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[ExpressPCB Plus] MISSING FEATURES: DXF, NetList/Schematic Linking (No replies)

AP3
1 year ago
AP3 1 year ago

I was excited to install ExpressPCB Plus as it promised new features... However, it's more depressing than enjoying.

THE LOVE:

  • copy/paste between boards
  • the ability to trace on inner layers (instead of ONLY filled planes/keep out areas)
  • proper keybinding (customizable? a macro would be easy enough to remap if needed)
  • layer colors and visibility options
  • i mean this list can go on... what i am trying to say is i do LOVE the additions they made with the launch of ExpressPCB Plus, it was what did not carry over from ExpressPCB Classic that really bothers.

THE HATE:

  • NO export DXF
    • this is important to me since i use the export to not only design the enclosure around the PCB, but to guarantee proper alignment of the PEM fasteners to mount the PCB.
  • NO NetList/Schematic Linking
    • I thought they had renamed this feature to "Continuity" since they did have an option under [Design Info>Board Properties>Documentation>Schematic] to select the referencing schematic. Apparently selecting a file here does nothing.

Honestly can you really complain?

The software is FREE! Also, the board house is a bit expensive, but GREAT quality and turnaround time.

Basically... There Is Just Too Many Steps:

  • ExpressSCH
    • draw up the design
    • identify components with values and id
    • check for errors
  • ExpressPCB Classic
    • place and route components
    • validate connections against netlist
    • export DXF
  • Solidworks CAD
    • import DFX
    • model circuit board and critical components for mounting and clearance
  • ExpressPCB Plus
    • open original file: ExpressPCB Classic
    • make modifications to inner layers with enhanced features from ExpressPCB Plus
    • ...

As you might be able to see, ExpressPCB Classic is critical for my process to flow since ExpressPCB Plus is missing features and therefore cannot fully replace ExpressPCB Classic. It took me to write this up to help me come to the conclusion that i will be uninstalling ExpressPCB Plus until they can address at least these core features with something more than "planned in a future release". Though, it might not be relevant to me by the time they do address it. i am fortunate enough to be integrating Solidworks Electrical and Solidworks PCB into our environment during our next phase-in-between-projects to help streamline our process even more efficiently.

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