The Mentor to DXF translation engine uses a command line interface enabling the user
to call it from a script or from another program quickly and easily. To see how to run
the program from the BoardStation environment go to Chapter 5.
Command Line Syntax
men2dxf [options] GEOMETRY [-comp COMPONENT] [-trace TRACE] [-dxf DXF] [-block BLOCK]
where options are:
-st Show text - Forces display of all text, even if it was set to 0 width in Mentor. -detail Writes additional trouble shooting details to the men2dxf.log file. GEOMETRY Is the name of one or more geometry file(s), separated by spaces, to be translated. At least one geometry file name must be specified. -comp COMPONENT Is the name of the component file to be translated. Note - if you do not specify a component file you won't see your parts in the DXF file. -trace TRACE Is the name of the trace file to be translated. Circuit traces are normally stored in this file. -dxf DXF Is the name of the DXF file name. If not specified on the command line, men2dxf will derive the name from the first geometry file and append .dxf to the name. -block BLOCK Name of the drawing, board or panel you wish men2dxf to insert as the top level block in DXF. -log LOG Name and location of the log file. If not specified it will be written to the current directory with the name DXF_FILE_NAME.LOG.
men2dxf geom.asc -comp comp.asc -dxf assembly.dxfTranslates the geometry file called geom.asc and the associated component file called comp.asc into a dxf file called assembly.dxf. Only component data that appears on the top of the board is imaged.
men2dxf -st -detail board0501.asc support.asc fixture.asc -comp board0501.cmp -dxf rd0501.dxfTranslates the geometry files board501.asc, support.asc and fixture.asc and the associated component file called board501.cmp into a dxf file called board501.dxf.
Layer MappingBoardstation geometry files define layer names such as DRAWING_1 or SILKSCREEN. The men2dxf translator will use the same layer names in the DXF file. This makes it easy for the Mentor designer and the AutoCAD designer to determine correspondence between layers.
Component LayeringComponent definitions can include data on a variety of layers. If data is drawn on a generic Mentor layer such as PAD then the component insertion determines whether or not this data will appear on PAD_1 (top of board) or PAD_2 (bottom of board).
|Generic Layer||Top Layer||Bottom Layer|
It is also possible to define component shapes on a specific layer
such as PAD_1. In that case such a shape is only translated if the component
is inserted on the top layer.
Attribute LayersBoardstation uses attribute commands to define certain areas such as routing keepouts, via keepouts and the board outline. men2dxf maps puts such data on an appropriately named layer so that the AutoCAD designer can see where the outline originated in the Boardstation database.
Attribute AutoCAD Layer $$attribute(“BOARD_ROUTING_OUTLINE”,...) BOARD_ROUTING_OUTLINE $$attribute(“BOARD_PLACEMENT_KEEPOUT”,...) BOARD_PLACEMENT_KEEPOUT
Test Point LayerThe trace file contains test point information - generally at least one test point per route. Each test point is mapped to a circle in DXF and placed on a layer called TEST_POINT.
Trace LayersCircuit traces are added to physical layers defined as 1,2,3,...At the beginning of the trace file is a mapping table that correlates these layers with the PCB data layer names:
XRF 1 SIGNAL_1 XRF 2 SIGNAL_2
Block Insertion LayerBlock insertions that correspond to the $$add( ) in the geometry file will be inserted in DXF layer 0. Insertions generated by the comp file are inserted either into layer 1 or layer 2 depending on the layer number in the comp file entry.
BlocksGeometry files “create” different classes of blocks, such as
$$create_board, $$create_component $$create_generic_partDXF does not differentiate between various type of block definitions so all of these commands create a simple DXF block. The men2dxf program does not insert a Mentor created block unless the $$add() command has been used. However there is a command line option in men2dxf that enables you to select a block for insertion.
Components to BlocksBecause of the generic layers used in Mentor’s component definitions, men2dxf creates two DXF blocks for each component part in the geometry file - one has the data on generic layers moved to the _1 layer and the other has data on _2 layer. When the component is actually inserted on the top or bottom of the board the correct _1 or _2 version is inserted so that the data in AutoCAD appears as it would in BoardStation.
|Mentor Function||DXF Entity||Comment|
|$$add||INSERT||Block inserted on DXF layer 0|
|$$add_board_layer_block||---||Not implemented yet. Creates a rectangular block for each layer. Used for artwork registration.|
|$$add_dimension||INSERT||Dimension lines, text and symbols are drawn on current defined Mentor layer ($$template_layer). Each dimension is contained in its own block using the naming convention Dn where n=1,2,3,4...4,|
If width > 0
if width = 0
|$$attribute||----||**See section on attributes|
|If non-filled and width == 0
if filled or width != 0
|$$create_board||BLOCK||There is only one create_board() definition per board design. This block is automatically inserted in the DXF file entity section.|
|$$create_component||BLOCK||These component definitions will be later referenced by the component_ascii file.|
|$$create_drawing||BLOCK||Multiple drawing definitions can exist in the same geometry file.|
|$$layer_color||---||Put into DXF layer table|
|$$layer_color_map||LAYER||Used to create color numbers in the DXF table. The specified RGB values will be mapped to one of the DXF color numbers|
|$$layer_line_style||---||LAYER table line style in the DXF output. DXF linetype may not exactly output mentor linetype|
|$$page||---||Units parameter is used to generate a 999 COMMENT in the DXF file|
|$$pin||INSERT||There soul exist a pin definition.|
|$$polygon||ZWC POLYLINE||AutoCAD has no polygon entity so it is approximated with a zwcp|
|$$select_point||---||Used in the translator to mark an xy position|
|$$template_dimension||---||Dimension defaults. Do not support the@box parameter|
|$$template_font||---||Used in the translator to generate a font name default|
|$$template_layer||---||Sets current layer default|
|$$template_line_style||---||Sets current line style default|
|$$template_page||---||Similar to $$page function|
|$$template_page_width||---||Sets default polyline width|
|$$template_pointer||---||Sets pointer (i.e. a dimension leader) defaults|
|$$template_text||---||Text defaults. Ignores text box settings|
|$$terminal||---||Pushes an XY position to stack used by functions that follow such as path.|
|$$text||TEXT||Ignores text box related information. Does not auto-mirror text drawn on the bottom layer.|
AttributesBoardStation attributes are used to convey information about geometries. They can define:
|Boardstation Attribute||DXF Entity||Comment|
|BOARD_PLACEMENT_KEEPOUT||POLYLINE||On layer BOARD_PLACEMENT_KEEPOUT|
|BOARD_PLACEMENT_OUTLINE||POLYLINE||On layer BOARD_PLACEMENT_OUTLINE|
|BOARD_ROUTING_OUTLINE||POLYLINE||On layer BOARD_ROUTING_OUTLINE|
|COMPONENT_DEFAULT_PADSTACK||---||Marking a default PIN name. PIN name is used in the COMPONENT_PIN_DEFINITION attribute|
|COMPONENT_PADSTACK_OVERRIDE||---||Marking a PIN name. PIN name is used in the COMPONENT_PIN_DEFINITION attribute|
|COMPONENT_PIN_DEFINITION||INSERT||Block insertion on layer 0|
|COMPONENT_PLACEMENT_OUTLINE||POLYLINE||On layer COMPONENT_PLACEMENT_OUTLINE|
|COMPONENT_THERMAL_OUTLINE||POLYLINE||On a layer COMPONENT_THERMAL_OUTLINE|
|DRILL_DEFINITION||POLYLINE||2 polylines making a '+' symbol on the default layer|
|DRILL_DEFINITION_UNPLATED||POLYLINE||2 polylines making a '+' symbol on the default layer|
|POINTER||POLYLINE||Draw a leader on default layer. Pointer head will be drawn by DXF POLYLINE, SOLID or CIRCLE depending on the pointer head style defined in template_pointer|
|ROUTING_KEEPOUT||POLYLINE||On layer ROUTING_KEEPOUT|
|VIA_KEEPOUT||POLYLINE||On layer VIA_KEEPOUT|
|PLUNGE_POINT, MILLING_PATH, MILLING_ARC||POLYLINE||On layer MILLING_PATH|
Text Fonts from Mentor to DXFBoardstation uses its own font files when displaying or plotting text. The MEN2DXF translator uses a resource file named “fontmap.map” that maps each Mentor font to the desired AutoCAD SHX font. fontmap.map file can supply font mapping for many fonts, but only the first 4 fonts used in the geometry file will be mapped. All fonts used in the geometry files starting from the 5th font will be mapped to font 0. If a given Mentor font does not have a mapped shx file defined in the fontmap.map file it is automatically mapped to the txt.shx AutoCAD font.
std /usr/cad_util/txt.shx 1.0 sym /usr/cad_util/block.shx 1.0 iges1003 /usr/cad_util/iges1003.shx 1.0
column 1 Mentor font name. This can be found in the geometry file. Search for $$text or $$template_text refer to Mentor font names. column 2 DXF shx font name; it should provide the full path to where the shx file resides column 3 scale factor; applying a scale factor can be useful if the two fonts do not match exactly in size.
|Each time the men2dxf program runs, it creates a log file in the current
working directory named men2dxf.log. There is quite a lot of valuable information
in this file and you should examine it prior to loading the resulting DXF
file into AutoCAD or other program.
men2dxf v1.09 (03/07/97) KEY 807ac80d asmsc12 version and date (C)1996-97 Artwork Conversion Software, Inc. (831)426-6163 email@example.com http://www.artwork.com Input files: listed are input siemens.geo files you selected siemens.com for translation. siemens.tra Output file: output file name siemens.dxf Options command line options -st High level blocks: High level blocks are either board, drawing or panel.The board block is unique. board block name = pci_kurz drawing block name(s) = 4796475_obf 4796475_oda test1 panel block name(s) = beiblatt nutzen
Block Hierarchy: pci_kurz | |__pmsmdb | |__pmsmdl | |__pass | |__comp.plt | 4796475_obf | |__a2 | | | |__ame_mat | | | |__ame_nil | | | |__ame_sol | | | |__acis_sync_block | | | |__adp_params | | | |__adp_sysvars | | | |__ad_appl_block | | | |__dc__blockfile | |__change_history | |__pci_connect | 4796475_oda
|The block hierarchy shows how the various blocks are
related to each other.
It is quite useful since the AutoCAD draftsman may be required to insert one or more blocks into his assembly drawing.
Translating siemens.geo Warning: any lines that are ignored or otherwise not processed are listed here Line 4: lock_windows function ignored Line 7: point_mode function ignored Line 88: dimension using undefined name point is ignored Line 102: view_layers function ignored Line 107: copy_layers function ignored Line 23576: attribute ‘MILLING_ORIGIN’ ignored Line 23577: attribute ‘DRILL_ORIGIN’ ignored Line 23618: attribute ‘PLUNGE_POINT’ Line 23619: attribute ‘MILLING_PATH’ Line 23646: dimension using undefined name point is ignored Line 23648: dimension using undefined name point is ignored Line 23652: dimension using undefined name point is ignored Referring to undefined ‘ame_mat’ block-an empty block is created Referring to undefined ‘ame_nil’ block-an empty block is created Referring to undefined‘dc__blockfile’block-an empty block is created Translation done at Mon Mar 10 11:15:38 1997
|Men2dxf ignores certain geo commands but lets you know what has been
ignored and the line number.
For example on line 23652 a dimension statement had to be ignored since men2dxf could not obtain a coordinate point.
It is also possible that either the geometry or the comp file refer to data that has not been defined.
If this occurs, men2dxf reports it and creates an empty block so that AutoCAD's DXF import function will not fail.
Sending the Log File with the DXFIf you are running the men2dxf translator from your Boardstation machine and sending the file to someone else running AutoCAD or other mechanical CAD program we recommend that you include men2dxf.log file. This will aid them in assembling and using the various drawings, components and boards you have defined.
Loading the DXF File into AutoCADThere are a couple of items to watch for when loading the DXF file produced by men2dxf into AutoCAD. These are related to AutoCAD’s handling of blocks.
AutoCAD Drawing must be EmptyThe DXF file should only be loaded into a new and “empty” AutoCAD drawing. If the drawing is not empty you will see the following message in the AutoCAD command console:
Warning: not a new drawing. Only entities will be imported
This is a very important message but not very noticeable. However you will not get any useful data into AutoCAD since all data from Boardstation is embedded into blocks. Not only that, the error message is a bit misleading. A brand new drawing need not be “empty” if the so called prototype drawing has defined items such as layers, line types, title blocks etc...
SolutionEither modify your prototype drawing (called by default acad.dwg) so that it does not contain anything or tell AutoCAD not to use a prototype drawing when creating a new one.
What if I don’t See Anything in the Display?It is not uncommon after running a men2dxf translation to load the DXF file into AutoCAD and see nothing at all displayed on the screen. This most commonly occurs when translating geometry files that do not contain a $$create board() statement. The reason this occurs is that a typical geom file is essentially a collection of AutoCAD blocks and the designer has not necessarily inserted those blocks into the drawing proper using the $$add() command. When AutoCAD imports such a file the block definitions are stored but nothing is inserted so nothing is displayed.
SolutionUse the block ? command to see a list of the defined blocks and insert one or more of them. The men2dxf log file is very useful since it not only gives you the exact name of high level blocks (drawings, panels and boards) but it shows in detail the hierarchy of the design - which blocks reference - making it easier for the draftsman to figure out which block should be inserted.
Example:Step 1. Load the DXF file and see nothing? Don't panic yet!
Step 2. Type in the command: block and when prompted type: ? This will list all of the blocks in the drawing.
|Step 3. AutoCAD will display a list of all block names. There may be lots of them since each dimension in geom becomes a block in DXF. Decide which one you want to insert - you may need to consult with the originator of the geom file.|
Step 4. Once you've decided which block you want to view, type the command: insert and then type the block name to insert. Your block (and all those referenced by this block) will appear. Try to get the log file from th men2dxf translator. It will show you the hierarchical relationship between the various blocks.