I've seen this question asked a few times before, but I still need some help. Basically, I want to put my company's logo on my PCBs. Sometimes, I want the logo to be on one of the silkscreen layers, other times, I want it to be on one of the copper layers. I've used other layout software where this was a super-simple task, but not so with OrCAD PCB Designer.
(ARE YOU LISTENING, CADENCE/ORCAD? MAKE THIS EASIER AND/OR MORE INTUITIVE TO DO! IF CHEAP $800 SOFTWARE CAN IMPORT A JPEG WITH ONE MOUSE CLICK, WHY CAN'T YOU?)
Anyway, I digress. What I've managed to do so far is convert the company logo to a DXF using another piece of software. I can import the DXF to any layer I want using the FILE>IMPORT>DXF commands from the upper menu. Here's where the problem comes in - If I try to do this in an existing design, OrCAD erases the entire design and replaces it with the logo. I've read the HELP files about importing a DXF into an existing design using the dxf2a command, but I can't get this to do anything other than to beep at me incessantly and give me error messages that I don't understand. I've seen other posts about SKILL files that can create/import the logo for me, but I haven't been able to get any of those things to work, either. Apparently, I need to be a computer programmer to get the dxf2a command or any of the SKILL files to work, so I'm screwed.
So, does anybody have a method to import a dxf SUCCESSFULLY into an existing design that I can understand? I'm pretty well frustrated with this at this point. It seems to me that there are so many little secret, hidden features to OrCAD that aren't documented, or documented in such a way as to insure that no human being could use those features. Just last week, I had to have a 45 minute conversation with tech support about how to imbed two vias in a ground slug on a voltage regulator chip. This week, I'm trying to figure out the logo thing.
Sorry for the rant. I just don't think it should be this difficult. Why can't they just have an IMPORT>IMAGE option with, oh, I don't know, maybe an "ADD TO EXISTING DESIGN" or "CREATE NEW DESIGN" button?
For DXF import use Incremental addition. For jpeg etc get the logomaker skill. Lots of post about it on this forum. Happy Christmas
In reply to steve:
That almost worked, Steve. It imported the DXF, but if I import it into one of the copper layers, it doesn't bring it in as a shape that can be moved around, it imports it as a bunch of individual clines. If I import it on a silkscreen layer, it imports it as a bunch of line segments. I guess I need to do some work to the DXF to fix that problem, though. The logo wasn't drawn in CAD, it was converted to a DXF from a BMP. I have one of the mechanical guys making a DXF of the logo for me directly from CAD. I'll try that and see if that works.
In reply to David Yackman:
Fix the DXF data: Import the DXF data to a "dummy layer", then use Shape>Compose Shape to "close" the corners, just be sure that you don't get any sections where there are short parallel gaps between lines or the generated output can go a bit awry.
Use the LogoMaker, eDave has put a load of work into getting this working extremely well. If you need to scale it afterwards, there is a free App in the Capture Marketplace to do just that.
You are trying to get a picture, multi-bit tiered data into "flat" copper, or Silkscreen. A simple logo can be pretty trivial to bring in but it seems that folks rarely want to stop there with importing graphics into their board designs!
In reply to oldmouldy:
How can I find the "Dummy Layer" to import files into.
First off I can't load any software that Dave has put all the time in as I work in a place that would require weeks IF I were able to get it approved and trying to get a simple logo on a board this week.
I've already spent more time on importing a logo than I should but still no luck and any help would be much appreciated.
So far I can only get it to come in on top etch as it gives me an error and then when I get it in I can't change it to another layer. PS: I don't have illegal characters, its called logo.dxf and I've got the Logo at the datum and nothing else in the file as I stripped the layout done in Orcad 10.5 to just the logo.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Error message
ERROR: MANUFACTURING subclass AUTOSILK_TOP is reserved.ERROR: MANUFACTURING subclass AUTOSILK_TOP is reserved.Reading DXF file...NOTE: Replacing illegal character * with X in *Model_Space.NOTE: Replacing illegal character * with X in *Paper_Space.done.WARNING: DXF extents are too large to for Allegro. Continuing at maximum db extents. DXF entities outside these extents will be lost.
In reply to DonlAZ:
try using http://www.autotracer.org/
to convert your image to DXF. If your logo looks 3D you might need to play with the Advanced options.
Once you have the dxf file you can import into into an empty dra file after mapping the DXF layers to an Allegro layer.
What OldMouldy means by Dummy layer is a layer that is not normally used. You could use somrthing like BOARD GEOMETRY / ASSEMBLY NOTES or ASSEMBLY DETAIL or create a new subclass (Setup -Subclasses, create a new layer called DXF). Once the DXF is in you can then copy / move / compose / etc to the required layer.
Thanks for all the help on this. Great tip on the Autotracer link thanks for that one.
I eneded up bringing the file home and creating my own dxf from AutoCad as the translation from Orcad just wasnt happening. Allegro support told me that they had zero help when my old title blocks with all the notes wouldnt import and after I stripped out the SIMPLE logo that worked. I thought maybe I could get it in by creating a dxf from the gerbers but that woundn't work for me..
Anyhow I finally got one in on the silk layer but how can I make it a non netlist item? I know how to create a mechanical part initially but can't seem to find a way to change this over. It wouldn't save without a reference designator.