Getting Started with FAB 3000

1. Asking Questions and Getting Personal Assistance
2. Using AutoLoad to quickly Import Gerber, Drill
3. ODB++ and IPC-2581 Import
4. Perform Editing, and other common fabrication commands.
5. Run DFM Checks and Netlist Comparisons
6. Perform Panelization
7. Generate XY Centroid data
8. Using SMT Stencil Design Tools
9. Automation - Using the MATRIX file.
10. Numerical Cloud (Monthly Subscription $75/mo)

1. Asking Questions and Getting Personal Assistance

The Quick Help text box, allows anyone to  type in a question (or keywords).  FAB 3000 will search 1000's of support links to quickly find answers.  This is a resource that has been part of our software since day one, but not everyone is aware of this feature.

Shortcut: Press Alt+Q to quickly navigate to the Quick help box, and type your keywords.

View the tutorial movie below showing how easy and fast it is to find answers to your questions:

 Need more?  Visit the Numerical Innovations - Help Center for hundreds of related topics and helpful articles.  Get in contact with our engineering team: Open a Support Ticket

 View or Download the entire FAB 3000 Help Guide (457+ pages).


2. Using AutoLoad to quickly Import Gerber, Drill

 AutoLoad Wizard will automatically import all Gerber, Excellon Drill/Rout, and Netlist files found within a selected folder. This makes importing multiple files a snap, and eliminates the time needed to load each file separately.

 To use AutoLoad in 3 steps:

  • (1) Go to menu: File | Import | AutoLoad...
  • (2) Select the folder where your gerbers and drills are located.
  • (3) Click Next, and FAB 3000 will scan all files in the directory. All detected gerbers, aperture lists and drills will be displayed. If you approve, go ahead and click next. All files will be imported.


3. ODB++ and IPC-2581 Import

ODB++ Import:  Go to menu:  File | Import| ODB++.   

Here's an online tutorial demonstration how to import an ODB++ file and skip any unnecessary layers:


IPC-2581 Import:  Go to menu:  File | Import| IPC-2581....   


4. Perform Editing, and other common fabrication commands.

FAB 3000 uses a "modern GUI" which allows the user to instinctively select and drag objects to edit them. Multiple designs can be separated into tabbed windows and data hierarchy is fully supported, allowing users to easily insert one design into another - resulting in optimized editing and panelization that take up very little memory.

Here's a sample tutorial demonstrating the editing capabilities:


5. Run DFM and Netlist Checks.

Find All Hidden PCB manufacturing Violations BEFORE sending out to the Board shops! 

Go to menu:  Tools / Nets / DFM / DFM Check...

Here's a sample tutorial demonstrating how to run DFM Checks:

Netlist Comparison:  Ensure Your Design Integrity. Nowadays there is an ever growing need to verify PCB designs electrically.

Go to menu:  Tools / Nets / Netlist Comparison

Here's a sample tutorial demonstrating how to run DFM Checks:


6. Perform Panelization

Merge PCB's - SAVE up to 50% on your Manufacturing Costs.

Go to menu:  File / New / Panel...

FAB 3000 lets you easily merge different PCB designs together so they can be manufactured as “one set of Gerber files” - saving you $$$ on fabrication costs. FAB 3000 automatically performs all necessary object transformations, dcode & drill tool transcoding. In many cases customers using Merge Wizard will be able to squeeze several PCB designs on a single panel, thereby improving efficiency & saving money


7. Generate XY Centroid data

Easily create XY Centroid files from Gerber, ODB++ and more.

Go to menu:  Assembly / Build Component...

Automated equipment is used to place the surface mount components on your PCBs. To rapidly program these machines, a Part Centroid file is required. Some CAD packages will automatically generate this file and some will not.  FAB can easily create this centroid file from your existing gerber files, ODB++, IPC-2581, and even Netlist files.

 How to Generate a Centroid file (aka Pick-and-place) for any PCB - In less than 2 minutes! 

Here's a sample tutorial to generate XY centroid files:

8. Using SMT Stencil Design Tools

Tools for calculating and creating SMT Stencil pads.

Go to menu:  Fabrication / SMT Stencil Design Tools

FAB 3000 includes powerful SMT Stencil editor for Paste manipulation using commands such as: Homebase Pad Conversion, C-Pad, Bowtie, Split Pads, Scale Pads, Pad-Pitch Adjustment, Heel/Toe Edits, Epoxy Bars and more.

 Easily preview and calculate SMT Pad Area, Aspect ratios and Volume. 


9. Automation - Using the MATRIX file

Easily Automate and Prepare your PCBs for Manufacturing.

Go to menu:  File Import / MATRIX...

The matrix file is very customizable and you can make it do just about any Gerber/CAM related task including: DFM Checks, Panelization, Editing, Exporting, and much more. A matrix file is just a text file, with structured arrays.

 Learn more about the Matrix file


10. Numerical Cloud (Monthly Subscription $75/mo)

Run FAB 3000 on any computer. Cancel anytime.

Many people use our popular Numerical Cloud subscription for a temporary and cost-effective solution. Why wait? Sign up now and instantly get your registered license.

Click below for more information about Numerical Cloud: