Creating Copper Traces as Decals

To increase performance, when you use Build Model to create PCB models from PADS or EDMD files, CircuitWorks can represent the copper traces as images instead of physical geometry in the board file.

You can save the images as bitmap files in the CircuitWorks Trace Decals folder or internally to the board file.

Using preview geometry, CircuitWorks quickly creates decal images that represent the traces on the various layers of the PCB.

Decals do not use a vectored display format. Depending on the density of traces, the quality of the decal display may vary from one board to another. The most accurate way to display traces is still to build them as geometry.

To create copper traces as decals:

  1. Open an ECAD file with tracings.
    This example uses Install_dir\CircuitWorksFull\Examples\PADS\preview.asc.
  2. Click the CircuitWorks application menu and click Options .
  3. Set the following:
    1. On the SOLIDWORKS Import page, under Conductive layer modeling, select one of the following:
      • Complete. Creates copper traces on all model layers.
      • Only top and bottom layers (faster). Creates copper traces on the top and bottom layers.
    2. On the Models page, under Save the models CircuitWorks creates to these folders, select a Decals folder.
      The default folder location is:


    3. Click OK.
  4. Click Build Model (SOLIDWORKS section of the Tools tab).
  5. In the CircuitWorks dialog box:
    1. Select Use trace decals instead of geometry.
      When selected, copper traces are saved as bitmap files in the Decals folder you specified previously.
    2. Optionally, select Store decal in model file.
      When selected, copper traces are incorporated directly in the model file. They are not saved as preview bitmaps.
    3. Click Build.
    CircuitWorks creates the board in the SOLIDWORKS software.
  6. To see previews of the copper traces, on the DisplayManager tab, click View Decals, then hover over the preview.