Author Topic: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer  (Read 54619 times)

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Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #100 on: November 08, 2019, 01:48:37 pm »
 :clap: Impressive!  :-+
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #101 on: November 19, 2019, 01:05:41 pm »
idea's :

- save as step ? ap214 if possible ?
- copper area extraction ? hover or click on track/polygon and it gives you square mm of copper and total length ( first pad to last pad . in case of branch : to branch point)
- realtime size/width view ? point to a spot and it shows trace width at that position for the currently active layer. if pointed object is a pad : length and width and possible hole size.
- object browser : shows all objects in design in tabular format. table allows filtering. for example : object type : pad , holesize 0.8mm : highlight all. object type trace ,width 6mil , via , pad size 0.5mm.

this thing has evolved quite a bit .. good job !

working on altium script to do crossprobing
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Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #102 on: December 10, 2019, 09:22:17 pm »
Thank you,
I have just published the hotfix - bugs I saw directly after the big release. That means now it is STEP output, as free_electron suggests. I have got myself the ISO-242 (214 is included) and that is 600MB of html text. Awful. But step by step I am starting to understand this. Export should be easy.
I am also geting requests for ipc2581 and, recently ODB++.
To close the requests list, also the STEP input, for mechanically critical components.

free_electron - if you need any help or a specific IPC, let me know.
the latest video: https://youtu.be/-2ot6YFyJWQ - body builder in action  8)
 

Offline dimbmw

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #103 on: January 18, 2020, 06:33:35 am »
Tried the software. Liked it!

I think I’ve noticed a bug though. I’ve seen how after net highlight the via would turn 90 degrees (the hole axis). Didn’t do a screenshot, sorry. But that looked weird.

Would be also great to have the net just change color when highlight, with no blinking.

Also I am only reviewing the layouts, and gerber files are being sent to me by a remote contractor, so components do not show when I import, i guess I am missing some files or maybe its because I am using a free version. Is there a way for a software to guess the components by footprints and populate the board? That would be awesome.
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #104 on: January 20, 2020, 01:11:00 pm »
Hi Dimbmw,
Thanks,
1. There is a keyboard shortcut "Ctrl-N" to circle via 3 ways of displaying the selection. The second mode exposes the selected connection, showing it "on top" of other elements, normally covering the selected connection. It looks weird. Maybe you have selected this, pressing Ctrl-N instead of "N" ? See https://www.zofzpcb.com/help.html#LabM.2
2. There would be a way to display a single color selection, but it needs more clicks. It would make sense when using the natural color view.
  • Go to View/Color-Picker, move the top slider to the left
  • Select "Edit Layer Type Color" radio button, select "Copper" on the dropdown just below it.
  • The "Net-ID" color slider should appear above H,S,V sliders. Move it to the right.
  • Press Set All Net Colors: to Copper button. Now the view should be like natural, again.
  • Now, you will be able to use "N" to select a single connection and set this connection color using sliders, one by one if you like.
I will think about making a one more display mode, later on.

3. Yes, that would be a great feature to display the components without loading the IPC-356 bare board test point file (also called "pcb netlist"). This may be easy to do, by using GerberX2 annotations - very similar concept to ipc356. This I have on my task list. But the greatest thing would be to do it from the pure image of pads and silkscreen. I would be happy to have time for this task.
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #105 on: January 20, 2020, 01:19:29 pm »
Update on STEP export:
There is a great 3D library - Open-Cascade. I am about half of way implementing the export, it seems.
Lucky me - I can use Solidworks for debugging,  See the picture
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #106 on: January 20, 2020, 03:19:47 pm »
Great !. I am after exporting the copper to step (including correct copper thickness : keep in mind that the copper in the vias is less than the copper in the layers. so we must be able to specify base copper thickness + plating thickness. We need to be able to set this per layer to use laser vias or plugged vias.
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Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #107 on: January 27, 2020, 11:15:19 pm »
Many questions: Do we need internal layers? The step file grows substantially. (is anyone going to use this for thermal simulation?)
Where/what is the diameter of the micro-via? The micro-via is v-shaped, not cylindrical. So far, I am using the exit diameter.
Usually the manufacturer declares that the end (result) diameter of a drill (after metalization) is to be specified, but my experience is that the correction is sometimes forgotten. And the correction is not applied to the vias (drills below some diameter, right?
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #108 on: January 27, 2020, 11:18:34 pm »
I have broken the ice, but still the most complex primitives are to be converted.
 
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Offline olkipukki

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #109 on: January 28, 2020, 01:27:38 pm »
I have broken the ice, but still the most complex primitives are to be converted.

What about silkscreens?
Are these in scope?
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #110 on: January 28, 2020, 02:23:49 pm »
I have broken the ice, but still the most complex primitives are to be converted.
excellent work !
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Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #111 on: January 28, 2020, 04:34:13 pm »
I have broken the ice, but still the most complex primitives are to be converted.

What about silkscreens?
Are these in scope?
I have made checkboxes for the external copper and silkscreen. I do not know if anything else makes sense.
If it is exported for the thermal simulation, then everything would be needed, but it will drive people to problems, because of the file size, memory and time used. So, only the copper and silkscreen for this version.
 

Offline E-Design

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #112 on: January 28, 2020, 05:40:04 pm »
I have broken the ice, but still the most complex primitives are to be converted.

What about silkscreens?
Are these in scope?
I have made checkboxes for the external copper and silkscreen. I do not know if anything else makes sense.
If it is exported for the thermal simulation, then everything would be needed, but it will drive people to problems, because of the file size, memory and time used. So, only the copper and silkscreen for this version.

Great work! Which copper features will not be included in STEP export? This has good application for thermal simulation. I think people are already used to large file sizes and for systems doing thermal sim, memory is not an issue. I would suggest you offer the feature and the users can decide if the files are too unmanageable.
Again, great job..
The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
 

Offline olkipukki

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #113 on: January 28, 2020, 05:48:50 pm »

I have made checkboxes for the external copper and silkscreen. I do not know if anything else makes sense.
If it is exported for the thermal simulation, then everything would be needed, but it will drive people to problems, because of the file size, memory and time used. So, only the copper and silkscreen for this version.

That's great!
Looks like there is option do to a proper STEP export and, as example, 3D rendering later.
When are you planning to release this?

Don't worry too much, people who want to do a thermal simulation, shouldn't have any issues with size, memory and CPU power  >:D


 
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #114 on: February 29, 2020, 04:44:03 pm »
Feature freeze. I will do some debugging of the most obvious or critical problems I already see. Then I have to pack a dozen of Open Cascade dlls and I can publish the beta version. It was much more guessing than I would wish. But at least, i know what to google now  :)
The 32-bit nature of the current code is the limit of the memory hungry Open Cascade library. The board on the picture takes 1G to do the export  :palm:. Sooner or later I have to switch to 64bit.
 

Offline emsnickw

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #115 on: March 09, 2020, 02:01:29 am »
I would love to see a browser-based version of this. Very cool.
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #116 on: March 09, 2020, 06:56:20 am »
I would love to see a browser-based version of this. Very cool.
check out https://www.altium.com/viewer/ design and gerber viewer, 2D and 3D
 
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Offline Marcel_X

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #117 on: April 04, 2020, 12:55:15 pm »
I have broken the ice, but still the most complex primitives are to be converted.

What about silkscreens?
Are these in scope?
I have made checkboxes for the external copper and silkscreen. I do not know if anything else makes sense.
If it is exported for the thermal simulation, then everything would be needed, but it will drive people to problems, because of the file size, memory and time used. So, only the copper and silkscreen for this version.

Fantastic work! I've been using the free version of ZofzPCB for a few years now and it has improved greatly over time.
When I read STEP export was implemented, I immediately bought a license. In the past I had to export my design as a DXF, read it back into Fusion 360 and extrude the board outline to have at least a 3D model of the board itself.

But it would be nice to be able to set the thickness of the PCB and copper layers in the Export dialog box. It seems that the PCB thickness by default is now 1.355mm and the copper layer thickness is 35um. I can manually change these values in Fusion 360 by extruding the board and copper layers, but it would be nice as an option in ZofzPCB.
And maybe an option to export the soldermask as well. Using the same colors as chosen in the Color Picker or Color Preset menus?

Also, I cannot find the checkbox for the silkscreen... Have I missed anything?

Anyway, great work! Thanks!
If it weren't for C, we'd be using BASI, PASAL, and OBOL
 

Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #118 on: April 04, 2020, 09:19:27 pm »
Hi Marcel_X,
Thank you.

The thickness of the PCB volume is the sum of everything what is between the top and bottom copper, in the stackup setup.
Also the copper thickness is taken from the stackup setup.
But, the board and the copper color is constant. I was a bit afraid about the core through the solder mask color vs core color only, I just set a constant value. I could be more innovative here and use transparency multiplication, maybe later.

Electronic projects are more complex then what is typically rendered by the CAD programs. The underlaying library (Open Cascade) eats a lot of RAM. The limit is 2GB, as the ZofzPCB is 32-bit program. That was far from being a problem before, but now it is a serious limitation. For example the DEMO 1 will not convert to STEP, if all options are enabled (default). That justifies my decision of not including other layers into the export.

My plan is to expel the feature into a separate 64-bit module ASAP. It is faster, safer and more efficient then convert the whole thing to 64 bit. Also, it will cover the fact of substantial memory leak during saving the STEP, as the module will unload after the job is done. I would then permit myself to add other layers to the options.

Still some questions: semi-transparency in STEP, should I try to bulge the external layers on the underlaying copper or just position it above?

In the meanwhile, my try on iPad, using Fusion 360: https://youtu.be/K4Ly607Xv3s

 

Offline i_like_sparks

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #119 on: August 07, 2020, 11:06:03 am »
Just tried this. Quite impressive, but please please please use the OS functions for the file open & dialog boxes instead of rolling your own. The OS file open dialog is there for a reason so users can build muscle memory. For example, your confirmation dialogs all have the "Yes" button on the right side. In Windows, the right side is always the "No" or "Cancel" button.

And do away with the color gradients and custom dialog colors. It just makes software look amateurish, no professional software does this nowadays.
 
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Online dunkemhigh

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #120 on: August 07, 2020, 02:14:10 pm »
Quote
please please please use the OS functions for the file open & dialog boxe

Twenty extra votes for this. I use Listary, which can auto-populate file dialogs amongst other things. Most apps I do a file open, activate Listary, there I am in the project structure in the gerber folder. With roll-your-own dialogs I'm forever traversing trees many many levels deep, thinking bad thoughts about wheel re-invention. Not helped that it's difficult to read the stuff in the dialog anyway, and I always click the wrong anonymous blob icon.

This is a great app, but I hate using it a lot of the time :(
 
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Offline zofz

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #121 on: August 07, 2020, 09:16:17 pm »
There are 2 main problems 1. flattening stall bug, 2. GUI
I just started to work on #1. I have promissed full stackup STEP and some BOM file functionality, related to diferent population options.
In 2018 I have made an atempt, to replace the GUI, using ribbon and drag and drop for composing the stackup.
[attach=1]
if you are intersted why the hell, I started this incompatible GUI: https://www.zofzpcb.com/FAQ.html#nonGDIgui
and you can download half made program: https://www.zofzpcb.com/Download/Ribbon.exe
But there were more important things to do, like componetnts models and STEP export - I am trying to find a way to convert to full time, like a snail probing different directions.
But I can get rid of transpariences and swap yes/no buttons - no problem.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #122 on: August 07, 2020, 09:30:18 pm »
Gotta say that the ribbon looks immensely more usable than the hard-to-read purple on  blue/red stuff, so gets my vote :)

I appreciate that early decisions which have to be made can act like a ball and chain later, and it gets harder to change things the longer they're around. Indeed, sometimes even starting again from scratch with 20/20 hindsight doesn't work :(
 
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Offline zofz

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Online dunkemhigh

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Re: Take a look at my newly improved PCB viewer / Gerber Viewer
« Reply #124 on: August 07, 2020, 10:17:18 pm »
Done  :-+
 


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