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Forum Index : PCB Manufacturing : PCB Layout software

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Dinosaur

Senior Member

Joined: 12/08/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 156
Posted: 07:35pm 10 Mar 2019
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Hi All

Because I am currently on contract in the usa, I have been using a local company
to make my pcb's. (Pad2Pad)

Downside is that the mechanical drawing of odd shaped boards is a real pain.
Drawing an outline with Autocad and saving it in .dxf is suppose to work with
a lot of pcb drawing programs.
It doesn't with Pad2Pad.It also doesn't easily provide Gerber files so it is quite
proprietary.

Getting involved in making a I/O cape for the BeagleBone black and probably need to change pcb software as I will soon be back in oz and don't want to send orders to the usa.

For some reason I cant see the previous pages in this Forum but noticed reference
to AutotraxDEX.

Can someone recommend a package that will import .dxf files or is either very easy
to draw for an Autocad experienced person.

Happy to pay a few dollars, but baulk at > $85

Regards
Regards
Hervey Bay Qld.
 
Warpspeed
Guru

Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3204
Posted: 09:54pm 10 Mar 2019
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Worldwide standard now for PCB artwork is RS274X standard which produces Gerbers.

Any PCB manufacturer in the world can use files in that format, including all the very competitive ultra low cost Chinese PCB manufacturers.

Freeware and simple proprietary PCB software looks attractive, until you start to realize that, the few companies that are prepared to use these now unpopular file formats, are going to be very expensive boards to get made.

Look at it from the manufacturers point of view.
Professionals order vast commercial quantities of RS274X boards and support your business.
You get maybe two orders a month from hobbyists that only want one board made using some obscure file format.
Can you really be bothered with any of that ?
Cheers, Tony.
 
Dinosaur

Senior Member

Joined: 12/08/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 156
Posted: 11:13pm 10 Mar 2019
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Hi All

Thanks for your response Tony.
So, if AutoTraxDEX puts out Gerber files, but not in the RS274X format, what chance do I have of getting boards made (say in Australia) with their Gerber files.

Regards
Regards
Hervey Bay Qld.
 
Chopperp

Guru

Joined: 03/01/2018
Location: Australia
Posts: 601
Posted: 11:35pm 10 Mar 2019
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Hi

Bigmik uses DEX extensively & I don't think has have any problems.
The program is constantly being updated so any manufacturing requirement changes would most certainly be addressed. (I've just been using it for drawings, not PCB's)

May pay to send him a PM & see what he says. (He's been a bit quiet on the forum of late)

Brian

ChopperP
 
Dinosaur

Senior Member

Joined: 12/08/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 156
Posted: 11:41pm 10 Mar 2019
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Hi All

Brian, I have just emailed AutoTrax DEX with the question and will see what they
come back with.

I am really impressed with their site, a video for every little thing you may want
to do. The only negative comment on the videos is that the author clicks buttons
to do things so quick and without saying what he is clicking.
But I guess a couple of hours playing with it will solve that.

Regards
Regards
Hervey Bay Qld.
 
Warpspeed
Guru

Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3204
Posted: 03:37am 11 Mar 2019
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It must be twenty years since I last used Autotrax, and no doubt it has changed a lot since then. It was fine when there were still a lot of local PCB manufacturers that were located on oZ. But one by one the Chinese drove them out of business.

It seems Autorax must have come up with something new to stay in business, and good luck to them.
Cheers, Tony.
 
bigmik

Guru

Joined: 20/06/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 2263
Posted: 06:26am 11 Mar 2019
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Hi Dinosaur,

To see older threads there is a pull down near the top of the topics page that says RANGE, select ALL to see all threads.

Here is an `idiots guide' to the way I generally design a PCB using AUTOTrax-DEX.

Guide

@Tony,

AutoTraxDex is NOT related to the old ATOTRax which was a Protel product.

It has been some time since I actually designed a board using DEX but I am happy to assist if I can with any questions.

Dex (AT-DEX) Has MANY features including totally odd ball shaped board shapes.. I have only done simple PCBs and they were only Double sided ones Dex can handle (basically) unlimitted layers..

The new Website for AutoTrax Dex is

https://active3d.com/

Kind Regards,

MickEdited by bigmik 2019-03-12
Mick's uMite Stuff can be found >>> HERE (Kindly hosted by Dontronics) <<<
 
Dinosaur

Senior Member

Joined: 12/08/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 156
Posted: 01:15am 12 Mar 2019
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Hi Mick

Thanks for that.
By the way what happened to all the libraries you converted for Autotrax DEX use.
Had a look at Don's site but it is just a shell now.

Regards

EDIT: Found it, forgot to put brain into gear.Edited by Dinosaur 2019-03-13
Regards
Hervey Bay Qld.
 
bigmik

Guru

Joined: 20/06/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 2263
Posted: 01:52am 12 Mar 2019
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Hi Dinosaur, All,

My files are still there but something changed to DEx some time agao and some of my parts have weird 3D, possibly due to the way I created them.. In anycase for those who want to play with them..

Here they are.
Micks AutoTrax Files

Kind Regards,

MickEdited by bigmik 2019-03-13
Mick's uMite Stuff can be found >>> HERE (Kindly hosted by Dontronics) <<<
 
Timbergetter

Regular Member

Joined: 08/10/2018
Location: Australia
Posts: 53
Posted: 11:23pm 01 Apr 2019
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  bigmik said   Hi Dinosaur,

The new Website for AutoTrax Dex is
https://active3d.com/
Kind Regards,
Mick


Could I ask how easy or hard it is to move an AutoTrax-Dex license from one pc to another? (eg is it locked to one pc forever?)

Connecting to the link you gave for my first time just now indicated that the software is available for $65 for the next 4 days (reduced from $145). I suspect this is the deal for any new contact.
 
Chopperp

Guru

Joined: 03/01/2018
Location: Australia
Posts: 601
Posted: 11:58am 02 Apr 2019
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  Timbergetter said   Could I ask how easy or hard it is to move an AutoTrax-Dex license from one pc to another? (eg is it locked to one pc forever?)

I haven't had any problems from moving from one PC to the other.
I do have it on 2 PC's but obviously can only use one at a time.
Also, multiple instances of DEX can be run on the same PC.

Brian
ChopperP
 
Timbergetter

Regular Member

Joined: 08/10/2018
Location: Australia
Posts: 53
Posted: 09:02pm 02 Apr 2019
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Thanks Chopperp, that's good to know.
I'll give the trial a go now when I get a chance.
 
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