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Import dxf into Cadstar Design Editor

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Junior Member level 2
Jul 10, 2020
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Hello everyone,

I am new on this forum and i am a new user of Cadstar. I hope someone could help me.
I would like to import a DXF (made on DraftSight) on Cadstar Design editor. The import is success full but i see 0 in front of the different item listed and i don"t why.

Here is the steps i followed:
- create my dxf in ASCII R2004-2006 version, i could use other version if needed?
-draw a simple square, select it to a new layer called boardoutline
- save it.
- Open Cadsart Design Editor
- open a new PCB Design 2 layer file
- click on file import, dxf type and pointing to the dxf file
- create a new mapping file , whatever its name
- edit map , in main tab, i have select the boardoutline layer to the dxf board layer and none to the dxf board Cutout.
- tick the transfert board and not the fix board. I have not touch to any other parameters.
- ok twice and then the report:

0 board outline imported
0 area(s) imported
0 copper item(s) imported
0 figure(s) imported
0 template(s) imported
0 text item(s) imported
0 dimension(s) imported
0 critically placed components found in dxf file
0 critically placed components added to design
0 critically placed components already in design
File C:\Users\Documents\file_ASCI_R2004_2006.dxf successfully imported

Do you have any explanation?

Thank you

Do you already have a board outline? IF so it will not come in.
Or are the layers you are trying to add it to actually there in the new pcb?

Just make it as a shape and import it onto any layer (not as boardoutline) then when its in, change it's properties to be the board outline.
Hello Cyberrat,

Thank you for your reply.
I think I have already an board outline. I know how to make it visible or not but not how to remove it. How can i ?

Moreover, when i chose manual route to make a connection between 2 elements (here 2 vias), all the wires, vias and pads (supposed to be connected to this potentiel) disapear when i click on the first via.. so i can't make the new connection between the 2 vias.
Any tips for that?

Thanks a lot

Go through your colours, this controls the display of everything.
Turn the layers on, turn the board outline on.
Select it, choose the properties, make sure it is not fixed, you can delete it then.

RE the routing, this is the same - you need your layers and colours visible.
Also make sure that errors are visible, in fact try routing with errors allowed.
This will allow you to put your routes in yet show they are in error, so you can then fix/move them to not be in error.
So i understand that, to delete the boardoutline, i must recognize it, click on it and remove it.
Indeed, i've tried, but i couldn't: the board-outline is fixed, i can't unfix it (it stays fixed), and i do not have the removal option.
I was wondering if there was another way: select a shape with a property associated (here, the board outline) and then simply remove it?

Note: i am on P.R. Editor XR 1.17 CL.

Select it, type unfix - enter.
Or select its properties and untick fixed.
You do this in the design editor - not the route editor.

The route editor is for routing only.
Hello dear cyberrat,

Thank you for your help, it unblocked me and i really appreciate your support.
I have 2 more questions:
  1. I want to put a drille table on the screen and also for the output file in pdf but after configuring the drill drawing and drille table, i can't click on "Add drill table", which is not reachable/clickable (in grey colour). Do you know why?
  2. As i am quite new on Novacad suite, is it possible to print (pdf) a technical infosheet displaying all the differents layers, they width, the finition chosen, the material for the PCB, ...
Thank you,

in reverse order:
2) When in your layers setup - there is a report button in the bottom left corner - use that.
You can also get a graphical image on the right using "layer stack view:show picture) and it has a copy button.

1) In the design tab, select the drill letters/table dropdown and "add drill table".
If this is greyed out then you probably already have a drill table in the design.
Turn on all your layers and colours for the drill table to see it. (this is the most common reason why people cannot see things - its disabled in colours).

Don't forget that the colour file you use to produce your drill drawing needs to have this visible too.
Load all your gerbers into a viewer to check them before sending them to a board manufacturer. (you should always do this anyway!).

Thanks for your answers.

2) Yes, i knew that thing but it's not a technical sheet that i can send to the manufacter. So, I understand Cadstar can't produce one automatically and that i must do it my self.

1) You are totally right, one was already existing and not displayed correctly on the screen.. my bad ! (and i had checked it twice before asking you ... :ROFLMAO: )

Others questions:
1) in batch process, there is 2 kind of drill output files: platted and not platted holes.. which i understand.. but i don't manage to make a coulour file in adequation with it, meaning display from one part platted holes and from another part non platted holes..
2) i wanted to produce top_elec/bot_elec gerbers also in pdf to have a view of it (it is always useful to check any update between 2 version, or just have a global overview of a copper layer).
In the batch process, which i used to produce the gerber files, when i select the same colour/report file but PDF file as a device type, i don't have a new output file in the list to let me select it instead of top_elec.gbr. I was expecting a top_elec.pdf for example but it's not proposed and when i start the batch, it tells (obviously) me that "Duplicate Output File Name", so how to handle that?
Indeed, i have the same issue for each pdf files i want: top and bot assembly, top and bot paste, top and bot soldermask..

I have a layer for Manufacturing Information (including drill table, a drill drawing itself is a bit pointless these days) that I had a layer drawing and general manufacturing requirements. These are all stored as document symbols that can be added to a particular design.
You need to create these basic things as you go along, same with batch files, learn to edit the batch file, it is a text document, where you can add different file names for out put.
Have a look around, there are some how to videos for Cadstar, they may help.

Hello Marce (it's been a while) and everyone :)
I am facing an issue during the generation of drill manufacturing file with Batch Process functionallity:
I have a view on which there is all the drilled holes and the drill table which is correctly filled (differents letters, sizes and plate/unplated holes). I saved it and select if for batch process:
  • the drl output file contains:
    • Printed on the board, only one (the last) drill holes kind
    • Printed on the drill table, the other letters are marked "undefined"
  • the pdf output file is fully ok.
Here is the configuration i used for both output file in Batch Process:


Could you help me facing this issue?
Note: i cannot select "pecage.sel" for the output drl file.

More over, in which directory are stored the model of output files?

Thank you in advance,
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