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We are running into problems trying to exchange a PCB panel between Allegro and Pro-E. There are so many issues, I'm not sure where to even start. We use .ipf 3.0 format for transfers. Pro-E means Wildfire 2.0 for us.Our typical design is a complete amplifier built on one PCB panel. The panel is made up of the main amplifier board, input board, output board and display board. We want one schematic that has all the circuitry for the product and one PCB file that contains all those boards. The first issue with Allegro is that the tool appears set up to deal with only one board on screen. Many properties appear to be assignable one time. For instance, after drawing a panel shape and then different board shapes within the panel, when I try to draw a Package Keepin - the shape can only be drawn one time. This means I cannot draw a Package Keepin on each board, only one board can get this information. This appears to be tied to the Board Outline (ctrl-B) definition. The program really only wants to deal with one Board Outline.I have been told that we need to maintain individual schematic and board files for each board, but this is highly undesireable from a design and manufacturing perspective. I have also heard that each board/schematic pair need to have their own project - this is even worse!If I draw a panelized board in Allegro, Pro-E cannot break that panel into the separate boards and place them in their correct locations in the mechanical model. In addition, the .idf transfer out of Allegro does not appear to send the Board Geometry subclass Panel_Outline to Pro-E. I have found a shady workaround where I save multiple copies of the panel - delete all the boards except one and export that board to Pro-E. Changes can be made to the board in Pro and the modified board can be loaded into the original panel. I haven't discovered if there are unpleasant limitations or pitfalls to this procedure yet.Pro-E can export a PCB panel assembly, but Allegro reads it wrong. Allegro loads the panel outline as a board outline and does not load the individual boards within that panel. After receiving a panel outline from Pro-E, if I try to import a board outline, the panel outline disappears.Our goal is to be able to maintain a complete panel database in Allegro while being able to load the board assemblies into Pro-E and pass mechanical constraints back into Allegro. Does anyone know how to do this?Huge thanks!-Ian Overholt
Don't have a solution, but here's a few ideas that might help. - Package Keepin: Yes, there can be only one, but you can make one shape that only has a thin corridor connecting between each board. Another idea is to use ROOM properties for each board. - Board Geometry/Panel_Outline: In my testing, the panel outline was exported from Allegro. However, Pro-E didn't always import it. However, I checked my *.emn file and the panel section was there. Apparently, under certain conditions, Pro-E won't import it. - Disappearing panel outline: After importing the panel outline, see if it has the IDF_OWNER=MCAD property attached. If so, try deleting the property, then import the board outline.The only real solution I can think of is to assign individual properties to each board and their components (i.e. ROOM=InputBrd, etc.) and create a SKILL program that will create multiple IDF files based on those properties.Good Luck.