Author Topic: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer  (Read 32034 times)

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Offline Iwanushka

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #50 on: April 27, 2016, 06:45:17 am »
zofz,

Very impressive work you have done, this project saved my life (well at least countless hours trying to trace the board and check/compare footprints, component orientation, etc), was working on a project that was made by a very good programmer, but as we know most programmers assume that you "know all", and in the end I had somewhat broken bom, pdf with schematics and gerbers with poor silkscreen with no outlines for component orientation.

It would be very nice if you will have free time and of course if it's possible to link Altium generated schematic PDFs to gerber viewer, so you can click on part in pdf and it shows on which two pads you need to solder the part when you have 6x6 matrix of identical pads which has no outline to show you on which two pads to put the part :)

P.S. it would be nice if you could setup some donation system (maybe paypal), so the guys and gals can support your work, as we know these things consume lots of time and you need to pay your bills...

Best Regards,
Mantas.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 06:52:22 am by Iwanushka »
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Offline vzoole

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2016, 12:52:02 am »
Hi,

It is a really impressive software.
And non of pricey tools have similar nice 3D capability (except Zuken CR-8000 for 100000$).

But I'm in trouble with long name files.
I couldn't recognise layers manually as you can see on the picture.
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2016, 03:30:09 am »
zofz,

Very impressive work you have done, this project saved my life (well at least countless hours trying to trace the board and check/compare footprints, component orientation, etc), was working on a project that was made by a very good programmer, but as we know most programmers assume that you "know all", and in the end I had somewhat broken bom, pdf with schematics and gerbers with poor silkscreen with no outlines for component orientation.

It would be very nice if you will have free time and of course if it's possible to link Altium generated schematic PDFs to gerber viewer, so you can click on part in pdf and it shows on which two pads you need to solder the part when you have 6x6 matrix of identical pads which has no outline to show you on which two pads to put the part :)

P.S. it would be nice if you could setup some donation system (maybe paypal), so the guys and gals can support your work, as we know these things consume lots of time and you need to pay your bills...

Best Regards,
Mantas.

Hi Mantas,
Thanks,
I have been already investigating the PDF "crosscheck". Back then, I found that I would need the expensive SDK. I am looking at it again, using Spy++, but my only Altium PDF does not show the designator and pin number in the popup window. Maybe I need a different print options, but my Altium try-out period is over. Can you provide me a better pdf, e.g. from one of the demo projects?
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2016, 03:38:42 am »
Hi,

It is a really impressive software.
And non of pricey tools have similar nice 3D capability (except Zuken CR-8000 for 100000$).

But I'm in trouble with long name files.
I couldn't recognise layers manually as you can see on the picture.
Hi,
It is a pity that I decided to create my own GUI instead of using windows. That was because of better performance and possibility of a different resolutions in full-screen mode, where the GDI  is disabled. I have put the issue on the buglist - I see it not for the first time. I am still not certain how much should I optimize for 3D performance. Recently there is a lot more of graphic power in the standard PC, from the other side laptops and 4K...
Somehow I will solve it - let me think.

 

Offline ElektroQuark

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2016, 05:13:38 pm »
Any possibility to port to Linux?

I'm in the process of migrating completely to Linux and I will really miss ZofzPCB.

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #55 on: April 28, 2016, 05:22:29 pm »
Any possibility to port to Linux?

I'm in the process of migrating completely to Linux and I will really miss ZofzPCB.
Hi, Linux and OSX port is on the list, but it is not a priority. I know it works with Wine - a temporary solution.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #56 on: April 28, 2016, 05:50:37 pm »
Looks great zofz, will try it out soon.  :-+
Is there a possibility to generate pictures (bitmap) of the sides of the finished pcb so you can directly put them in the SMT assistant software?:
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/manufacture/smt-assistant-software-for-handplacing-parts-free-and-awesome/msg873696/#msg873696
 

Offline ElektroQuark

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2016, 08:35:27 pm »
I will try Wine. Thank you.

Offline Bud

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #58 on: April 30, 2016, 01:24:18 pm »
Here is some feedback

I have the program crashed all the time during navigating through the file folders on the hard drive when selecting a design to open. Win 7 64-bit, 32Gb RAM, Nvidia 570. I had to move the design files to a short path location (i.e. E:\Temp) to be able to open them.

3D SpaceNavigator mouse works in the program. I think it would be convenient if an option added to lock the mouse rotation point. Say, I mouse click in the center of the board and then lock it. Then the view will always rotate around the board center. It is annoying that accidental mouse move/click reposition the rotation center and the board all of a sudden moves in an unexpected way.

On a same note, it would be useful to add a "Reset view" or "Center view" or "Home" button to reset the view. The board flew away from the view once and I could not figure out how to get it back unless re-render it in the load menu.

EDIT:  One more: you should allow the user to select where to install the program. For now it is hard coded to be installed in c:\program files. I install all my programs on a different drive, keeping C for the system.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2016, 03:20:07 pm by Bud »
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #59 on: August 17, 2016, 11:05:14 pm »
I have not been seeing the GUI crash, finally I have corrected 2 bugs. Last one is related to moving mouse during double-click, after reloading directory list. My mouse driver was probably removing this. Big thanks to two users who shared logs and helped me in debugging.
That alone would make a new release. I have started table based component library - a step before STEP mechanical CAD output. Now you can see standard frame lead packages. After I have all primitives, the lib should be populated faster now.

Youtube:
 
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Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #60 on: August 18, 2016, 10:07:30 am »
I have not been seeing the GUI crash, finally I have corrected 2 bugs.

Wow- This is very impressive.

I quickly tested with
https://github.com/FPGAwars/icezum/tree/master/src-kicad
and used Altium File names.

It looks 99.5% ok, with some minor issues / quirks / puzzles

* Long file names do not fit in the file-views, and there seems no way to resize those ?
* I see a strange effect, where Holes with no traces, show under hover, but all those with traces show no holes ?
  ( The holes that do appear and tag, look fine, so the drill file must have read ok)
  Looks almost deliberate, but unexpected ?
* when I enable IPC356, 3D nicely (magically!)  appears in most cases, but in a one (U6) some strange slight spin is seen ?

 There are some vias-as-parts (Via**) still to be cleaned in this test example, so the large area over TQFP144 is a 'false positive'

 Addit: I see U6 is an unusual 16 pin SO (2/6/2/6), so maybe the angle is just a fit-artifact of trying to align over that ?
It seems to have different pin-pitch on each of 2 chosen pin sides ? - so is trying to make sense of the less common footprint.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 10:31:42 am by PCB.Wiz »
 
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Offline IanJ

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #61 on: August 18, 2016, 04:19:11 pm »
Hi,

Was looking for a standalone gerber viewer to work with Circuitstudio files......this seems to work fine.

One very small issue.......on one of my boards (still under dev) the silkscreen on the underside happens to cross directly over some THP's. From the topside looking through the holes you can see the silkscreen jumping across the pad......should really be broken by the pad/hole.

Not sure I like the non-standard looking GUI dialogues but that's a minor preference thing. All in all, one of the best gerber viewers I have tried.

Ian.
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Manufacturer of the PDVS2
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #62 on: August 19, 2016, 11:12:57 am »
.....on one of my boards (still under dev) the silkscreen on the underside happens to cross directly over some THP's. From the topside looking through the holes you can see the silkscreen jumping across the pad......should really be broken by the pad/hole.

Another angle is to say that is correct - usually silkscreen is pulled back from pads, and some EDA have a option to avoid pads, (I think some do this by 'plot-white') so anything that does not avoid pads (& holes), is considered an issue that needs upstream fixing.
 

Offline wasyoungonce

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #63 on: August 19, 2016, 01:00:33 pm »
Many thanks zofz.  Nice program.  Noticed using Eagle it wanted the ".dri" file not the txt drill file.  Some parts not rendered properly but that's probably the IPC D 356 and eagle.  now I just have to read up the help files on how to use correctly.

 :-+
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Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #64 on: August 19, 2016, 07:12:22 pm »
I quickly tested with
https://github.com/FPGAwars/icezum/tree/master/src-kicad
and used Altium File names.
I will download and test. I do not see the board outline on the screen shot - it might be source of problems with solder mask.
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #65 on: August 19, 2016, 07:19:10 pm »
.....on one of my boards (still under dev) the silkscreen on the underside happens to cross directly over some THP's. From the topside looking through the holes you can see the silkscreen jumping across the pad......should really be broken by the pad/hole.

Another angle is to say that is correct - usually silkscreen is pulled back from pads, and some EDA have a option to avoid pads, (I think some do this by 'plot-white') so anything that does not avoid pads (& holes), is considered an issue that needs upstream fixing.
I could do the subtracting (silkscreen minus solder mask), as a option. But first I need to rewrite the flattening - it takes too long time for some projects, and I do not want to make it more complicated now.
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #66 on: August 19, 2016, 07:27:47 pm »
Many thanks zofz.  Nice program.  Noticed using Eagle it wanted the ".dri" file not the txt drill file.  Some parts not rendered properly but that's probably the IPC D 356 and eagle.  now I just have to read up the help files on how to use correctly.

 :-+
I still need to add more components to tables, and tune up pin-pad ordering/fitting, e.g. using the above project (https://github.com/FPGAwars/icezum/tree/master/src-kicad) as a next example for testing. Also, It must be possible to overwrite the automatic guessing of components.
dri and txt is a bit of the problem because of Altium/Eagle file naming schema - I need to think about it.
 

Offline wasyoungonce

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #67 on: August 20, 2016, 12:49:26 pm »
I had a look at the IPC D 356 file on parts particularly the x,y,r sizes positions.  As you can see, a few parts were not rendered or are not right: 

Capacitors rendered too low in height;
a few T092 transistors not rendered correctly, their tops are too low like the caps); 
An IC wide SOIC16 not rendered at all; Inductor not rendered (looks like SIL pins);
JST XH 2.5mm pitch connector not rendered (base of board);
Another ZR 1.5mm pitch JST not rendered properly (near LQFP64);
Crystal HC49S not rendered correctly;
wire pads not rendered correctly (look like pins) (VIAs ok);
Image sensor ICX453AQ (large device) not rendered properly, should be on bottom "16" layer.

Is there a way I can fix these issue?   I have played with Eagle 3D and POV Ray and made my own parts before.  But, that might give a nice image, but it's just eye candy, it hasn't the in depth analysis and details your program has!  :-+

Don't worry about the part off the board, that's just me!
I'd forget my Head if it wasn't screwed on!
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #68 on: August 23, 2016, 07:05:11 pm »
Wow- This is very impressive.
I quickly tested with
https://github.com/FPGAwars/icezum/tree/master/src-kicad
and used Altium File names.

It looks 99.5% ok, with some minor issues / quirks / puzzles

* Long file names do not fit in the file-views, and there seems no way to resize those ?
* I see a strange effect, where Holes with no traces, show under hover, but all those with traces show no holes ?
  ( The holes that do appear and tag, look fine, so the drill file must have read ok)
  Looks almost deliberate, but unexpected ?
* when I enable IPC356, 3D nicely (magically!)  appears in most cases, but in a one (U6) some strange slight spin is seen ?

 There are some vias-as-parts (Via**) still to be cleaned in this test example, so the large area over TQFP144 is a 'false positive'

 Addit: I see U6 is an unusual 16 pin SO (2/6/2/6), so maybe the angle is just a fit-artifact of trying to align over that ?
It seems to have different pin-pitch on each of 2 chosen pin sides ? - so is trying to make sense of the less common footprint.

Finally I had a moment to invastigate it a bit.
1. Board Outline file was assumed to be .gbr - it looks that it should be .gm1  - I have changed it by hand or should that be a rule?
2. KiCad generated plated and not plated drill files. Both files should be plated. I am not drilling thru the top/btm copper in a case of not plated holes, assuming the copper is not there. This is why the holes was not visible from top/bottom.
3. Many components are not correctly represented.
3.1 QFP table needs update - maybe the fpga have a bit different dimensions.
3.2 The non-standard QFP should be represented by pad-extruded-universal-type, it is represented by strange SO. - this clearly is my bug.

link to gerbers + config file (0.5MB)https://www.zofzpcb.com/bugpic/icezum_jul27.zip

link to rendered board file (2.5MB)https://www.zofzpcb.com/bugpic/icezum_jul27-rendered.7z
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #69 on: August 24, 2016, 11:12:26 am »
I had a look at the IPC D 356 file on parts particularly the x,y,r sizes positions.  As you can see, a few parts were not rendered or are not right: 

Capacitors rendered too low in height;
a few T092 transistors not rendered correctly, their tops are too low like the caps); 
An IC wide SOIC16 not rendered at all; Inductor not rendered (looks like SIL pins);
JST XH 2.5mm pitch connector not rendered (base of board);
Another ZR 1.5mm pitch JST not rendered properly (near LQFP64);
Crystal HC49S not rendered correctly;
wire pads not rendered correctly (look like pins) (VIAs ok);
Image sensor ICX453AQ (large device) not rendered properly, should be on bottom "16" layer.

Is there a way I can fix these issue?   I have played with Eagle 3D and POV Ray and made my own parts before.  But, that might give a nice image, but it's just eye candy, it hasn't the in depth analysis and details your program has!  :-+

Don't worry about the part off the board, that's just me!

The only information i have from ipc356 is:
pad/hole x,y, pad size x,y, net-name, component designator.
So I can combine pads to form components and get a little clue what this might be: R,L,C,Q,U,J... So obviously I have no clue what is the height of the electrolytic cap.

My first step was to display a kind of extruded pads, then adding component body to it. This is allowing to e.g. highlighting a pad or a component, or point it by the mouse and identifying it on the right panel.
In this release I have been adding a table based library, including R and C (and L) 0603, 0802.., leaded 2 row and 4 row L and J-lead packages. The tables are not complete yet. So far it is possible to distinguish J from L lead, just from the footprint size.
If the table-component does not fit nicely, the program should default to the older "extruded" representation.

I am targeting STEP output, maybe as a freemium feature. So I still need to finish the tables and add another level of detail, for mechanically rich components like connector and switches - STEP model load.

In the meanwhile, I am trying to load BOM and identify columns, map components from BOM to IPC356. Unfortunately there are very fuzzy rules about component naming and component footprint naming. The BOM file load is already implemented, but it is only used to display component info on the right panel. Not for selecting the 3D shapes.

When BOM file read is working correctly, I can use the information, maybe checking by an Internet distributor website, what are the actual capacitor sizes, ceramic and electrolytic. This information is generally not present in a CAD PCB project, I need to (re)construct it by other means, asking the user for it, in the last instance. (Now you can hide or swap THT to another side, by a right mouse click menu)

Thanks for showing me what components I need to take care of next, and showing me the bugs. I would appreciate to get Gerbers, ipc356 and BOM, if it is possible, by the nature of the project (OSH vs. commercial).
Btw, the board outline is probably not identified correctly, as I see on the picture.
 
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Offline wasyoungonce

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #70 on: August 24, 2016, 12:54:27 pm »
zofz...many thanks here are the gerbers, IPC D 356  and BOM.  Zipped.

I tried some editing of the IPC file...it didn't change things I wanted. 

.....Now you can hide or swap THT to another side, by a right mouse click menu...

Yes noticed this.  This helped on the image sensor ICX453AQ.  Which is a 34 pin (extra) wide DIP.  These are not common IC packages, had to make my own, so no tables will match it.  It was rendered on the top...I clicked it to the bottom.  Damn excellent feature.

Brendan :-+



« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 01:06:12 pm by wasyoungonce »
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Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #71 on: August 25, 2016, 09:28:42 am »
Great - That's looking  improved :)

1. Board Outline file was assumed to be .gbr - it looks that it should be .gm1  - I have changed it by hand or should that be a rule?
KiCad usually puts Board outline on layer Edge.Cuts
I applied the Altium naming, as that seemed to import better, so I guess that maps Edge.Cuts to some Gerber name.

2. KiCad generated plated and not plated drill files. Both files should be plated. I am not drilling thru the top/btm copper in a case of not plated holes, assuming the copper is not there. This is why the holes was not visible from top/bottom.

I'm not following this exactly ?
I would expect all holes to appear in the viewer, and if there is some means to show plated/non plated that is nice.
Even just a hover-check would be ok, but a copper/fibreglass type colour render for plated/npth would be cool...

ie a hole should not be discarded or not shown in a viewer.

In the test I did,  it looked like the non-trace-connected holes did render as expected.
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #72 on: August 25, 2016, 10:45:38 am »
...... So obviously I have no clue what is the height of the electrolytic cap.
...
In this release I have been adding a table based library, including R and C (and L) 0603, 0802
..
In the meanwhile, I am trying to load BOM and identify columns, map components from BOM to IPC356. Unfortunately there are very fuzzy rules about component naming and component footprint naming.
Tables and BOM mapping can give good results, but are of course more work.

Some simpler means to communicate height is needed.. I did see someone mention a nifty trick a while back, of using the Line width to encode the Height.

I just tried this in KiCad, and it saves and Gerber plots to 6 decimals in mm.

That allows line widths to .01 mm and gives up to 4 more digits for height, which could be (fixed point) any  of 9.999mm or 99.99mm or 999.9mm
Pick one - perhaps 99.99mm, covers reasonable heights, and anything > 100mm can always use a 3D table, and 99.99 tolerates 5 decimal digit mm gerber files as 99.9mm . (not all PCB products can plot to 6 decimals in mm)

This could give a simple user-3D-option, whereby they can just edit their library, and not need any more associations at all.

KiCad can currently create and plot footprint info to these non copper layers

PFR_Widths-F.Fab.gbr
PFR_Widths-F.SilkS.gto
PFR_Widths-F.CrtYd.gbr
PFR_Widths-B.Fab.gbr
PFR_Widths-B.SilkS.gto
PFR_Widths-B.CrtYd.gbr

Q: Is there enough info in the IPC356 and gerber files to relate outline info to a component ?  My guess is no ?

I'm wondering about the best way to extrude here...

I see Kicad can remove Silkscreen over Pads, which it does by a simple dual plot process in one file
 first Outlines at %LPD*%  (Plot Dark),
 then Pads(mask) at %LPC*% (Plot Clear) to remove any silk outline info within the pad regions

That could allow an outline on Silk layer, (safely removed over pads), but the pre-removal outline is fraction-scaled-extruded to give height.


User would nominate the Gerber file containing the (fractional encoded) height info, and the rest is simple software ?

« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 11:49:29 am by PCB.Wiz »
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #73 on: August 25, 2016, 05:44:13 pm »
Great - That's looking  improved :)

1. Board Outline file was assumed to be .gbr - it looks that it should be .gm1  - I have changed it by hand or should that be a rule?
KiCad usually puts Board outline on layer Edge.Cuts
I applied the Altium naming, as that seemed to import better, so I guess that maps Edge.Cuts to some Gerber name.
There are so many options or styles. Maybe I should read the file description file for the major packages - of course the format (or rather layout) is temporary - not too stable, or, perform more testing...
Note: you are free to modify "%APPDATA%\ZofzPCB\CAM_Load_Rules.txt - If you then send it to me, it will be beneficial for the community and the next update will not overwrite your changes.

2. KiCad generated plated and not plated drill files. Both files should be plated. I am not drilling thru the top/btm copper in a case of not plated holes, assuming the copper is not there. This is why the holes was not visible from top/bottom.

I'm not following this exactly ?
I would expect all holes to appear in the viewer, and if there is some means to show plated/non plated that is nice.
Even just a hover-check would be ok, but a copper/fibreglass type colour render for plated/npth would be cool...

ie a hole should not be discarded or not shown in a viewer.

In the test I did,  it looked like the non-trace-connected holes did render as expected.
Yes, you are right - that is a bug. (Now on BugList.)
Note - the non-plated holes are there, if you look inside or strip one copper layer - they are just covered by non-drilled copper. And this have to be changed. By the way - it is possible to assign different colors to plated and to non-plated holes.
Adding metallic and FR4 reflection http://www.rastertek.com/dx11tut10.html would be the best.
The plated/non-plated have influence on the netlist checking.
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #74 on: August 25, 2016, 06:07:20 pm »
...... So obviously I have no clue what is the height of the electrolytic cap.
...
In this release I have been adding a table based library, including R and C (and L) 0603, 0802
..
In the meanwhile, I am trying to load BOM and identify columns, map components from BOM to IPC356. Unfortunately there are very fuzzy rules about component naming and component footprint naming.
Tables and BOM mapping can give good results, but are of course more work.

Some simpler means to communicate height is needed.. I did see someone mention a nifty trick a while back, of using the Line width to encode the Height.

I just tried this in KiCad, and it saves and Gerber plots to 6 decimals in mm.

That allows line widths to .01 mm and gives up to 4 more digits for height, which could be (fixed point) any  of 9.999mm or 99.99mm or 999.9mm
Pick one - perhaps 99.99mm, covers reasonable heights, and anything > 100mm can always use a 3D table, and 99.99 tolerates 5 decimal digit mm gerber files as 99.9mm . (not all PCB products can plot to 6 decimals in mm)

This could give a simple user-3D-option, whereby they can just edit their library, and not need any more associations at all.

KiCad can currently create and plot footprint info to these non copper layers

PFR_Widths-F.Fab.gbr
PFR_Widths-F.SilkS.gto
PFR_Widths-F.CrtYd.gbr
PFR_Widths-B.Fab.gbr
PFR_Widths-B.SilkS.gto
PFR_Widths-B.CrtYd.gbr

Q: Is there enough info in the IPC356 and gerber files to relate outline info to a component ?  My guess is no ?

I'm wondering about the best way to extrude here...

I see Kicad can remove Silkscreen over Pads, which it does by a simple dual plot process in one file
 first Outlines at %LPD*%  (Plot Dark),
 then Pads(mask) at %LPC*% (Plot Clear) to remove any silk outline info within the pad regions

That could allow an outline on Silk layer, (safely removed over pads), but the pre-removal outline is fraction-scaled-extruded to give height.


User would nominate the Gerber file containing the (fractional encoded) height info, and the rest is simple software ?
Maybe easier is to add a column to the BOM file? There should be a number of universal fields in the component description in any CAD package.
However, using a reference to a component distributor index gives more options. It is also beneficial to the assembly shop. Also, eg. the immediate price calculation, auto-loading of 3D models,  DFM tests...
Farnel have API for their database queries. Generally it is possible to parse any distributor web page - the information there is somehow systematic - they need to be indexed by Google, to some extend...
I have been making calculations of such index file size - it is not soo big, if a proper compression-schema (dictionary tree) is used. That is probably easier to download the whole index once per month or so, then wait for the website to answer, for each part.
 


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