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Graphic Picture Ultiboard & D-Codes

I have a question about placing graphics on PCB's in Ultiboard.  What layer are they supposed to be on?  The help states that they can be placed on any layer, I choose the silkscreen top.  In GC prevue the image does not show up - well it does as an empty dark box.  What is the proper method for placing images on PCB's?
 
Also, when exporting the design to RS-274x I am asked for Apertures assigned to D-codes.  Last few boards I have had fabricated I did not assign any D-Codes.  The boards came back just fine.  Would someone shed some light on this topic or point me to some additional resources?  I have done a little reading on the subject but the last text was a vintage 1991. 
 
TIA.
 
Peter
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I believe you to be placing your pictures in the right layes either silkscreen top or silkscreen bottom. I tried using other layers and they didnt show up in 3D Preview. Like you when I place it on silkscreen top I just get a black square on 3D preview. It only does that with a picture. You can place text and it will show up and is readable. This must just be the way it just lets you know that there is some type of object there and puts a generic square where that object is. It even does it with the samples from NI. I have tried to see if I could change it, but I don't think that there is a way of doing that. I wouldn't believe that this would cause any problems in the manufacture process, but I don't know. If there is a way of doing it that I am not aware of, someone please post it.

This is all I know and I hope it was of some help. Have a Nice Day

Kittmaster's Component Database
http://ni.kittmaster.com

Have a Nice Day
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Peter, let me answer both questions...

1. In order to properly import a BMP file you have to first open the BMP in Paint... then select File >> Save As... and in the file type list select monochrome BMP... it has to be in this format for Ultiboard to properly recognize it. Once it is in a monochrome format you will see it as a binary object, is either white or  black... when you import the graphic all that is in white will be placed as a silkscreen object... and whatever is on a black color will be ignored (similar to a mask). If you need to revert the colors, in Paint you can also do this from one of the menu functions.

2. Aperture Mapping and D-CODES, if you are selecting Gerber RS-274X as the format to export you can ignore this window by clicking OK to continue, the X gerber format automatically generates and appends D-Codes to the file. The other Gerber format does not includes D-Codes so you need to generate this data. Basically D-Codes are use to tell the CAM photoplotter which aperture film to use when exposing light through the shutter (to create traces and pads). The RS-274X saves you this trouble, the window pops-up to support legacy projects, however you can click OK to continue... unless... you are explicitly told by your board manufacturer that some apertures are not supported and you might need to remap them.

Nestor
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Thanks for the info.  That was exactly what I was looking for.  The monocrome information makes sense now.  All the black appeared as transparent on the board, opposite of what I thought.  Thanks again.

 

Peter

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Peter, I forgot to add that you can import graphics in any layer... it is mostly used for the silkscreen layer since you want to place your company logo for example, however if you have a special shape for a copper area just import it with the proper copper layer being active.

Usually users  would import a DXF instead, however, the ability to import BMPs (monochrome) was added recently, in such way, you could use Paint included with every copy of Windows to create a graphic.

Nestor
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I tried your BMP import technique and it does look more like what it should look like from the board view but it still shows up as just a black box in the 3D view (at least on mine). Is that something that can be changed or is it  just that the 3D view is just showing a generic box just as an indication that there is something there? I am using Silscreen Top as my test layer for this. Also, if I place my Bitmap on any other layer it doesn't show up in 3D view at all. I tried both normal and inverted versions in my tests

Let me know what your thoughts are on this.

Thanks.

 

Kittmaster's Component Database
http://ni.kittmaster.com

Have a Nice Day
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Lacy, that is correct, 3D View will not be able to show bitmaps, they will be represented by a black box. However if you check your Gerber output you will see that the bitmap is correctly exported.

DXF imports on the other hand do show up in 3D View. Our internal graphics rendering engine handles it differently.

 

Nestor
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Message 7 of 11
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Thanks Nestor, I had a feeling that was case, but I wanted to make sure. I appreciate your time and response.

Thanks again,

Have a Nice Day

Kittmaster's Component Database
http://ni.kittmaster.com

Have a Nice Day
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If you do not export the bitmap from paint using this method Ultiboard will crash when attempting to export the gerber file for the layer the bitmap is located.
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Hi Larson:

I'm not sure what you mean by crash. The software may appear to hang (or freeze) while it is exporting to Gerber format when there are bitmaps. This is because bitmaps take much longer to convert to Gerber format.

A crash (Ultiboard exits) is something quite different. If you are experiencing a crash, could you please attach the file you are using.
Garret
Senior Software Developer
National Instruments
Circuit Design Community and Blog

If someone helped you, let them know. Mark as solved or give a kudo. 🙂
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