CAD tool bridges data between different packages

Printed circuit board designers at the Hughes Aircraft Sensors and Communications Systems division in El Segundo, Calif., needed a way to read and translate data to and from several different computer-aided design (CAD) tools. They found their solution in the PCB Viewprint CAD software module from Router Solutions Inc. of Newport Beach, Calif.

Jun 1st, 1997

Printed circuit board designers at the Hughes Aircraft Sensors and Communications Systems division in El Segundo, Calif., needed a way to read and translate data to and from several different computer-aided design (CAD) tools. They found their solution in the PCB Viewprint CAD software module from Router Solutions Inc. of Newport Beach, Calif.

"I need a common format to use for my computer-aided manufacturing systems, so if I use a certain file and format, I can parse out the pieces I want and send those data to a specific data base," says John Austin, manager of manufacturing at Hughes Sensors.

Austin and his group manufacture printed circuit boards in custom and industry-standard form factors for precision military guidance systems such as global positioning system receivers, and aircraft guidance navigation system processors. At one time he and his colleagues wrote their own software tool to translate CAD data from one tool to another, but with discouraging results.

"When we tried to do this with a Mentor Graphics program it took a lot of time, and our next customer didn`t have Mentor Graphics data," Austin says. "It was a totally different format." The prospect of spending the time to write another software tool with no guarantee they would not have to repeat the process again and again was bleak, he says.

Then they found PCB Viewprint, "and this gave us what we wanted," Austin says. PCB Viewprint is part of Router`s CAMCAD For Windows, a view, print, compose, and convert program for printed circuit board formats, including Gerber, HPGL, and DXF. PCB Viewprint can import selected board design system translators such as PADS, Accell EDA, PDIF, Zuken-Redac, Mentor, Cadence, Orcad, Protel, Veribest, and GenCAD. - J.K.

For more information, contact Rob Baird of Router Solutions by phone at 714-721-1017, by fax at 714-721-1019, by mail at 180 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, Calif., 92660, by e-mail at sales@ rsi-inc.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.rsi-inc.com/.

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