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Automating the Documentation Process
BluePrint-PCB “knows” it is creating a PCB document and imports the entire PCB CAD database once to
automatically create and link unlimited PCB views and details, while at the same time maintaining the design intelligence and overcoming the constraints imposed by both PCB and mechanical CAD alternatives. The result is an electronic document which better articulates the instructions for successful PCB manufacturing.
- Automatically create PCB views, details, and tables from PCB CAD data
- Remove constraints of PCB CAD but retain design intelligence
- Use PCB intelligence to create common drawing elements
- Create live and interactive documentation with hyperlinks and multi-media
- Store all information associated with the PCB assembly in one electronic “release package”
- Support instantaneous engineering changes (ECOs)
- Allow viewing of documents without the application – web, PDF, or viewer
With BluePrint, PCB engineering groups can expect to reduce the documentation process to a fraction of the time it normally takes – even more when engineering change orders (ECOs) are required. With ECOs, since all views, details, and charts of the PCB remain linked to the original PCB CAD data, they are instantaneously refreshed in BluePrint whenever the original CAD data is changed. This technology received a US Patent.
- Lowers documentation cost and time, and increases detail accuracy
- Shortens PCB design cycles
- Reduces documentation time by as much as 60-80%
- Improves manufacturing instructions
- Simplifies manufacturing inspection
Importance of Complete Documentation
PCB documentation creates the manufacturing specification for an electronic product. Comprehensive documentation records the engineering “intent” of a design specifying the form, fit and function of the PCB. Documentation drives the procurement process, aids manufacturing engineering and is used in final inspection to verify the product was built to engineering’s specification. It also gets archived to ensure later production runs can be repeated with the same level of consistent quality. PCB documentation must capture all of the information necessary to not only build the product today, but also any repeat builds in the future – eliminating any guesswork.
BluePrint uses PCB CAD data to drive the documentation process. Components, pins, assembly mounting sides, layers, vias, nets, assembly variants, part attributes, drill holes and symbols, are just a few of the data records that can be imported into BluePrint to accurately create PCB document elements.
Digital content such as JPEGs, BMPs, GIF, etc may be imported and used in the drawing. BluePrint also allows the importation and use of audio and video files to be imported and stored with the documentation package. The multi-media files may be linked within the documentation drawings.
Data from other Windows® applications can be imported and used in the BluePrint documentation package. BluePrint imports PDF, RS274X, DXF, XML, ODB++, JPEG, GIF, TIF, BMP. BluePrintʼs clipboard function also allows cutting and pasting with other applications including text and raster graphics.
All elements are added by dragging and dropping. All drawing elements: PCB Views, Charts, details, text boxes, note blocks, etc; are treated as elements on the drawing and can be quickly added and modified. Each element may be scaled, formatted, transformed (Rotated, mirrored, flipped, etc) independently of each other. There is no limit on the number of elements that can be placed on a drawing.
Fabrication Tool Pallet – Consists of basic fabrication drawing elements and tools. Support for PCB Views, include board outline, drill pattern, drill chart – support for detail wizards include: layer stack-up; finger chamfer, minimum trace width, V-score.
Assembly Tool Pallet ‑ Consists of basic assembly drawing elements and tools. Support for PCB views include: top/bottom side, parts list manager, integral parts list and component coordinate chart.
Insert Object – Allows the storage of external files within the BluePrint.
Web Publisher – Allows for the creation of PCB release packages in HTML format.
Advanced Feature Tool Kit – Adds additional functionality such as coordinate dimensions to the basic tool pallet and tool bar, BluePrint Reference Designator text box generator and blind buried via support in layer stack up, PCB views, and drill charts. Also enables search functionality.
Assembly Drawing Tool Kit – Allows PCB views to be displayed by variant, variant manager, variant lists, variant status in parts list and variant legend. Allows parts list to be displayed by variant in parts list manager. Also enables the importation of variant lists via CSV format. Enables displaying of PCB Views by process step, process step manager, process step chart, display of process, steps in parts list manger. Enables side and sectional view wizards.
DXF Interface – Import DXF files directly into BluePrint for dragging and dropping mechanical hardware onto drawing sheets along with PCB views.
Import Gerber – Gerber files can be imported and used on drawing sheets to document PCB artwork layers.
Pack and Release – Users can select drawings and files and compress them with an integrated viewer for use with users who may not have a BluePrint- Viewer or wish to install one.
CSV/ODB Interface – Parts lists stored in Enterprise systems can be imported into BluePrint via CSV or ODBC formats. Upon completion of the documentation cycle, revised parts lists can then be exported through either format back to the Enterprise system.
Template Customization Toolkit – Allows custom template creation. Enables template tool pallet and format template dialogs.
Automation Toolkit – Enables VB Scripting Tools.
Assembly Panel ToolKit‑ Designers often panelize single boards into arrays or sub-panels. Documenting the finished panel and adding features such as pinning holes, fiducials, score lines and breakaway tabs can be difficult and time consuming in today’s CAD and CAM tools. BluePrint has panel drawing elements and tools that simplify the panel documentation process.
This feature allows you to:
- Support for new drawing type: Panel Drawing
- Automatic array creation (step and repeat) of PCBs on a panel drawing in either sprea d sheet mode or auto-calculate which fits as many PCBs as possible on a panel using imported intelligent PCB design data
- New Panel Drawing tool pallet which houses all functions commonly used when creating a panel drawing. The tool pallet allows the user to quickly place top, bottom, drill pattern, or custom panel arrays on a drawing, as well as drill charts, note blocks, mill and V-score details. Greatly reducing the time needed to produce an assembly panel document.
- Panel level Drill and Coordinate charts. These features allow the user to place a drill and coordinate charts reflective of all the PCBs contained in a panel to define all components, hole sizes, locations, symbols, and quantities for the entire panel. All of the formatting capabilities of the single instance PCB drill and coordinate chart are also supported for panels. In addition, any pinning holes added to the panel are automatically included in the drill chart. Coordinate charts or the panel can be exported in CSV format to drive pick and place machinery.
- Automatic NC milling definition allows the user to define the route path around a PCB within a panel as well as the break out tabs. Once defined the user can automatically apply the NC milling to all the PCBs within the panel as well as merge together route information for one unified NC milling path.
- Panel Drawing Detail Wizards use the existing PCB and NC milling data to automatically depict Mill tab and V-score details.
- Exportation to CAM350 feature allows a user to export a panel definition to CAM350 for further post processing of the panel for Gerber, and/or NC Drill and Mill extraction.
PDF Interface – BluePrint allows you to export non-intelligent PDF, representing your entire release package or any number of specified drawing sheets. This is just one of many options you have for viewing and sharing the documentation you have created. The PDF importation allows you to bring in schematic diagrams created by other EDA applications and use it as part of the PCB release package. The imported PDF data is stored in the BluePrint database and can be used on as many drawings/sheets as you require. This feature is available at an additional fee and is not part of the BluePrint-1000/2000 configurations.