FabLink XE™, an integrated manufacturing data creation, generation and verification environment powered by AutoActive® technology. FabLink XE, available in Mentor’s Expedition™ flow, was created specifically for designers to control their fabrication data at either the board or panel level, thus ensuring design and manufacturing data integrity.
Through tight integration with the Expedition PCB design database, panel designs may now be created using the original PCB design data rather than relying on manufacturing related data such as Gerber and Drill files. When changes are made to the PCB design database, the user will be notified when opening the panel design.
Multiple copies of a single PCB design database may be placed individually or by automatic step and repeat. Full PCB manipulation is available to move, rotate and push to other side of the panel to automatically create a flip-flop panel.
Panel specific cells, such as skyhooks and test coupons are supported. Panel Templates may be used to pre-configure standard panel sizes, outlines, cells, associated dimensioning, and other drafting details. The Panel Wizard quickly and easily creates a new panel using the existing templates, with the PCB design placement the only remaining operation necessary prior to generating the manufacturing outputs.
Panel level DRC with advanced and user definable rules for panel specific cells to other panel elements.
A detailed view may be used to selectively create a detailed and/or scaled view of a specific area of the PCB or Panel design. The detail view(s), when created, can be mirrored, rotated, named and will have a display control that is independent of the actual design itself.
Searchable PDF Output
All text on commonly used layers such as Assembly, Drill Drawing, Silkscreen, SolderMask, SolderPaste and User defined layers are rendered as searchable text instead of strokes. The generated PDF document displays physical layer items such as Board (Traces) Cell (Pads) and user defined items.
PDF plot output schemes can be saved and reused to ensure consistency and repeatability when generating PDF documents.
Gerber-In and Drill-In
After generating the manufacturing data, such as Gerber and Drill, it is common practice to review that data before finalizing release to fabrication. All Gerber and Drill data is imported to user defined layers and now you can verify that manufacturing data within the original design database, both for the PCB and Panel design.
Copper balancing may be used to create a balanced design at both the PCB design and panel level. Full control over the hatching spacing, clearances and layers is provided including the ability to add round, square or diamond shaped patterns.
Fablink XE Pro
Fablink XE Pro, includes all of the functionality and benefits of Fablink XE, in addition it provides the following additional functionality:
- Multiple PCB Panel design
Just like Fablink XE has the capability to create Panel designs with multiple copies of a single PCB design database, Fablink XE Pro enables multiple copies of different PCB design databases in a single panel design. All interactive and automatic placement and manipulation functions are available.
- Manufacturing Output Validation
Quickly and easily identify out-of-date manufacturing data compared to the design data. Identifies changes in the design file such as missing, additional or differing elements introduced since the data was last generated. Utilize in conjunction with Gerber-In and Drill-In to both identify and review the data immediately within the design database.
- Board Station Neutral file format output
Many 3rd party tools and customer specific downstream processes utilize or depend on this file format.
- Scripting capabilities available