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Per variant text vars

Message 1 of 11
177 Views, 10 Replies

Per variant text vars

Is it possible to add custom text variables(eg. >MODULE_NAME) and set its values for every variant(eg. >MODULE_NAME = "Module 1" if variant = "V1"; >MODULE_NAME = "Module 2" if variant = "V2")?

Message 2 of 11
in reply to: silvio3105

Hi @silvio3105


You can define arbitrary Attributes for each Variant in the Library Editor, and then reference those in the Symbol/Footprint for the device. i.e. open the device in the library editor, then select the variant in the right-hand window pane, and click the Attributes button in the main toolbar. You can also set different Attributes for each Technology within that Variant from within the Attributes dialog.


There's no way to define per-variant Attributes from the Schematic/Board editors though. It must be applied to the library component.

Message 3 of 11
in reply to: jonrbloom

That's not nice solution. Fusion can do better.
Message 4 of 11
in reply to: silvio3105

My apologies. I completely misread your question and thought you were asking about component variants.


Fusion Electronics has much room for improvement that is for sure! Whether this would be high on the list, given the number of more prominent shortcomings, is perhaps debatable. Do other ECAD packages offer similar functionality?


Message 5 of 11
in reply to: jonrbloom

I don't know for Altium and KiCad since I don't use them (often).
I know only that per variant attributes/vars makes sense since something has to change to make sense for variant(resistor, cap or someting similar). With that in mind, some attributes may need manual update which is pain in the ass.
Message 6 of 11
in reply to: silvio3105

Ok, so I had a play and it looks like you can define module variants and change the attributes of the components within. You can then choose the appropriate variant for each module instance.


I can't see any way to change the module name itself though.



Message 7 of 11
in reply to: jonrbloom

I added a quick screencast showing the steps to creating a Module Variant and then selecting it in an instance of the module.


However, your specific question about changing the module name isn't solved with this process. That still seems strange to me to be honest. I can see why you might want to define different flavours of a module and choose between them for each instance. But why would you need to change the names, or add new attributes?



Message 8 of 11
in reply to: jonrbloom

So, in Fusion I design PCBs(footprints, traces etc). Every PCB has its name and number (in my private system). If I on PCB 21-0010 place X components, I get module(PCB + soldered components) with its name and number.
So, every PCB can have multiple modules:
- 21-0010 + components A = 21-0110 module
- 21-0010 + components B = 21- 3051 module

For variant name I use module number, but I cannot change module name for each variant since module 21-0110 can have a name DEV_MODULE_SPI and 21-3051 can have name DEV_MODULE_I2C.

So, by module I mean on PCB + soldered components.


Here's my custom title block. Maybe it makes sense now




Message 9 of 11
in reply to: silvio3105

@silvio3105 - Yes, it is much clearer now. You are wanting the content of the title block on the schematic sheet for your Module to change with the variant selected in the instantiation, right?


I think the more pressing design limitation that prevents this is that within any parent schematic, the sheets for each embedded module only appears once, and the contents do not update to reflect the instantiated module variants. The components within the modules schematic sheets only ever show the default variant. So, before you could even begin to do what you want, AD would need to implement dynamic module sheets. This further implies that when you instantiate 2 different variants, you get multiple copies of the module sheets, one for each flavour.


It sounds reasonable to expect that to be fair. When you give a customer a schematic (or it is added to an end products service manual as a PDF) it should reflect that product, in its entirety. Having a single schematic that doesn't reflect reality is next to useless (I guess you could attach a BOM to identify each final component P/N)


Would be interesting to hear @jorge_garcia2's take on this.


Note that if you did have this support you could probably implement what you want by attaching a Value to your Frame symbol (and enabling Value in the corresponding device). You could then place the designed variant name as the Value for each module variant. But right now, doing that won't change the name reflected on the sheet 😞

Message 10 of 11
in reply to: silvio3105

Hi @jonrbloom ,


I don't think @silvio3105 is actually using hierarchy here. The problem is we are thinking of different definitions for module, I think @jonrbloom is looking at it from the perspective of schematic hierarchy and @silvio3105 is looking at it from manufacturing.

If I'm misunderstanding either of you, please correct me.

It sounds like Silvio wants per variant global attributes so that the schematic sheet will update with the appropriate variant name. At this time this isn't possible, but I'll log it as a feature request.


Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.


Best Regards,

Jorge Garcia
​Product Support Specialist for Fusion 360 and EAGLE

Kudos are much appreciated if the information I have shared is helpful to you and/or others.

Did this resolve your issue? Please accept it "As a Solution" so others may benefit from it.
Message 11 of 11
in reply to: jorge_garcia2

Hi @jorge_garcia2.


I think we are all saying the same thing, just coming in from different directions. The original post was framed in terms of per-variant attributes. But from the subsequent posts, it seems that the overall goal was to have the schematic title block show a Variant specific name, whether that is achieved by supporting Variant specific attributes or otherwise.


So I was attacking the overall goal, and trying not to fixate on the Variant Attributes aspect. It seems that the variant name goal would be achievable by attaching a Value to the Frame,  and placing the name into that, for each Module Variant. But that doesn't work because Module sheets do not reflect their instantiated variant(s).


Regardless of @silvio3105's specific need, the proposed behaviour (repeat the Module sheet(s) for every instantiated Module Instance Variant, with correctly reflected component Values) seems like the logically correct one since schematics are not just there as an input to drive the PCB layout. They also serve as post-manufacture documentation, and if they do not have the instantiated module variant component details, they do not do that today.


Oh, and to be clear, wrt hierarchical/non-hierarchical schematics: I am referring to the case where the Module is created/defined inline, directly inside the schematic. Not the case where it is an external module. Inline is the only experience I have of Modules so far in Fusion.

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