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ecad import in wf5.0


ecad import in wf5.0

i recently had to import a revised ecad (.emn) file from allegro into proe, and i noticed that the resulting model was missing several holes when compared to an old revision of the board i still had in my directory. i then tried importing the new .emn file using both wf5.0 and wf3.0, and it looks like the wf5.0 ecad import window has changed. while most of the changes are cosmetic, the one im concerned about is that the wf5.0 import isnt recognizing the 69 pin holes that should be included in the model (see attached). what happened? is there a config option i have to change, or something im missing from the import window?

any help would be appreciated...

Laura Woodward

Senior Mechanical Engineer

Saab Training, LLC

Orlando, FL

(407) 281-3012

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Hi Laura,
At the ProE Conference in your city I saw a couple of presentations on
ECAD-MCAD. I was shown Allegro 16.3 which could export using IDX rather
than the earlier IDF (2 or 3) standard. One of the big differences was that
IDX supported partial changes rather than a full exchange each time. Maybe
this could be affecting what you see. We are not using IDX yet since,
although Cadence Allegro 16.3 includes the functionality, ProE WF5 does not
without an new and substantial cost module 😞 I had expected the
improvement would be an upgrade to our existing ECAD functionality within

In our present IDF 3.0 if the holes are part of an Allegro part then we do
not usually see these holes in ProE and we do not make them in ProE (unless
we supress them before exporting the PCB assembly).

Not sure if this helps at all.

Regards, Brent Drysdale
Senior Mechanical Designer
Tait Radio Communications
New Zealand
DDI +64 3 358 1093


In Wildfire 4.0 we improved hole import performance hence the new UI. This allows you to filter holes based on type and size

If pin holes are not importing then set config option ECAD_PIN_HOLE_IMPORT to yes (the default is no)

As a side note In Wildfire 5.0 we then enabled the ability to import holes as lightweight holes to further improve performance.

Hope that helps


Brent, ECAD Gurus; I am hoping someone can clarifysomething for me. I have heard it said that IDX supports partialdata exchange (only the stuff that has changed) and IDF is a fulldata exchange. When I import an IDF (emn/emp) on top of my existing board today, Pro/E will highlight anything that is new, moved ordeleted.Even though the IDF has all of the components and board profile info present, it appears to ignore what has not changed andallows meto review/accept/reject the changes from Allegro (or Zuken). This works well in WF3, 4 and 5. Since Pro/E weeds through the full exchange for me andhighlights the changes ina color coded manner, what more will IDX give us than this? Thanks in advanced for any clarification you guys can provide. Andy B.

What do you mean by a “lightweight hole”? Are you referring to an EXTRUDED HOLE as a cut? Or are you referring to a REVOLVED SECTION?

Michael P. Locascio

Hi Andy,
I am sure there are gurus out there but me I am just a long time user.

I am not aware of any built in facility for ProE to see what has changed
from an IDF (emn/emp) import.

I have used a make do method where I assemble the imported PCB assembly (the
full thing) at the same location as the ProE PCB assembly (typically the
same PCB origin cys). Normally I have my own ProE assembly in a range of
colours and the import is in the default white. With the window This does
allow me to see aspects that are in different locations or are totally on
top of each other (the old shimmering tessellated surfaces trick). However
if something is inside another and a different size It is possible to miss
things. I have been doing this since back in Rev16.

If there is some other standard method of which I am unaware I am happy to
find out.

The IDX thing demonstrated at the conference was indeed related to only what
had changed as measured against an initial baseline. I still think this is
good functionality I am just gagging at the cost of the ProE module ECX to
make it work. Very hard to justify to my boss when we can already do the
work. He asked "what the hell have we been paying maintenance for?" and I
don't have an answer. For me personally this new functionality would be
good as I work remote so pulling across lots of files from our library is a
mind numbing experience and the ECX functionality would help once the
baseline was established. For our users on the LAN who are in the same
building as the ECAD folk using Cadence then the benefit is a nice to have
not a must have.

Regards, Brent Drysdale
Senior Mechanical Designer
Tait Radio Communications
New Zealand
DDI +64 3 358 1093

You just brought a thought to mind Brent.
Doing a line-by-line file comparison of the emn and emp files will be a quick check of either board or component changes respectively. Beyond Compare is a great tool for doing this.
I haven't tried it yet, but it may be worth a shot for doing a quick and dirty check without costing much and those two files are much lighter than pulling over Pro/E models.
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