This release is with the latest installer.

Windows 8 support

Added support to Windows 8, 32 and 64 bit.

Version 6.63    (5-20-2010)

Tapered pline

The DXF engine had a bug handling tapered plines. This has been fixed.

Windows 7 support

Added support to Windows 7, 32 and 64 bit.

Version 6.62a    (12-28-2009)

GBR2DXF Update

A new feature was added in GBR2DXF. The new feature can be set in the Setting menu and it allows the user to create 0 width LINE/ARC entity for Gerber draws and a POINT for a Gerber flash.

Version 6.62    (11-30-2009)

Illegal bow tie polygon dropped

ASM500 dropped an illegal polygon drawn as a bow tie. This has been fixed.

Rotated extruded block translated incorrectly

ASM500 converted incorrectly a block which was extruded along the Z axis and rotated. This has been fixed.

Issue with small arcs

The issue was related to the presence of very short poly arcs. Problem reported by Dynatron and is now fixed.

Version 6.58    (7-24-2009)

Issue with small arcs

The issue was related to the presence of very short arcs, which when converted to GERBER in CIRCULAR mode became 360 arcs (the starting and ending points collapsing to the same point). This problem wasnot a problem when not in CIRCULAR mode, so now every DXF ARC is first checked as if it were not in CIRCULAR mode. If the number of points to create the corresponding segmented ARC is less than 2, the ARC is discarded.

Version 6.57    (6-21-2009)

Improved Linker

Improved linker as a result of Physware complaint that some very poorly constructed data (mulitple lines and arcs showing up at the same point) did not link the way they liked.

Version 6.55b    (5-14-2009)

Incorrect arc Gerber data

This version fixes a follow up issue to version 6.55a - it also had to do with circular data.

Version 6.55a    (5-12-2009)

Incorrect arc Gerber data for block with different XY scale

This version fixes a problem related to blocks that have different X and Y scale. Arc data cannot be output via G02, G03 and IJ commands because there is no elliptical GERBER draw. This problem was fixed.

Version 6.55    (5-9-2009)

De-embedding engine crash

This version fixes a problem related to PATH to OUTLINE conversions when the last segment overlaps the first segment of the POLYLINE or LWPOLYLINE. The two reports were symptomatic of the same problem. Although the problem still resides in BoolDll.Dll this problem was "fixed" in the DXF front end when constructing the outline data for the POLYLINE.

Version 6.54    (2-2-2009)

Fixed problem with UNIFONT SHX files

This version fixes the SHX problem reported for the character "C" in romans_p.shx and romans_2009.shx.

This fix applies to UNIFONT SHX files that have character entries with preambles longer than two bytes long. Normally the preamble would be "C\0", but in the problem SHX files some of these preambles were much longer, for example


Reported by Dynatron.

Wrong dcode selection in Outline mode with non POEX apertures

This version fixes a problem in the outline dcode selection when CIRCULAR is on and the outline dcodes were not POEX.

Reported by Crane Polyflon.

Version 6.53    (11-21-2008)

Block names with non-printing characters

The DXF engine failed to process block names with non-printing characters. Reported by Dynatron.

Empty Gerber file in De-embedding

ASM500 with De-embedding created empty Gerber files with certain DXF files which were not purged. This has been fixed. Reported by Tyco.

Version 6.45a    (10-4-2007)

Object folded on itself

The DXF engine didn't report as an error a polygon that had a 0.01 micron segment folded on itself within a close pline. The problem was reported by Advance Reproduction and was fixed.

Ellipse problem.

The DXF engine didn't support ellipse entities in some cases. Problem reported by CTS Corp and was fixed.

Long block and layer names.

The DXF engine now supports block and layer names that are longer than 32 characters.

Updated rs274.dll.

An updated rs274.dll (274x formatter) for Gbrmerge fix was provided. M-Codes were being placed at the end of a Gerber file without an End of Block character, '*'. When files were being merged later, an M-Code sometimes appeared in the middle of a merge file. This has now been fixed.

Version 6.41    (3-5-2007)

USB Key support

Added support for USB keys.

Version 6.36    (1-29-2006)

Spaces in fonts

These versions fix the issue of spacing in TEXT in the presence of secondary fonts that contain the space character in their stroke table.

Version 6.35    (1-12-2006)

Support for isocp*.shx fonts

This version fixes a translator problem with the fonts isocp*.shx.

Long Directory name problem

A problem was fixed when the working directory was long and had spaces in it.

Version 6.33    (10-27-2005)

Support for 256 layers

Previous version of ASM50x didn't support files with more than 256 layers.This has been fixed.

Big font support

There were two conversions issues with big fonts (far east fonts). This has been fixed.

File Merge

There was a bug in the film merge when the layers merged had similar names. This has been fixed.

Working directory passed to GBRVU

ASM50x working directory didn't pass to GBRVU. That resulted in drill files going to the wrong place. This has been fixed.

GBR2DXF crashes

GBR2DXF crashed when the aperture table had the DEMB key word. This has been fixed.

Version 6.32    (7-29-2005)

Multi Aperture file in ASM502 problem

0 width closed plines with arcs didn't get fill with ASM502 using the multi aperture fill mode. This has been fixed.

Film Merge Problem

A bug in the shell caused bad films to be generated when circular data was used. This has been fixed.

Version 6.31    (7-11-2005)

Block data appeared twice in output Gerber file

Block data in the DXF file was converted to gerber and written twice in the Gerber file. This has been fixed.

Version 6.30    (6-30-2005)

Flash disappear in ASM500 with De-embedding

When de-embedding was on, flashes disappeared in ASM500. This has been fixed.

Arcs to vectors in POEX mode.

When de-embedding is off, arcs that are part of a 0 width closed pline, get chopped to vectors. It is now fixed.

Problem with file with over 10000 blocks.

ASM50x crashed when scanning a file with over 10000 blocks. It is now fixed.

Version 6.27    (2-11-2005)

Artwork Adds Polygon De-Embedding to ASM 500

Polygon de-embedding is the ability to take a layer full of polygons that contains other polygons, figure out which surrounds which, and produce a Gerber output that sorts out the changes in polarity due to each boundary. This function is of great interest to designers of MEMs, Microwave and RF circuits, chemically milled parts and optical components; and to the photo mask manufacturers who must deal with such data.
ASM500 De-Embedding

Occasional crash on Win2K

Program would not be able to create a job file under Windows 2000. It is now fixed.

Version 6.26    (12-4-2004)

Working Directory

Force working directory to be the same as the job file when passed as an argument.

360 degree pline arc

Fixed a problem of calculating the radius when translating 360 degree 0 width closed pline arc.

Version 6.25    (11-8-2004)

Filling using Multi Aperture fill

Problem fixed with the multi aperture filling of polygons with arcs and re-entrant polygons.

Version 6.23    (06-28-2004)

Added support for Big Font

Our ASM50X family support now big fonts - that allows us to converts SHX files of different languages like Japanese and Chinese.

Fixed Arc Problem in circular mode

ASM50x had problems converting certain arcs in circular mode. This has been fixed.

Version 6.06a    (11-11-2003)

Fixed Install Bug for Hardware Key

The installation programs would terminate early if hardware key (Sentinel) licensing was selected. This has been fixed.

Date Fix

ASM50x license modules would not support dates after 2010. This had been fixed.

Version 6.06    (10-11-2003)

Fixed Circular 360 bug

A bug with the circular interpolation was fixed in this version.

Version 6.05    (09-22-2003)

Flexlm Licensing Added

This version includes support for Flexlm node locking and Flexlm floating license manager ...

Known Bug - Circular 360

A bug with the circular interpolation was found after release. If circular interpolation is set to On 360 the resulting arcs may be incorrect. Users are advised to turn circular interpolation off until the next release when this bug will be corrected.

Version 6.04    (3-11-2002)

DXF to Gerber - New Polygon "Chopping" Function
DXF drawings with complex boundaries often exceed the Gerber limit of 4000 vertices per drawing. In the past, when this limit was exceeded, DXF2GBR would convert it to a line ouline and the user had to redraw the boundary in AutoCAD manually.

Version 6.04 can now handle such complex boundaries automatically. It breaks down these large complex boundaries into smaller ones that do not exceed the max vertex limit....

Version 6.02    (12-05-2001)

Float 0
Float layer 0 option was fixed.

Polylines with Width
POLYLINE support is much more robust, and specifically addresses a situation where a POLYLINE folds back on itself. This version now supports POLYLINES with constant and changing width that would previously have generated self-intersecting boundaries.

Version 6.00    (10-12-2001)

Film Output File Names
Older versions limit the length of the file name without path to be 8.3 format. This limit has been removed. Long file names are allowed.

View RS274X Film Output
Older versions would not use the latest RS274X importer rs274x.ctl when viewing the RS274X film output. This has been fixed to use the latest RS274X importer.

View Gerber - Gbrvu Hidden
Under Windows 2000, when viewing Gerber, the viewer pops up but it is behind Asm500. This has been fixed.

New HostInfo Node Locking
The method of getting the hostid from the PC has been improved to eliminate cases where the machine had a network card but the hostid returned was null.

Demo Mode is Gone
If no valid license was obtained the old program would go into demo mode. This was confusing customers who weren't sure why they were running in demo mode. This mode has been deleted and only the license error message will appear.

GBR2DXF Updates

Clipping Windows for Custom Apertures was Deficient
The number of maximum windows allowed for custom apertures was 128. It has now been increased to 10000. The other clipping window maximum has been increased the same for consistency.

Custom Aperture In a SR Layer
The contentx of custom apertures were SR'd by X and Y in addition of the SR itself. This has been fixed.

Undefined or Duplicate Block Definition in the DXF Output
Older versions might generate a DXF file with the above error if the Gerber file has custom apertures on layer 1 or above. This has been fixed.

Fixed SR handling Problem
If SR is followed by *, then the M02*command e.g.


the translator would crash on this combination. This has been fixed to ignore the second SR in the same layer.

New keying/hostinfo 2.
No demo mode.
New about dialog.

Version 5.66     (4-20-1999)

Bulges when Filling
5.65 introduced a problem in filling. When the area to fill is relatively small comparing to the dcodes used, bulges would occur in the output.

Version 5.65    (4-12-1999)

Flash Donuts
Older versions would not flash donuts smaller than 0.001. This has been fixed.

New Filling Routine
Older versions would generate problems in filling, e.g. crash, not filled for large boundaries. This version applies a new filling routine which solves these problems as well as generates better filling.

%%c Special Character
Older versions would not translate %%c special character(the diameter symbol). This has been fixed.

Crash after "Analyzing Entities"
Older versions might crash when linking is on and the input has a lot of segments (>10000, depending on system resources). This has been fixed.

Version 5.61     (08-24-1998)

Lavenir Output
Older versions would crash if gerber format x.6 or x.7 is used. This has been fixed.

DXF Layer Names with Spaces
This version supports DXF layer name with spaces.

Flashing Circles Smaller than 0.001
Older versions would not flash circles smaller than 0.001. This has been fixed.

Compound Text (MTEXT) Crash
Improve robustness of compound text reading. Incomplete MTEXT (not enclosed with []) would cause Asm500 to crash. This has been fixed and Asm500 would detect and translate MTEXT even if [] is incomplete.

Text Shifted
Text would be shifted with different combination of insertation point. This verison of Asm500 has improved text insertion point interpretation.

Version 5.60    (06-09-1998)

Y2K Compliant
The New LSERV4 license manager now makes this program Y2K compliant.

New Improved CD/WEB Installation
This version comes with InstallShield EASY installation - self extracting for WEB and optimized for CD on CDROM. All support files are installed as needed by the Wizard. Also includes uninstall.

Long File Names Support
This version supports W95/NT4 long file names and long file names with spaces.

RS274X, MDA and Film Merge Demo Mode
This version supports RS274X, MDA and film merge output in demo mode. Now demo users can generate RS274X, MDA or merge gerber output on the demo set and be able to view the demo output on the gerber viewer.

Auxiliary Aperture
GraphiCode aperture output is discontinued from this version. Use RS274X as all major viewer/CAM programs can automatically read aperture header.

Flash Blocks
This version generates more informative warning message when a block is flashed using a dcode. Now it says the block will not be output and instead the corresponding dcode is output.

Flash Block Rotation
When flashing a block and the block is inserted with an angle in the DXF file, this version checks the angle against the dcode type for possible differences in the input and output. Older versions would always generate a warning for each insertion, potentially generating a huge error file; this version only generates a warning if rotating the dcode distorts the output.

    rotating a round dcode through any angle will NOT generate a warning
    rotating a rectangular d-code is OK for 180 but not for 90 etc....
    rotating a square d-code is OK for any 90 degree rotation.

This will greatly improve support for SMT designers.

Version 5.51    (04-21-1998)

Update Floating License Manager
Updated LM to Lserv4. This enables both NT and 95 to host a license manager daemon.

Fixed Arc Bug
Arcs were not translated properly in fill mode autodraw with gerber circular on. This has been fixed.

Version 5.50    (01-08-1998)

Merge Output CR/LF
Older versions would always generate merge output with CR/LF suppressed. Now the merge function follows the user's spec from the configuration menu.

Fixed Bug when merging to RS274X and MDA
Fixed a bug introduced previously that would generate empty gerber output if user attempted to create a merged 274X or MDA formatted file.

Polylines POEX Not Filled
Fixed a problem on some polylines that have a non-zero starting width but zero internal widths at all vertices. Now recognizes these as zero width closed filled.

Total Number of Closed Polygons Output
Previous versions did not report correctly the total number of polygons output and in the log file. This routine has been fixed.

DXF Scanning Error Bug Fix
Under some conditions, Asm500 would not scan the DXF file successfully, and report Failed Scanning DXF file. This has been fixed.

Version 5.49     (07-22-1997)

POEX POIN Filling Error
In the previous version POEX POIN filling sometimes generated a precision error that figures might not be closed. This has been fixed.
PCL Plotter Driver
PCL Unencoded Plotter Driver has been deleted from this version.

Version 5.47    (7-10-1997)

Auto Flash (Circles/Donuts) Insertion Point

A bug was introduced in version 5.14 that placed flashes in the wrong position when the flashes were inside a block. This has been fixed. Problem reported by Joost from Holland on 7-8-97.

Warns when filling a block inserted with scale

When using ASM 500's and ASM 502's area fill option (fill=on) one is not allowed to insert blocks with scale greater than 1 or the fill is not correct. This version puts a warning in the log file if it encounters such block insertions.

Requested by Mike Domalewski of Texas Instruments on 7-7-97.

Version 5.46    (07-01-1997)

Text Alignment

ASM 50x 5.45 had the text alignment problem fixed, but still generated shifted text output under some conditions. This has been fixed.

Version 5.45    (06-26-1997)

Single and Zero Vertex Count Polyline

AutoCAD exports DXF files with single and Zero Vertex Count Polylines under some conditions. Asm50x used to drop the data after the single vertex polyline, this version would skip the invalid single vertex data and translate the rest correctly.

Compensation with Precision finer than 0.001

Older versions generate output a little off when compensating data smaller than 0.001 inch. This has been fixed.

UM to INCH/MM Conversion

This version supports DXF unit UM to gerber INCH or MM. It used to treat DXF UM as MIL.

Check if DXF File is really a DXF file

The translation engine now checks to determine whether the input file is really a DXF file based on the first couple of characters which must be either white spaces, zeroes, or 999 with or without zeroes after it. Otherwise, an error message pops up and translation terminates.

Text Alignment

When a DXF file is exported by programs other than AutoCAD, the text in the DXF output might not have alignment information, which causes Asm50x to translate the text using the alignment point for rotation and text generation information and relative text scaling.

Lightweight Polyline from AutoCAD R14

This new construct from R14 is supported. Other R14 constructs have not been added.

Linking Boundary

Linked boundary count reporting in the log file has been added. Now it reflects the total number of boundaries in the result of linking, in addition to the total number of boundaries. e.g. Linked 4 Open 1 Closed figures. 1 Closed polygons output.
Version 5.43    (04-24-1997)

Centering Text

Text inserted with reference to the center was not centered precisely in the gerber output. This has been fixed.

Flashes/Blocks Insertion not Scaled

Older versions of Asm50X do not scale flashes and blocks insertion point correctly. This has been fixed.

Unit Conversion

Older versions of Asm50X do not convert English data to Metric and Metric to English. Only MIL to INCH, CM to MM, etc. For example, user specifies DXF file unit as MM and Gerber unit as INCH and the output gerber will be in INCH. Scale is set to 1.0, no special attention is needed. Autodraw and autoflash dimensions are converted from MM to INCH automatically. This has been fixed.

Missing Text

When text generated from AutoCAD R13, it might be in unicode format, binary format, or ascii. Older versions of Asm50X only support ascii text, so some text might be missing in the output. This version now supports all formats.

MDA Output

MDA output from older versions of Asm50X would point to the next MDA file even though they were not merged. This version only generates MDA files which point to the next file when merging.

User Interface

Network Licensing

Older versions report "(99) License Error" on large translations (longer than 95 seconds) when using network licensing. This has been fixed.

Translation Crash

When hitting "Start Translation", the translation engine would sometimes crash at the very beginning. This has been fixed.

Long File Names

Asm50X 5.43, Gbr2dxf 3.27 and Gbrvu 1.85 have warning messages when a file with long file name is selected or specified. (Long file name is not supported).

Reporting Translation Warnings

When translating DXF layers with different settings, Asm50X used to report the number of warnings after each layer translation. Now, Asm50X only reports the total number of warnings after translating all layers.

Asm50X Disappearing after Translation

Older versions of Asm50X tends to go to the 'background' after translation, (behind Program Manager), the problem has been fixed in this version.

GBR2DXF Translator

Skipping Non-GBR-Drawing Header Information

This version of gbr2dxf skips any blocks or lines in the beginning of a Gerber file that don't make up part of the GBR drawing, i.e. Gerber files starting with M00. In addition to this, G57 codes are treated as comments.
Version 5.42    (01-28-1997)

Layer Dialog Box - New Features

Users can turn on/off layers, toggle layers mode to Off/Mode1/2/3, toggle layers to fill/outline with a single mouse click. This reduces the tedium of changing 20 layers with 20 mouse clicks.

Use Film Merge in another Job

Users who had set up elaborate film merge files can now re-use these settings. The "Use Job" button in "Select DXF File" dialog box allows the user to make a copy of a previous job so that the same settings (layer info, merge info) can be used for the current dxf file.


Both dxf files should share the same layer names.

it is advisable to use the same working directory for both files.

New Key Diagnostic Program

Added Readkey.exe and Readkey.doc to help users track down hardware key and key string problems. This utility returns information on the hardware key attached to any of the parallel ports. Returned info should be emailed or faxed to Artwork.

Flash Circles/Donuts Using Non-Round/Non-Donut Dcode

Previous releases would flash circles and donuts only if the associated dcode was either round or donut. Users who attempted to define the d-code as some other type found that no flash was generated. This has been fixed.

DXF File End-Of-Line Marker

This release supports DXF files with the following end of line markers:

'carriage-return and line-feed'

This feature was implemented to support DXF files coming from DOS, Windows, UNIX and Mac machines.

The translation engine also attempts to identify the input file as a DXF file by reading the first few characters and comparing them to expected data. If not a DXF file no longer hangs and a error message is issued.

Scale Fillable Fonts

Bug Fix: The hatch lines for a fillable SHX font were scaled twice; resulting in hatch lines much larger than the font outline.
Version 5.41    (10/30/1996)

Bug Fix:
Circular on and poex outline mode was not working - When a pline with double point and changing width, the width remained the same after translation -

Version 5.39    (09/18/1996)

When going into Flash Circles/Donuts dialog box, one needed to scroll through the pages to make the flashes, otherwise, only the first page is flashed. Fix
Now - click OK and everything is flashed using the default names.

Version 5.38     (08/06/1996)

BUG FIX - arcs
A fairly aggravating bug was introduced into version 5.37 related to the translation of arcs and polyline arcs. This seemed to affect arcs whose angle was in the range from 180 to 360 degrees and was traced to a problem in the Microsoft compiler's tangent function. We worked around the tangent function's error and corrected the bug. Very few copies of 5.37 were shipped; anyone running it should contact us for a replacement.

BUG FIX: Scaled Blocks with Circular ON
We fixed a bug which occured when circular=360 (i.e. circular interpolation is turned on) and the dwg contains blocks inserted at scale. The program was ignoring the block scale factor and processing the block entities at 1:1. This has been corrected.

Duplicate Block Names
A customer submitted a DXF file that caused ASM 500 to lock up. We traced the problem to the BLOCK table - there were two block definitions using the same name. This caused the DXF scanning routine to hang. We've modified the scanning routine to be resistant to this problem - an error message is now generated. Note that AutoCAD itself would not DXFIN this same file.

Square Aperture Fills
Earlier versions of ASM 50x would not use any aperture defined as a square for polygon filling purposes. Only round apertures were acceptable. Some customers wanted to be able to fill with square apertures.

Version 5.37     (07/18/1996)

MDA Autoplot Header
Added option to control machine resolution. 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16th of a mil.

Increased precision of the aperture dimensions from 3 places to 6 places.

Fixed a bug in the aperture dimensions when running ASM 50X in mm mode.

General Enhancements Extended the range of the format statement from 0.1 to 6.3 including 2.6, 2.7, 3.5, 3.6 etc for higher resolution applications.

Fixed a precision problem when converting donuts to flashes. Raymond Larraway of Product Engineering reported that 0.063 dia donuts were written out as 0.064 dia donuts.

The layers in the layer table now appear in alphabetical order.

User can now cancel the translation during the time the program is generating Gerber data by clicking on Cancel button.

Import Enhancements
Updated the RS274X import routines to better accommodate commented commands starting with G04. Requested by Moshe Ohayon at Elmo Semiconductors.

Version 5.35 (04/16/1996)

Fixes to User Interface asm500.exe, asm502.exe and asm501.exe
Increased number of layers supported to 256.

The output of film merge can now be created in a directory different that the current directory

The film merge routine now supports more than 16 layers - earlier versions misbehaved if more than 16 layers were specified per merge.

When launching GBRVU from the main menu, the working directory was not always passed to GBRVU. This caused GBRVU to crash when attempting to view MDA or RS274X type Gerber files. This has been corrected.

Fixes to the translation engine (a2gengin.exe, a2g501.exe, a2g502.exe)
Increased number of layers supported to 256.

Fixed a bug when processing polyline arc bulges - some bulges were creating little circles (i.e. incorrect rotation all the way around)

Fixed a subtle problem related to processing DXF files with an empty block reference - if float layer zero=on some data would be dropped in the output.

Certain SHX files would cause the font reader routine to hang. These were the HD-LB.SHX family - a very large multi-stroke SHX file -Fixed

Miscellaneous Modules
Added 256 layer support to aperture list writer for ECAM, MDA Autoplot, RS274X, Wise Gerbtool, and Graphicode

Added layer and color information to the Lavenir ENV aperture format.

Fixed the Mentor aperture list importer- apparently there is some variation in the construction of Mentor aperture lists - a variant we hadn't seen before caused the aperture translatorto hang.

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