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Author Topic: Archival formats for PCB files?  (Read 2687 times)

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JLeahScott

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Archival formats for PCB files?
« on: June 20, 2010, 05:51:12 AM »
Hello there!

This is my first time posting, and I'm actually not from this field at all, but an archivist, so bear with me. :-)

My question to everyone is: is the PCB community currently concerned with preserving their digital PCB files in archival/standardized formats? Because right now my job is to figure out how to export a collection of PCB files we have in our holdings into a more archival file format (IGES, STEP, PDF, etc.) Does anyone have any experience doing this, and if so, what is the best format to convert to? My research into this topic so far has come up with nothing, and if the answer is simply that the community just leaves the formats as they are, I'd appreciate confirmation that this is true too.

Thanks for all your help!

kam

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Re: Archival formats for PCB files?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2010, 08:24:08 AM »
I do not really understand your concern. What is the point of archiving PCBs? I mean, i use for example the x PCB drawing program, which saves the PCBs into a y format. I will archive my PCBs into this format. Why should i change it?

Anyway, i suggest you look also at gerber format, as far as the PCB lines/drills etc are concerned.

JLeahScott

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Re: Archival formats for PCB files?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2010, 07:14:07 AM »
When it comes to digital preservation (such as in a digital repository), where chances are that the archive maintaining the files may not have the original software used to create them, using a well-documented, neutral, stardardized format (such as PDF, STEP, or IGES) is preferred over proprietary file formats that do not get much use outside their native community. Granted, my motives are very different than those in the PCB field, which is perhaps the cause of the confusion. Right now, I am dealing with a collection of PCB files and Gerber files (which we are trying to convert as well.) My main objective is to transform them into a format that can be read by most regular users who have basic computer packages (Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, etc), or at most a CAD program that can read neutral formats like STEP and IGES. This is done for both longevity reasons (formats that can be read by free and multiple programs will generally last longer) as well as access reasons. Also, converting to standard formats that can be read by many programs is done simply because we do not have the budget to purchase all the software programs we'd need to maintain the files in their native format.

I hope this clarifies a little bit more as to why I'm asking this question.