18 Replies Latest reply on Nov 10, 2015 4:23 PM by Jorge_Garcia

    IDF export broken?

    Joop14

      Dear Cadsoft,

       

      I have some questions about your generate-3d-idf-data.ulp.

       

      According to your document $EAGLEDIR/doc/ulp/generate-3d-idf-data_en.pdf the height of a package is drawn in layers 57 and 58. The board in layer 50.

       

      How do I create these layers?

       

      I patched the ulp by changing layers to 150, 157 and 158. This way I'm able to create the layers and draw the contour of the height of the part.

       

      Why isn't it possible to create layers 50, 57 and 58?

       

      Thanks for answering,

       

      Joop

        • Re: IDF export broken?
          Autodesk Guest

          On 7/2/2015 7:32 AM, Joop14 wrote:

          Dear Cadsoft,

           

          I have some questions about your generate-3d-idf-data.ulp.

           

          According to your document $EAGLEDIR/doc/ulp/generate-3d-idf-data_en.pdf

          the height of a package is drawn in layers 57 and 58. The board in layer

          50.

           

          How do I create these layers?

           

          Hi Joop,

           

          I hope you're doing well. This is actually a very old ULP started

          initially in 2005. At that point it's possible users could define layers

          smaller than 100. Typically now layers less than 100 are for Cadsoft's

          use, those larger than 100 are for user use.

           

          With that said it is possible to create layer 58. Using the command line

          type:

           

          LAYER 58 User_1;

           

          Where User_1 is whatever name you want to give the layer. It's an

          inconsistency in EAGLE, you can create it through the command line but

          not through the GUI.

           

          hth,

          Jorge Garcia

           

           

            • Re: IDF export broken?
              Joop14

              Hello Jorge,

               

              I'm fine, thank you for asking. I hope you are doing well too.

               

              As you probably know, for most Eagle users, exporting 3d data is a hassle.

               

              Also, using external (commercial) parties for generating 3d data is not the way to go.

               

              Imho Eagle should spend a little bit of time in updating some scripts and manuals and all will be fine.

               

              There are several issues with the ulp:

               

              1. It's not obvious to users how to create layers with numbers below 100.

               

              2. The ulp wrote the wrong package names to the IDF files.

               

              3. Filename extensions are wrong, they should be *.emn and *.emp.

               

              4. The dialog of the ulp allows you to select a directory where to store the exported files.

                 It's broken.

               

               

              I was able to fix and patch those issues in the ulp.

              Now the IDF files are correct.

               

               

              Second step, I wanted to have a look at the result without spending a fortune.

              So, I installed FreeCAD:  http://www.freecadweb.org/

               

              FreeCAD uses Python scripts to import different fileformats.

               

              Unfortunately, the Python script to import IDF files was broken as well.

              It skips packages with the same name which already has been processed.

              So, the end result misses lots of components.

               

              I managed to fix the script but it could use some attention from an experienced Python programmer (I'm not).

               

              Here's the result:

               

              freecad_eagle_picture1

               

              freecad_eagle_picture2

               

               

              Now I'm able to export it as a step file and send it to our mechanical engineer who designs the enclosure.

               

              Also, the Python import script of FreeCAD automatically replaces a part if it finds a 3d (step) model with the same name as the package

              in a certain directory. However, because the Python script is broken, it places the 3d model on wrong coordinates.

              So for the moment I stick with the simpler solution. But a professional Python programmer should be able to fix this in a couple of hours.

               

               

              My questions are:

               

              Why do I have to sort this all out? Shouldn't it be the task of Cadsoft? I understand your team is small but exporting 3d data is a missing future for long time

              while it can be simply solved by updating and improving your generate-3d-idf-data.ulp and fix the import script of FreeCAD (it's opensource!).

              And no, (windows only) solutions that requires uploading data to a commercial party is NOT a solution!

               

              If you want I can send you the modifications I did to the ulp and the FreeCAD import script.

               

              I wish you and the Cadsoft team a nice weekend,

               

              Joop

                • Re: IDF export broken?
                  kikoun

                  Hi,

                   

                  There is a nice tool that could help : http://sourceforge.net/projects/eaglepcb2freecad/

                  I use it and it works fine. You can manage a kind of 'Placement model' library : you define how each Eagle Package must be import (which 3D file to import (step/iges), how it must be placed (offset/orientation) etc...)

                  Managing the placement model is really easy, while you change the parameters, the placement is updated in real time.

                   

                  it's free, the integration in Freecad and Eagle very is good. The author  (from Poland) made a great job : thanks to him !

                   

                  Guillaume.

                    • Re: IDF export broken?
                      Joop14

                      Thanks for the advice but, at least for me, this is overkill. I want to finish the board in Eagle, not in another package.

                      I used FreeCAD only to check the result of Eagle's IDF export and to convert it to the step format.

                      Pro/Engineer can not read IDF files except when you buy an expensive plugin. Our mechanical engineer does not.

                      For me, wireframes are fine and the necessary extra layer (57 or 157) is easy to add when drawing a package.

                      The rest is up to the mechanical engineer. If a wireframe is not good enough, he can replace it (I have no time for that) with the respective 3d model,

                      usually only the connectors and switches that needs to fit into the holes of the enclosure. I don't feel like doing his job.

                       

                      Kind Regards,

                       

                      Joop

                        • Re: IDF export broken?
                          Autodesk Guest

                          On 4/07/2015 5:43 a.m., Joop14 wrote:

                          Thanks for the advice but, at least for me, this is overkill. I want to

                          finish the board in Eagle, not in another package.

                          I used FreeCAD only to check the result of Eagle's IDF export and to

                          convert it to the step format.

                          Pro/Engineer can not read IDF files except when you buy an expensive

                          plugin. Our mechanical engineer does not.

                          For me, wireframes are fine and the necessary extra layer (57 or 157) is

                          easy to add when drawing a package.

                          The rest is up to the mechanical engineer. If a wireframe is not good

                          enough, he can replace it (I have no time for that) with the respective

                          3d model,

                          usually only the connectors and switches that needs to fit into the

                          holes of the enclosure. I don't feel like doing his job.

                           

                          Kind Regards,

                           

                          Joop

                           

                          --

                          To view any images and attachments in this post, visit:

                          http://www.element14.com/community/message/154079

                           

                           

                           

                          Have you evaluated Eagleup?

                          https://eagleup.wordpress.com/

                           

                          Warren

                           

                            • Re: IDF export broken?
                              Joop14

                               

                              Have you evaluated Eagleup?

                              https://eagleup.wordpress.com/

                               

                              Warren

                               

                               

                              Thanks Warren, but Sketchup needs Windows or Mac.

                              And even if it should run on Linux, I don't want to bother with 3D drawing software.

                               

                              It's like if somebody says that "Yes, Eagle can export Gerbers but in order to make those Gerbers actually work you need to continue to finish/modify those Gerbers in a third party program".

                              That's not what I want. I want to finish the board completely in Eagle, including the simple 3d IDF export (not requiring real 3D models).

                               

                              To clarify some things, we draw all our packages ourselfs. Sometimes we reuse Eagle footprints but we always modify them one way or another.

                              Also we change all device and packages names. Because of this, there is no software that is able to find the right 3D-model in an automatic way.

                              I understand this, I accept this and it's not what I'm complaining about.

                              What I want is a working IDF export that generates accurately the rectancular or circular 3-dimensional sizes of the packages. That's all.

                              And the new ULP is not able to do this. And the old ULP should be able to do this but it's severely broken and abandoned by Cadsoft while still included in the installation.

                               

                              Kind Regards,

                               

                              Joop

                        • Re: IDF export broken?
                          Autodesk Guest

                          On 7/3/2015 5:05 AM, Joop14 wrote:

                          Hello Jorge,

                           

                          I'm fine, thank you for asking. I hope you are doing well too.

                           

                          As you probably know, for most Eagle users, exporting 3d data is a

                          hassle.

                           

                          Also, using external (commercial) parties for generating 3d data is not

                          the way to go.

                           

                          Imho Eagle should spend a little bit of time in updating some scripts

                          and manuals and all will be fine.

                           

                          There are several issues with the ulp:

                           

                          1. It's not obvious to users how to create layers with numbers below

                          100.

                           

                          2. The ulp wrote the wrong package names to the IDF files.

                           

                          3. Filename extensions are wrong, they should be *.emn and *.emp.

                           

                          4. The dialog of the ulp allows you to select a directory where to store

                          the exported files.

                              It's broken.

                          Hi Joop,

                           

                          That's why that ULP has been replace by the eagleidfexporter.ulp that

                          ships with EAGLE. You don't need to use the simplifiedsolutions

                          IDF-to-3D tool if you don't want to. The ULP gives you good IDF files

                          that have all of the above issues fixed.

                           

                          My questions are:

                           

                          Why do I have to sort this all out? Shouldn't it be the task of Cadsoft?

                          I understand your team is small but exporting 3d data is a missing

                          future for long time

                          while it can be simply solved by updating and improving your

                          generate-3d-idf-data.ulp and fix the import script of FreeCAD (it's

                          opensource!).

                          And no, (windows only) solutions that requires uploading data to a

                          commercial party is NOT a solution!

                          The eagleidfexporter.ulp is not a windows only solution. The simplified

                          solutions service is web based so it works on all of the major operating

                          systems. If you don't want to use the commercial tool to replace the IDF

                          cubes with STEP models then you can import the IDF file into the 3D tool

                          of your choice and do the mapping there. Many users work with

                          ProEngineer or Solidworks, but FreeCAD is a good FOSS alternative.

                           

                          If you want I can send you the modifications I did to the ulp and the

                          FreeCAD import script.

                           

                          Sure, feel free to send them to support@cadsoftusa.com.

                           

                          Best Regards,

                          Jorge Garcia

                           

                           

                            • Re: IDF export broken?
                              Joop14

                              Hello Jorge,

                               

                              First of all, thanks for coming back to me. I really appreciate it.

                               

                              CadSoft Guest wrote:

                               

                              That's why that ULP has been replace by the eagleidfexporter.ulp that

                              ships with EAGLE.

                               

                              The ULP has not been replaced by Cadsoft, it has been added. A small but important difference.

                              Both ULP's are included with Eagle and both should be supported.

                              If Cadsoft does not feel like fixing a broken ULP, they should at least not include it during the installation.

                               

                              I didn't know about the new ULP because we are still using v6.60 which does not have the new ULP.

                              We do have a license for v7.xx but I prefer to let others hit the bugs so we will not switch

                              before at least v7.4 or 7.5 is available.

                               

                              So, I copied the the ULP from the v7 installation files into the v6.60 ULP dir and I gave it try.

                               

                              I'm sorry to tell you this but it's a disaster. The IDF conversion works but the dimensions are all wrong.

                              I'm not talking about the height (Z), I know that you have to add an attribute that contains the height value

                              otherwise it will defaults to 1 mm. I'm talking about the xy coordinates, they are all to big.

                               

                              There is no way the ULP can use the correct dimensions drawn in a separate layer. Right?

                               

                              So, at least for me, the new ULP is completely useless.

                              Please tell me what's the meaning of the cubes if only the height has the right size?

                               

                              To me it looks like the new ULP has been written in a way to push users to use the online service that replaces the cubes with 3d-models,

                              not to have an IDF export with cubes that have correct dimensions. But maybe I'm overlooking something.

                              In that case, please forgive me my ignorance, but explain me how to make the necessary changes to let the cubes have the correct dimensions.

                               

                              Kind Regards,

                               

                              Joop

                                • Re: IDF export broken?
                                  Autodesk Guest

                                  The ULP has not been replaced by Cadsoft, it has been added. A small but

                                  important difference.

                                  My apologies, you are correct on this.

                                  Both ULP's are included with Eagle and both should be supported.

                                  If Cadsoft does not feel like fixing a broken ULP, they should at least

                                  not include it during the installation.

                                   

                                  I didn't know about the new ULP because we are still using v6.60 which

                                  does not have the new ULP.

                                  We do have a license for v7.xx but I prefer to let others hit the bugs

                                  so we will not switch

                                  before at least v7.4 or 7.5 is available.

                                   

                                  So, I copied the the ULP from the v7 installation files into the v6.60

                                  ULP dir and I gave it try.

                                  Hmmm... I haven't looked but the ULP may be using something specific to

                                  V7, the result might not be what you need.

                                   

                                  I'm sorry to tell you this but it's a disaster. The IDF conversion works

                                  but the dimensions are all wrong.

                                  See above. I can confirm that the export is correct under V7. I'll have

                                  to see what could be the culprit in the design.

                                  I'm not talking about the height (Z), I know that you have to add an

                                  attribute that contains the height value

                                  otherwise it will defaults to 1 mm. I'm talking about the xy

                                  coordinates, they are all to big.

                                  By how much? What is the margin of error?

                                   

                                  There is no way the ULP can use the correct dimensions drawn in a

                                  separate layer. Right?

                                  As of right now the ULP calculates the XY dimensions using the extreme

                                  dimensions of the package, no user input is used for this export.

                                   

                                   

                                  To me it looks like the new ULP has been written in a way to push users

                                  to use the online service that replaces the cubes with 3d-models,

                                  not to have an IDF export with cubes that have correct dimensions.

                                  The cubes should have the correct dimensions, with the answer to the

                                  above questions we can figure out what's going on in your case.

                                   

                                  hth,

                                  Jorge Garcia

                                   

                                   

                                    • Re: IDF export broken?
                                      Joop14

                                      CadSoft Guest wrote:

                                      As of right now the ULP calculates the XY dimensions using the extreme

                                      dimensions of the package, no user input is used for this export.

                                       

                                      And this is the exact problem. How can you expect the contour of an object to be correct while using, for example, the keepout layer to guess the dimension of a package???

                                       

                                      I made a small test board to show the differences between the two ULP's.

                                      First picture is the old (and patched) ULP:

                                       

                                      freecad_eagle_picture1

                                       

                                      And here's the one using the new ULP:

                                       

                                      freecad_eagle_picture2

                                       

                                      The old, patched ULP is included in the attached file.

                                       

                                      Kind Regards,

                                       

                                      Joop

                                        • Re: IDF export broken?
                                          Autodesk Guest

                                           

                                           

                                          And this is the exact problem. How can you expect the contour of an

                                          object to be correct while using, for example, the keepout layer to

                                          guess the dimension of a package???

                                           

                                          This has been brought up before, the ULP will be improved to be able to

                                          ignore the keepout layers in the XY calculation.

                                           

                                          The old, patched ULP is included in the attached file.

                                           

                                           

                                          Thanks for this, I'll make sure it gets added to the main release of

                                          EAGLE. Thank you again for bringing this up.

                                           

                                          Best Regards,

                                          Jorge Garcia

                                           

                                           

                                          • Re: IDF export broken?
                                            Joop14

                                            Dear Cadsoft team,

                                             

                                            Because there's almost one week passed since my last posting, do you have any thoughts about this?

                                             

                                            Kind Regards,

                                             

                                            Joop

                                              • Re: IDF export broken?
                                                Autodesk Guest

                                                On 7/15/2015 8:18 AM, Joop14 wrote:

                                                Dear Cadsoft team,

                                                 

                                                Because there's almost one week passed since my last posting, do you

                                                have any thoughts about this?

                                                 

                                                Hi Joop,

                                                 

                                                I did respond, I thanked you for the correction, stating that it will be

                                                included in the next release of EAGLE for everyone's benefit and

                                                informed you that the eagleidfexporter.ulp was going to be adjusted to

                                                not include the keep out layers in the calculation.

                                                 

                                                I apologize if I missed a question in the last exchange.

                                                 

                                                Let me know if you don't see it or if it didn't make it to you.

                                                 

                                                Best Regards,

                                                Jorge Garcia

                                                 

                                                 

                                                • Re: IDF export broken?
                                                  Jorge_Garcia

                                                  I just came  now to element14 and my original response isnt here. great

                                                    • Re: IDF export broken?
                                                      Joop14

                                                      Hello Jorge,

                                                       

                                                      Thank you for coming back.

                                                       

                                                      Yes, I believe there is an issue with this board that sometimes a new post does not show up or only after a couple of days...

                                                       

                                                      I believe that, whatever existing layer you choose to calculate the dimension of a package, it's never going to work. At least not accurately.

                                                      Imho the only good solution is to use the old (patched) ulp that makes use of a new additional layer that contains a 2d geometry

                                                      of the package and where the linewidth of that layer is used to calculate the height. (height is linewidth x 1000)

                                                       

                                                      Anyway, thank you for looking into it.

                                                       

                                                      Kind Regards,

                                                       

                                                      Joop

                                      • Re: IDF export broken?
                                        Joop14

                                        Dear Cadsoft team,

                                         

                                        I found another bug in your IDF export.

                                        Parts placed on the bottom were not mirrored correctly.

                                         

                                        Please find attached the corrected ulp v2.1.

                                         

                                         

                                        One other thing, why is Cadsoft still shipping with the broken IDF export v1.9?

                                        (for example see V7.4.2 beta)

                                         

                                        Kind Regards,

                                         

                                        Joop

                                          • Re: IDF export broken?
                                            Jorge_Garcia

                                            Hi Joop,

                                             

                                            I hope you're doing well. Long story, here's where we are at. The devs don't want the layers changed so I altered the ULP to check for the correct layers 50,57,58(correct being defined by the devs) and if they are not found then the ULP offers to create them. I've taken your latest changes and incorporated them along with my changes to make V2.2 of the ULP. If you can send me the file that exercises the mirror bug, I would appreciate it to make sure the merged ULP is working. Once that's done then I can send it to the devs so that it can be included in the next release of EAGLE.

                                             

                                            You can e-mail me support@cadsoftusa.com.

                                             

                                            Best Regards,

                                            Jorge Garcia

                                          • Re: IDF export broken?
                                            Joop14

                                            There's a problem with this board.

                                            Sometimes a new reply does not bump up the thread.