Importing 3D STEP files into FAB 3000

21 March, 2016

Importing 3D STEP files into FAB 3000

FAB 3000 now has the ability to import 3D STEP files. A perfect solution for Mechanical Engineers who need to communicate with 2D ECAD engineers or convert their 3D designs to Gerber, ODB++, etc. Extract Board shapes, critical components, circuits, and generate files for PCB manufacturing purposes.

How does it work?

FAB 3000 intelligently analyzes and extracts object edges that intersect planes for each 3D STEP design.  This quickly allows FAB 3000 to build a 2D layer stackup from 3D STEP.

Lets Get Started...

1. Start FAB 3000, and go to menu: File / Import / 3D / STEP...

2.  The 3D STEP Import options dialog will appear.

Here's a screen capture the 3D STEP Import dialog:

FAB 3000 STEP Import dialog

Scale Factor: Scale to use when importing STEP file.  Default is 1.0 Units: Choose the import units you wish to use.  Default is millimeter.
Flash Round and Rect Shapes:  Converts circles and rectangular boundaries to flashes. This reduces total objects and optimizes the data for additional process such as DFM Checks, etc.
Output Type: Choose how extracted objects will be imported into FAB 3000.
Polygon        Output all boundaries as filled. The outermost boundary is filled (Dark), and all Internal boundaries will be converted to eiter islands or holes. This is the default.
Triangle Fastest output type available.  Output will appear the same as "Polygon" however the output will be multiple triangles.
Line Generate all boundaries as unfilled.  No fill.
Extracted Plane: Choose which plane will be used to slice and extract the 3D Step design. Default is X-Y Plane.
X-Y Plane (Default) Extracted plane will be parallel to X-Y plane.  Z coordinate will vary.
X-Z Extracted plane will be parallel to X-Z plane.  Y coordinate will vary.
Y-Z Extracted plane will be parallel to Y-Z plane.  X coordinate will vary.

Note:  Many times a 3D STEP file may be oriented to different planes.  If you choose the wrong extraction plane, typically you will end up with a thin rectangle containing multiple overlapping objects.  In this case choose another plane to extract the 3D STEP.

Extraction Method: Instruct FAB 3000 how to generate 2D geometries from 3D STEP.
Surface Generate 2D boundaries using surfaces.
Edge Generate 2D boundaries using Edges that interest a parallel plane.


Here's a movie tutorial importing a simple 3D STEP into FAB 3000:
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