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Export Feature As conductive layer

Question asked by Michael Baycura on Jan 16, 2018

I'm trying to export a model to CircuitWorks as a two-sided single layer pcb. This board doesn't have any components, it's simply a board with a conductive layer on top and on bottom, with some via holes through the board connecting the two sides. The model is an extrusion of a sketch that represents the outline of the board and then two extrusions, one on top and one on bottom to represent the copper conductive geometries I would like on each side of the board. I've used only a single solidworks part for this, not an assembly, and I've been working from the part model.


The process i'm going through is, from the part, click the "export to Circuitworks button and then proceed through the wizard. The wizard takes me through the steps of selecting a the type of component, for which i select "board"; next, a plane to identify the board top, then feature to represent board outline, non-plated, and plated hole features, then outline features. This all works fine and i can create a board with the right shape and via holes create outlines with features. However, the problem I'm running into is that i can only export my top and bottom copper layers as an outline or keep out region. There don't seem to be any choices for defining features that represent traces, pads, or other conductive regions such that when the part is finished importing into CircuitWorks my conductive geometries are on a layer recognized as a traces, pads, vias, or filled areas.


I've tried to label my features that represent the conductive features with the appropriate keywords, like "conductive_layer_top", "Fill_area_top", "pads", and "trace" as indicated by the SW Features Mapping list I found in the help guide here but they're not recognized by the import process and don't appear as options in my "Outline type" pull-down list in the wizard.

I'm trying to get my conductive geometries out of solidworks to a file type that can then be imported into Altium as a footprint, with the ultimate goal of generating gerber files of this two-sided board with no components. This approach is an attempt to convert my model into a format that will supply conductive footprints and trace geometry data that can be imported into an Altium pcb layout. This is a workaround, for not being able to get SW to export to a dxf file of high enough curve quality directly from the model (even at max image quality and model precision settings). So far however, when I export these geometries into CircuitWorks as outlines instead of conductive layers, just to get them in, they don't look very smooth in the CircuitWorks model view window either, but i'm hoping that's just coarse screen view representation.