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Additional Footprint Information

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Tom H View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2012 at 11:02am
That's very easy. Every part that is uploaded must be a known company or person and they will have a profile that includes the company logo, company name or personal picture of person and person's name. We will allow an Avatar for personal people who are shy.
 
Every part will have a 5-star rating system. If you download a "unrated" part then the person who downloaded the part needs to QC and rate the part.
 
If a part has a typo and the rating is low then the company or person who uploaded the part has a couple days to fix the part or PCB Libraries, Inc. will either fix the part or remove it to allow someone else to upload a good part. When a part is replaced or fixed, the rating system is reset and needs to be re-rated.
 
We realize that many parts might be poorly rated in the beginning, but eventually (just like any software tool) the bugs will get fixed and ALL parts will be 5-star rated.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveCowl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2012 at 3:54pm

I agree that verification of footprints is important.

Even when I see a footprint in the library already that matches the one I am looking for, I always verify every dimension before it gets transferred to my library.

There is too much at stake to simply trust any outside supplied information...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vinny_D Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2012 at 4:03pm
Tom, while some companies you may deal with like the idea of third party footprints, it has been my experience that my employers and my customers want library parts that I have either created or copied over from another library and checked 110% .... so I am not, and will not be using footprints created by any program out of the box ... it's just the way things are in the real world Tom - whether you agree or not ... so I will reiterate my original request again, would it be possible for you to update your program to give us the same level of visual information that was in LP Wizard ... (as shown in my first post) as that method of visual information is great for checking footprints ... if I have that level of information , then I may be more inclined to use some of the footprints you provide and check them before using them ... you can't tell me that it would take a lot of effort to implement as the information that we are requesting is already there (maybe not all visible) .. it just needs to all be made visible and presented in a better way ... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jameshead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2012 at 4:10am
My thoughts:

It's nice to have a quick summery of pad size, pitch, courtyard dimensions somewhere together on the screen as it's easier to make a quick comparison against another part to see if you've already got a suitable footprint in your library.  I'm guessing that PADS users may not have a need to work in this way with the tighter integration they have between FPX and PADS libraries but when you're importing PADS ascii footprints into something else and doing a few tweaks afterwards it's useful.

Regarding mistakes in footprints I actually see the POD has having better verification that what I'm doing.  From the Beta test period for FPX I started getting the majority of my footprints from FPX and where FPX doesn't cover a part type yet, LP Wizard.

Pulsonix comes with a set of libraries but I disabled them and use my own.  Anything that isn't in FPX or LP Wizard or downloadable from the manufacturer's website gets created from scratch in Pulsonix.

In my experience I've found that I'm more likely to make a mistake in creating a footprint from scratch then any software I've used to create footprints.  When the software fails it's usually either pretty obvious from just looking at it - or such a minor error that if you've not noticed it then it'd probably not cause any real problems in assembly anyway.  Of course there are times when the user could enter the wrong dimension in FPX or miss-interpret a dimension from the datasheet but you'd be just as likely to make these kinds of errors whatever method you were using to create a footprint.  Plus I've seen a case where someone has made a mistake in reading dimensions, got someone else to check it, and the person checking has made the same mistake (and yes that person checking was me!).

Our prototype builds catch our mistakes though.

The POD with ratings gives you access to an army of other designers building and checking parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2012 at 8:30am
We'll add the additional information to the IPC "Standard" packages, but soon we will release the "Package Editor" for non-standard through-hole packages (including 50,000 connectors, switches, trimmers, relays, transformers, etc.) and the "Footprint Editor" for non-standard surface mount packages (including all thousands of SMT connectors, QFN with multiple thermal pads and unique one-of-a-kind parts). We have no plans on ever providing all the component dimensions for non-standard parts which represent 50% of all library construction.
 
We're also throwing major revenue and resources to create the POD website PCB Library Vending Machine.
 
We're also adding 3D-STEP and 3D-DXF model export.
 
Then the PCB Footprint Expert can build any PCB library part in the world.
 
So in the list of priorities below, please vote on what you need most and second most, etc.
  1. Package Editor for non-standard through-hole parts
  2. Footprint Editor for non-standard surface mount parts
  3. Parts On Demand (POD) vending machine
  4. 3D model library export
  5. Adding detailed footprint pictures with all the dimensions

Your vote counts!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jameshead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2012 at 8:40am
My vote, I'd like to see things happen in this order:

  1. Footprint Editor for non-standard surface mount parts
  2. Parts On Demand (POD) vending machine
  3. Package Editor for non-standard through-hole parts
  4. 3D model library export
  5. Adding detailed footprint pictures with all the dimensions

This is purely based on the time I might spend on each of these things and the time they are going to save me.  The majority of parts we create are SMT and next to that the POD is going to save the most time.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matthew Lamkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2012 at 9:54am
This is dangling a carrot in front of people so they think that the issue currently being discussed is insignificant. Given the choices then almost everyone is going to put #5 as last as the other things are all wanted.

And what if everyone voted for #5 to be first?
How many votes are you expecting in order to get something done? 5 or 500?

How about getting the initial program working so that everyone can use it with confidence first?


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Tom H View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2012 at 10:20am
There is no carrot. We only have so many resources and they need to focus on new features. A programmer cannot work on more than 1 feature at a time. Which feature has the highest priority?
 
It's not about finish what you started. I already said that the only parts that will have full footprint dimensions will be the "Standard Parts" and they only represent 50% of all component packages.
 
People think it's easy to drop in a feature that shows every "Footprint" dimension for pad sizes, pin pitch, pad centers, silkscreen, assembly, 3D model and courtyard outline lengths and widths, polarity marking, local fiducial locations and sizes. This takes multiple graphic images to accomplish this. It's a minimum 5 - 6 week project to cover every component family.
 
In that same amount of time we can create the "Package Editor" or the "Footprint Editor" or the "3D-STEP export". So why is it unfair to allow users to vote for the priority of their choice?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matthew Lamkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2012 at 2:25am
Perhaps its unfair because of the way that you are working the question and the number of people that get to see it?

From experience polls have to be worded well and available to a large enough user base to make them of any use. Users of the old LP package who are keen enough to follow you over onto this one would at least expect it to have some of the very useful features that the other one had.

(No one has even mentioned the ability to print the dimensions out yet, which is something I miss. Smile )
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveCowl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2012 at 12:33pm
 
  1. Footprint Editor for non-standard surface mount parts
  2. Package Editor for non-standard through-hole parts
  3. Adding detailed footprint pictures with all the dimensions
  4. Parts On Demand (POD) vending machine
  5. 3D model library export
This is only really a guess since it is not entirely clear how the workflow would work with this.

Generally if I need to build a special part I will just build it in the CAD tool, but if there is good incentive to do it in the Footprint Expert then that makes it more interesting.

I am not overly convinced about the POD idea, though again it really depends on how it plays out.

For now 3D doesn't come into play though that could easily change in an instant! :)
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