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Export 3D IGES from Ultiboard 12.0

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Hello all,

 

When I export an IGES file from Ultiboard, it does not display properly in Inventor. It appears that the horizontal plane surfaces are in one location, and the vertical plane surfaces are rotated 90 degrees. Any ideas about what could be going wrong?

 

I would also like to use the IDF format, however, the IDF converter does not work well with Windows 7 (64 bit) and Ultiboard 12.0, as discussed here on the forums: http://forums.ni.com/t5/Circuit-Design-Suite-Multisim/Ultiboard-IDF-Converter-UB-12-compatability/td.... Is there a new version of the converter yet? Is there a workaround I can use?

 

Thank you,

Henry Wroblewski

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Hi,

 

Is it possible for you to send us the design which you exported the IGES file from. Can you also please let us know what software you were using to view the IGES file.

Regards,

Tayyab R,
National Instruments.
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Hi Henry,

 

The program you are using (Autodesk Inventor) seems to be interpreting the board differently. I was able to export your design file using another program (eDrawings RapidFire Lite).

After deleting the copper areas, your design was exported perfectly; with the edges and surfaces lined up.

 

As for the IDF converter, we are waiting for updates on this.

Regards,

Sharanya R
Market Development Engineer
National Instruments
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Hi, I am interesting for CAD Autodesk Inventor 2013 at Mechatronics Series Part II: Conceptual Design Visualisation - Introduction to CosmosMotion ad LAB VIEW. There are only about SolidWorks. Where can I get detailed new information?

http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/6025

http://www.ni.com/white-paper/6183/en

 

Mike J.

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Hi,

 

I am not exactly sure what you would like to know. I think you have posted in the wrong forum. Please post LabVIEW related questions in the LabVIEW forum.

 

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Regards,

Tayyab R,
National Instruments.
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I am having the same issue as @Henry Wroblewski in that the Ultiboard export of a 3D IGES model results in some (all vertical?) faces being rotated 90 degrees about the X axis.

 

I have made a simple test file in Ultiboard 14.1 with a stock surface mount part as an example (attached). This is as simple as it gets, folks.

 

Here is the igs file as viewed in FreeCAD 0.18:

 

IGES Export Test - 3D viewed in FreeCAD 0.18IGES Export Test - 3D viewed in FreeCAD 0.18

 

 

This error is repeated across many (all?) parts, custom and stock. I do not have time to dig into the igs file to see what's the matter. I suspect it is a simple bug in the export code. I thought NI might have fixed this issue by now, but apparently they haven't done much with Multisim/Ultiboard products in many years (other than bump the revision numbers).

 

Is there a fix for this (perhaps some post-processing script) or is the output just useless? I would have liked to incorporate the PCB model into other CAD models to ensure my design works as planned...

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"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." - Pablo Picasso
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I was able to fix the model manually using FreeCAD. The process is far from ideal, and could be quite laborious for a more complicated model. I will detail it here in case it helps anyone else.

 

Open the model in FreeCAD and switch to the Mesh Design Workbench. Select the Part in the model that contains the 3D information. This is not necessarily trivial as it seems Ultiboard exports the IGES with several parts for more complex designs. In the ones I've seen there is only one Part that contains most if not all of the 3D information.

 

Part selectedPart selected

 

Create a mesh using the Create mesh from shape option. Use the Standard meshing option with default settings if you don't want FreeCAD to lock up indefinitely. Your mileage may vary. Hide the original Part(s) so only the new mesh is visible. You can also use the Display components option on the mesh to increase its visibility.

 

Mesh with components displayedMesh with components displayed

 

In the Top view, every face below the center of the PCB that is normal to (facing) the camera is rotated 90 degrees about the X axis. So we need to select those faces and Transform them. You can't move pieces of the mesh directly, only the entire mesh. So duplicate the mesh and delete half of the content from each one to create two complementary mesh objects that together make up the entire model: one mesh that is oriented correctly, and one mesh that is rotated 90 degrees. Use Remove components to delete the "bad" components from the "correct" mesh. I found it easier to repeat the same selection process and then use the Invert option to flip the selection and delete the "correct" components from the "90-degree" mesh.

 

Complementary meshes and the merged mesh after rotationComplementary meshes and the merged mesh after rotation

 

Rotate the "bad" mesh using the Transform option. Grab the X rotate handle and rotate 90 degrees. Combine the meshes using the Merge option. Create a solid from the mesh using the Create shape from mesh option from the Part Workbench. Finally, export the fixed solid as an IGES.

 

Along the way, you can play with options like Evaluate and repair mesh, Smooth, and Refine shape. I've attached the original igs, the FreeCAD file used in this example, and the fixed igs model for your reference. Good luck!

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"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." - Pablo Picasso
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