3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 19, 2020 2:34 PM by tarribred61

    Need to generate a PCB library directly from an existing PCB


      I have successfully imported an Eagle design, including a 16 page schematic and a PCB into CS v1.52.


      While trying to "Update the PCB document" from the schematic, I'm getting hundreds of lines of "items" in the Engineering Change Order panel, because (I think) the PCB library doesn't exist, it wasn't provided by the client.


      Is it possible to generate a PCB library directly from the PCB, so I can add it to the library list, Otherwise.


      Alternatively, is it possible to save this PCB as something compatible with an older version of Altium Designer, where I have more options? Unfortunately, the only Save-as option I have is as a CSPCBdoc.

        • Re: Need to generate a PCB library directly from an existing PCB

          To my knowledge, CS has no easy method to generate a library from the schematic or from the PCB.  You can make one manually by selecting each part and then copy with menu or CTRL-C.  Then paste into a new library or an existing library.


          As I recall, AD had a method to generate a library from a design but this feature is not present in CS.


          You should not need a library to make a design though.  I don't know why you might have many lines in an ECO except that there may be many differences between schematic and PCB and generating libraries will not fix that.  You would need to resolve them one by one.  Things like mounting holes on a PCB that are not on a schematic generate ECOs.  There might be missing information on the schematic such as differences in footprint names and such. You can possibly figure out how to go forward or backward annotation-wise to resolve.


          The argument in favor of making a library is that you can update a single part at the schematic library and then update all on the schematic.  That might make maintaining the design easier.  You would face the same issue in AD.


          New versions of AD can read a CircuitStudio PCB file.  New versions of AD can also write back to a CS PCB file.  I did that several months ago when we had an outside layout consultant work in AD and I could take back the file in CS format for review.  Worked out well.


          Older versions of AD can not deal with CS format.  You might need to get an evaluation copy of new AD and then save as an older version to get it into an older version of AD.

            • Re: Need to generate a PCB library directly from an existing PCB

              Hi Thomas


              Thanks for the response (again).


              The reason I ask about generating a library directly from a PCB, is that I'm having a lot of trouble reconciling a PCB and a schematic through the "Update PCBdoc" and "Component Links" procedures. So I'm just trying stuff to clarify where my problem lies.


              The "Update PCBdoc" process within Circuit Studio has not behaving well, generating 500 line items in the ECO every time I launched it, and would sometime scramble reference designators on the PcbDoc relative to cross probing. The "Component Links" process was not much better at resolving the problem going the other direction. I was trying to sort out if the issues were from the Eagle translation or stuff I was doing wrong.


              AD does indeed have a method for generating libraries from PcbDoc and SchDoc databases. It's a menu item called "Make Library", for both schematic side and PCB side. Works so nice!


              I've received an invite from Altium to purchase AD for a discounted $4000 since I already own Circuit Studio. I used Altium for a couple decades, and Protel before that, and have really missed it since retiring. This current consulting job will more than pay for it, so I'm seriously considering upgrading.


              I am currently testing the current trial version of AD and am having better luck with reconciling the PcbDoc and SchDoc. Much of the problem has been phat fingering on my part, but I have to admit I am getting weary of not knowing if it's a CS bug I'm dealing with or my own fault. I was an early adopter of CS and it's been a long struggle. Haven't used AD in 3 years, and even then it was many versions back from current, but I'm finding this new version of AD very familiar.


              While chatting with the Altium people, James Harrington came on the chat. He was helpful with some question about the current AD. I told him I'd been struggling with CS but wasn't able to hold out for the new CircuitMaker PRO. He said they are currently on the 3rd go-around of the beta version of CS, and that it is now based on the "real" AD code, but it will still ultimately have a limited feature set. I'm betting the early versions of CircuitMaker PRO will be buggy, and they'll be slow to fix things like they always have been, so I'm seriously thinking of springing for the real thing (AD). I've never been one to need the latest and greatest version of my CAD software, so AD v21 and a year of direct support will likely get me by for many years.

                • Re: Need to generate a PCB library directly from an existing PCB

                  Yes, I am in a similar situation with AD and my history is similar going back to Protel 99SE.  However, our company uses Mentor PADS as its primary CAD and they don't want to spend for full seat of AD.  So I paid for CS myself to play with and to do simple boards for engineering test.  We have limited licenses for PADs so one is not always available and I don't control the company libraries.  CS fits the situation nicely for me.  Last summer we took a more complicated PCB design through schematic entry in CS.  For PCB, I did component footprints and floorplan in CS and then we sent it out to someone with AD and they did the final placement and routing and then sent back the PCB file for fabrication.  Pleasantly, I learned that AD can export to CS so I could review what he was doing and give feedback.  It worked out really well.  Plus, since libraries are compatible I could fix things they found and send them updates.  We don't plan on working this way but it shows that a seat of CS could be a way to augment seats of AD in a small company.


                  I find that posting with support here helps keep my skills sharp.