Author Topic: Convert Mentor PADS .sch & .pcb files to Altium without owning a license  (Read 242 times)

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Offline soFPG

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I have a schematic (.sch) and a PCB file (.pcb) - both for Mentor PADS.

I am using Altium Designer and I am not owning a PADS license. I have downloaded both the Schematic and PCB viewer from Mentor but there don't seem to be an export option.

What I found out so far is, that Altium is only able to import ASCII based files - but I don't have them!

Is there a way to get these files into Altium without buying PADS?

Best regards
 

Offline ZaphodBeeblebrox

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Re: Convert Mentor PADS .sch & .pcb files to Altium without owning a license
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 05:36:39 pm »
There is a huge difference between "PADS" and "PADS Pro". The latter is a stripped down version of Expedition / xDx Designer / xPCB Layout / Whatever funky term the Mentor/Siemens marketing department thinks up tomorrow.

Altium designer has an import wizard. Try using various options that contain the term "PADS", "DX Designer", "Expedition", "Mentor" and "Viewdraw" until you find the one that imports for you.

Warning: have aspirins or stronger painkiller nearby.
 
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Offline ZaphodBeeblebrox

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Re: Convert Mentor PADS .sch & .pcb files to Altium without owning a license
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 05:38:08 pm »
Oh, and another small thing: PADS does not have any form of export functionality to other CAD systems to my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong).
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Convert Mentor PADS .sch & .pcb files to Altium without owning a license
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 06:19:54 pm »
PADS is even more tricky, it is not backwards compatible.

Your best bet would be to find someone that has PADS installed and have them
save it for you to ASCII or even better to export to a few other formats that you might
import easier.
There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can not.
 

Offline soFPG

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Re: Convert Mentor PADS .sch & .pcb files to Altium without owning a license
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 10:17:38 am »
Thanks for the help guys!

I tried various things and just couldn't get it to work. So I decided that I can look at the layout in the PADS Viewer (which is free to download) if I need to but I am probably unable to import it into Altium.
 

Offline dzseki

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Re: Convert Mentor PADS .sch & .pcb files to Altium without owning a license
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 10:22:24 am »
The other question is what to expect from the import?
Because it may result you in a "drawing" that is visually correct and perhaps be able to process it to a somewhat decent documentation. But even if you'd only want to change one resistor the thing will fall apart badly.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: Convert Mentor PADS .sch & .pcb files to Altium without owning a license
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2019, 12:23:46 pm »
I had trouble with OrCAD, wrote to Altium support, and they sent me a .bat file to convert it to something that Altium can read. I would try contacting them, they could have some tools that are only there if you request it.
 


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