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Altium, export image from 3D

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zuzu

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Well.. after several days of intensive playing with Altium (and few PCB concept understanding problems) I conclude it's indeed a excellent software.

I was impressed by simplicity of libraries concept, especially when user defined are need. Also SolidWorks 3D models for packages were imported successfully without any kind of problems... truly amazing 3D edit mode.

However, except print (full) screen :) there is any chance to capture static images from 3D view as png, gif, etc?

Also there is a possibility to export entire 3D PCB to Acrobat PDF (3D) format?

Thanks very much,
 

abaz

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...However, except print (full) screen :) there is any chance to capture static images from 3D view as png, gif, etc?
ctrl + PrtScn will copy the entire screen to the clipboard. You can then paste in paint and save as...
 

kevin54

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In 3D mode you can File -> Save As -> Export STEP, and it will save the entire PCB as a Step model which you can read into another program (i.e. Inventor, and I think SolidWorks or Acrobat Extended). It doesn't look quite as good as it does in Altium, all the parts are there but you can't see traces on the PCB like you can in Altium.
 

tantudaisu

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I have exported STEP file (File -> Save As -> Export STEP), but I can't open it. I have tried several different programs (i.e. SolidWorks eDrawings 2011, eDrawings RapidFire Lite and others) but all of them gives me the same error message: invalid or corrupted STEP file and then crashes. Even Altium can't open the file by itself. Has anyone faced such problem?

-- tantudaisu --
 

loosemoose

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maybe one of your step model in the pcb is corrupted?? have you tried and export only the pcb itself to see if the process works?
 

robertferanec

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tantudaisu

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I have tried to export STEP file on another PC and it worked!

-- tantudaisu --
 

ssankurathri

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In 3D mode you can File -> Save As -> Export STEP, and it will save the entire PCB as a Step model which you can read into another program (i.e. Inventor, and I think SolidWorks or Acrobat Extended). It doesn't look quite as good as it does in Altium, all the parts are there but you can't see traces on the PCB like you can in Altium.

Hi Kevin,

I need some info. from you. I found the same thing that we can't see traces on the PCB like we can in Altium. Is there anyway to get the traces into STEP file.

Regards,
skr
 

marce

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I think the traces are just displayed, not modelled, but even if they are modled as true 3D entities, they would firstly be very small extrusions, that may not translate to step because of a limitation on feature size, and secondly, the file size would be huge, so would be rather problematic to load and manipulate in the 3D program. if you use solidworks with circuitworks (the IDF interface)then there is an example file of an IDF4 version file that you can load into SW. It is huge and very hard to manipulkate even with a top end PC.
Why would you want the traces in the 3D file, the main use of 3D tools for PCBs be they IDF or STEP based is to check the fit in todays more complicated housings and often multi board assemblies where space is at a premium.
 

ssankurathri

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Thanks marce.

I am looking out to carry thermal simulation on my board. The step file which we generate from our ECAD will be input to the thermal analysis tools. so, I want to capture all the copper info. on the board on to step file.

regards
skr
 

marce

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I'll have a look at my Altium later and double check, but couldn't do it yesterday, might have missed somthing.
Which thermal analysis tool are you using?
 

ssankurathri

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NASTRAN is my thermal analysis tool. As most of the TA tools accept step file input, if we can capture all copper info. (including tracks) in step file, that would be good.
 

silvestre

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