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Someday... somebody will actually do parts correctly in their EDA. Today is not that day.

Message 1 of 3
164 Views, 2 Replies

Someday... somebody will actually do parts correctly in their EDA. Today is not that day.

Why would I want to repeatedly enter part numbers, values and manufacturing data every time I create a new PCB/schematic? What do you all do for this? Do you actually put down a resistor, give it a value of "1K" and then go about manually entering attributes to get a BOM for manufacturing? You remember all the part/order numbers for the hundreds of parts you use? You do this again for every single project? Am I missing something?


Every resistor I put down I have to re-enter all its manufacturing data. Specifying the resistance value is not so bad on a per-component basis. but populating a BOM and data for manufacturing takes so much more. I use the same suppliers and the same parts all the time. Yet I have to repeatedly enter this information as attributes. I can't put these attributes on a component. At least not with any of the workflows I've been watching.


I wouldn't mind creating a library where each individual part is represented as its own component and that component has all the details. Like RESC_1K_0603. (This is essentially Altium's solution).


But fusion 360 went and made stupid design choices. Like when naming a component, you can't use spaces... or lower-case numbers.  So that you can't reasonably represent 10mOhms from 10Mohms in the naming without being silly "10MILLIΩ".  Oh... wow, I can use a Unicode character, but I can't use spaces or lower case? ugh.


There should be a database of "parts" in the library. Physical things manufactured by companies that have a part number and a fixed set of attributes. There should be vendor information in the same database that maps part numbers to order numbers. 


Components placed on the schematic should each have a selectable/editable list of constraints based on attributes in the part database "footprint=0603", "resistance=1.0K", "tolerance<=1%". This would then allow BOM generation to be made based on all the set of matching parts. This allows automatic cross-referencing of parts when stock issues arise.

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Message 2 of 3
in reply to: jeffwPP4JQ

Thanks, though it is often the case from discussions with customers that when placing parts in schematic, they dont (yet) know the all of the details of the part values up front, much less the final part number.  Moreover, most who have the concerns you share (albeit valid for your use-case) use an internal part number to map to an ERP/MRP/PDM back-end for part information.  Did you have a PLM / PDM system you are using?  This would include AVL and AML data, part status, preferred pricing, etc and be costed across all products a company is looking to make.  Since many folks have a mix of this internally and some rely on CMs for this part of the work, it isn't clear if one solution like simply having a DB as you indicate would solve the issue.  If you have a specific 'ask' we would be happy to consider it, however there is a mix of user stories / feedback that doesn't all point to "connect to my part database where I store my information".  We are all for eliciting feedback though so if you have a specific need above and beyond what's there, please provide the requirements and we'll be happy to dig into it more deeply.  We are not opposed to connecting to specific part numbers and you can in-fact have custom attributes which would enable what you want to do, but this isn't always a wise move for every user given not everyone is working the same way and some demand flexibility while working out the circuit where CAD isn't a post-process but rather, central to their workflow and ideation / creation stage.  On the flip side, enterprise users invariably have their PLM system of choice and a process in engineering occurs when trying to eliminate parts of different values (eg pull-ups and pull-downs, RC, LC, etc combinations, decoupling, etc) then resolving those to an Internal Part Number where the PLM system connects to ERP / MRP or even the CM for quoting.  


Please let us know what you would want to see and we will look at any ideas where the workflow suits the broader requirements of the community.  BOM is an area we are investing in so that is just a time, not a want of effort.  However you talk specifically about DB connectivity and part name restrictions which are there to support a number of other workflows like the CLI and other things which may not be as obvious.  Always happy to investigate changing things but in order of impact for the community.


matt - Autodesk 

Message 3 of 3
in reply to: jeffwPP4JQ

If I understand your comments correctly, adding devices in a library that represent actual physical parts is very doable in Fusion360.  I have a library of custom components that I have been building out over the past year.  Attached is an image of individual devices that each represent a physical part with attributes already set to represent a manufacturer, part number, package size, tolerance, etc.


The workflow I use when I want to add a new component to my library is as follows:

  1. Open Library in Library Editor
  2. Click on "Create new symbol" in upper left corner of library editor (skip if symbol is already made)
    1. Create new symbol and save with appropriate name (e.g. Quad_Array_Resistor).
  3. Click on "Create New Component" in upper left corner
  4. Add in the symbol you'd like to use for the device
  5. Add in a new package/footprint and map the symbol pins to the package pins
  6. Add in all the attributes you want (I actually use a script to make this easier and standardized. I attached it here, as well. Just rename the extension from .txt to .scr before running it in Fusion360)

That should get you a unique device with fixed attributes that you don't need to re-input every time. There are other detailed library/device editor steps (i.e. footprints and 3D models), but those should all be documented for you to refer to as you need them.


Hope that helps!

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