Santa Cruz, CA - Artwork Conversion has upgraded NETEX-ODB, an translator and extractor for ODB++ files by adding IDF output.
What is IDF
IDF (Intermediate Data Format) was created 10 years ago as a file format that would connect PCB layout tools with 3D mechanical design tools such as SolidWorks, ProEngineer and SDRC. It extracts board outline and mouting hole and component information from the PCB and passes it to a 3D tool along with the component footprints and height.
Only some PCB layout tools export IDF. For users of layout software that does not output IDF but does output ODB++ this can act as a handy way to get their board information into 3D design tools.
The heat simluation tool from Ansys, ICEPAK, can now read the Ansoft Neutral format to extract conductor and via information from a PCB layout. However it does not get component data from ANF but rather from IDF. So for PCB layout engineers whose software cannot produce both ANF and IDF the ability to use ICEPAK is limited.