You can open an Intermediate Data Format (IDF) board file (IDF version 2.0 or 3.0) in Autodesk Inventor. The file can be opened as a new assembly or part document, or the IDF solid body can be placed as a component in an existing assembly.
When you open an IDF board file type, the board components are summarized so you can determine which items to import. Each component is assigned a color to provide a visually correct representation of the PCB assembly. You can change the color of the entire board, other outlines, all components, or individual components as needed.
What is IDF?
IDF is the standard data exchange format for transferring printed circuit assembly (PCA) data between printed circuit board (PCB) layout and mechanical design. The format consists of the following files:
The input IDF file (.brd, .emn, .bdf, or .idb file) contains the board or panel definition.
Contains board property information. The library file has a .lib, .emp, .ldf, or .idl extension and must always be in the same location and have the same name as the board file.
All three files have the same file name with different extensions. The name is based on the name of the input IDF file.
How are different IDF board items supported?
When imported as an assembly document, the board components are translated into multiple parts that are contained in the new assembly. Each part file contains the data for one or more component instance. The Autodesk Inventor browser and the BOM are updated with the IDF information.
When imported as a part document, the board components are translated into the sketches and extrusions that make up the part model in a hierarchy. Importing as a single part simplifies file management and reduces the number of files Autodesk Inventor must open to display an accurate representation of the PCB assembly.
The Autodesk Inventor IDF Translator supports many standard IDF board items:
Board and panel, Other, Routing, and Placement outlines are supported. Each outline has a different purpose, such as communicating board shape and cutouts, or regions for component placement, and are represented in the browser as either a part or sketch. When multiple outlines exist, a sketch is created for each one. Expand the part to view additional sketches.
Routing, Via, and Placement keepouts are supported. Each keepout specifies a region of the board where a type of item is not allowed. If multiple keepouts exist, a sketch is created for each one. Expand the keepout part to view the sketches.
Specifies an area where related components are placed. If a group area exists on both sides of the board, a sketch is created for each side.
Distinguished from circular cutouts in the board outline, drilled holes are always drilled and are placed onto the same sketch as the board outline.
Board components, such as connectors, switches, and displays are listed with their package name and part number. Each component contains placement information. The package name and part number fields for each component are used to reference the component's definition in the IDF Library file. The reference designator followed by an underscore and a unique identifier is the display name for each occurrence of the component.
All part files are named automatically based on existing board information. Notes defined in the IDF file are created and stored, but not displayed.
How can IDF data be used?
Once the IDF data is imported, you can interact with it as you would any other Autodesk Inventor data. The imported board information can be represented in drawings, design views, and presentations.
Note: IDF does not provide a full design representation of a PCA and should not be used as such.
What can nonlicensed IDF Translator sites do with IDF board data?
The only difference between a system that has Autodesk Inventor IDF Translator installed, and one that does not is that a nonlicensed site cannot import new IDF components. For example, both licensed and nonlicensed sites can do the following:
Import and use IDF board data
You can import IDF board data to a new part or assembly file or place it directly into an existing Autodesk Inventor assembly as a solid body component. If needed, you can also assign colors to the board and certain board items.
To open IDF board data in Autodesk Inventor
When you open a file with IDF board data as a new assembly or part, Autodesk Inventor creates a standard .iam or .ipt file with IDF board components. Once imported, the IDF data can be used as a component in other assemblies or as a stand-alone part or assembly.
Click Cancel to exit the dialog box without importing data.
To import IDF board data into an existing assembly
Note: Click Cancel to exit without importing data.
The assembly or part document for the imported IDF data is displayed.
For more information on placing components search for "place components in assembly" in the Help Help Topics index.
Import IDF Options
Provides a summary of board or panel items, sets the type of document to create, and determines the components to import.
Click Open. Set the file type, select an IDF board file, and then click Open.
With an open assembly file, click Assemble tab Component panel Place . Set the file type, select an IDF board file, and then click Open.
Shows the board name, the units of measurement used, and the IDF version.
Select document type to create
Sets the type of file to create, an assembly or a part.
Select items to import
Lists the items contained on the board and determines items to import. Remove the check mark from the items to exclude.
Displays the color for a selected item. Click the arrow to select a new color from the palette.