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If you download the bflat303.demo.exe you will find a DXF file called CBDEMO.DXF that was created by PADS. This DXF file is typical of what you will get for a medium sized board. It contains 319 blocks and 53 layers of data.

Let's say that it is your responsibility to create a simple document showing the board and some dimensions. All you really want is the board outline, component outlines and component referece designators.

If you load the DXF file created directly by PADS it will take between 30 seconds and 3 minutes (depending on your machine's speed) to load and display into AutoCAD. What you'll see is a big mess!

It doesn't help much just to freeze all layers except the board outline, part names and part outlines. You'll still have all the excess baggage in your drawing and every pan and zoom will be slow and painful.

It won't be easy to delete everything in the layers except you want. Why? Because virtually every entity on the screen is embedded into an AutoCAD block and these blocks must be exploded - most entities are two or three or four levels deep.

As an exercise we recommend that you actually try to clean up the drawing yourself keeping only these layers:

     PART_NAME_TOP                Text with the name of each part
     PART_TOP_2DLINE_00           outline for the part
     BOARD_OUTLINE_00             board outline

The BFlat Pro Approach!

Load the DXF file into Bflat Pro. In about 5 seconds it has scanned the entire DXF file and presents you with a list of all layers present in the drawing. This alone is a wonderful feature - especially when you're not sure what's in the file in the first place.

Open the layer dialog box and deselct all layers. Then just click on the buttons next to:

Now Click on Translate. In less than 30 seconds you'll have a new smaller and cleaner DXF file. See the Bflat Pro log file:

    C:\WCAD\BFLATPRO\EXAMPLES\cbdemo.dxf (original size 2834488)
    to file
    C:\WCAD\BFLATPRO\EXAMPLES\cbdemo_.dxf (flattened size 466789)

    Translation started on Fri Jun 19 09:12:35 1998
    Translation ended on Fri Jun 19 09:13:02 1998
    Total time used: 0 hour 0 minutes 27 seconds.

Load the new smaller DXF file, cbdemo_/dxf into AutoCAD. Not only will it load much faster but when it displays you'll see something like this:

Working with this file is much easier. The only entities in the file are the ones you see on the screen. Everything can be moved or deleted as there are no more blocks.