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Anyone know if there's a way to export Altium PCB part outlines (I don't care about the detailed view of a part, just its physical 2D circle or polygon envelope) to an easy-to-parse output file?

I need to draw some annotations + would like to handle them programmatically rather than manually, using some data processing scripts I am writing. I need to get coordinate data of a few dozen parts automatically, so it's not practical for me to get the coordinate data manually, since it would take me several hours, and I would have to redo it during layout changes.

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Have you looked at exporting your PCB as "ASCII"?

http://www.eurointech.ru/products/Altium/Protel99SE_PCB_ASCII_File_Format.pdf

In my Altium, Mechanical 13 is the part outline layer.

enter image description here

You could find this layer in the PCB file and parse though it, I think.

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I think the easiest way to do its to select the layers (shorcut "L") that you want and take a screen shot.

Other thing that you can do is Print Preview and select just the layer you want.

File > Print Preview > Right Click in Preview > Configuration...

e.g. Create the circle or polygon in a mechanical layer and print it as a .pdf.

Other way to to it is export and edit later with some annotatios with another program.

as gerber: File > Fabrication Outputs > Gerber Files

as AutoCAD: File > Save As > Type Export AutoCAD Files (*.dwg, *.dxf)

as STEP: File > Save As > Type STEP (*.stp, *.step)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's not my question; I don't want a print of the output, I want coordinates of the output so I can use the data in some external processing. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason S Sep 25 '13 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JasonS With the Gerber, AutoCAD, and Step you can get all the coordinates of only what you want. To see the coordinates of something in Altium, its just view the proprieties. \$\endgroup\$ – Butzke Sep 25 '13 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Still not my question. I don't want to do that interactively, I want to export a large list of coordinates so I can run some data processing scripts. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason S Sep 25 '13 at 16:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JasonS I have almost shure that Alitum don't have a native tools to do what you want. \$\endgroup\$ – Butzke Sep 25 '13 at 16:39
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You could probably do this using Altium's Built-In Script Engine.

From the Script you can access all properties of a part (incl. the tracks it's made of). Yet, this will require some intense work. You might want to start here: http://wiki.altium.com/display/ADOH/Using+the+Altium+Designer+RTL

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