STEP and ProSTEP
In order to better transmit three-dimensional data, designers are looking for a modified way, STEP format came into being. The STEP format can transfer board size and component layout, but more importantly, the component no longer has a simple shape with only a high value. The STEP component model makes a detailed and complex representation of the components in three dimensions. Circuit board and component information can be transferred between the PCB and the machine. However, there is still no mechanism for tracking changes.
In order to improve the STEP file exchange, we introduced the ProSTEP format. This format moves the same data as IDF and STEP and has a great deal of improvement - it can track changes or provide functions that work in the discipline's original system and review any changes after establishing the baseline. In addition to viewing changes, PCBs and mechanical engineers can also approve layouts, circuit board form modifications in all or individual component changes. They can also offer different circuit board sizes or component location recommendations. This improved communication establishes an ECO (Engineering Change Sheet) that never existed before ECAD and the mechanical group (Figure 7).
Most ECAD and mechanical CAD systems now support the use of the ProSTEP format to improve communication, saving significant time and reducing the costly mistakes that complex mechanical and electrical designs can bring. More importantly, engineers can create a complex circuit board with additional restrictions, and then electronically pass this information to avoid someone re-interpretation of the circuit board size, so as to achieve the purpose of saving time.
to sum up
If you have not used these DXF, IDF, STEP, or ProSTEP data formats to exchange information, you should check their usage. You can consider using this electronic data exchange, stop wasting time to re-create complex circuit board shape.