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36 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2019 This year, I witnessed an impressive natural event that I had never experienced before in all my life as a native Californian. The painted lady butterfly migration starts from the south- eastern deserts of California heading northwest to Oregon, Washington, and further north into Alaska (Figure 1). While that distance covered by a butterfly with a wingspan of 2–3 inches is amazing, what was so impressive was the sheer number of them. This year's migration represented one billion butterflies, all striving to survive the long journey north. Throughout California, one could simply step outside to witness the most elegant stream of butterflies, one after the other, for days on end. What does a butterfly migration have to do with transferring intelligent PCB data from de- sign through the manufacturing process? The process of transforming from an earthbound caterpillar into a beautiful flying butterfly where each has a unique wing pattern is not much different than transforming an idea for a product into a schematic, and through hard work, into a unique PCB design. The differ- ence is that nature has created a perfectly con- nected process, but we still are challenged do- ing our same process repeatedly with positive results. In the case of a PCB design, the trans- fer of the design intent and the manufacturing process needs are not yet connected in unison. The ODB format originated with the ob- jective of delivering on this need (Figure 2). The format was originally introduced for use by PCB fabricators, eliminating the need for a collection of CAM files in multiple formats— such as Gerber, Excellon, IPC-356, or even IPC-350, which was an early attempt to sim- plify this process. The key to the success of ODB++: Transforming Ideas Into Products Figure 1: The painted lady butterfly. (Source: Renee Grayson) Feature by Max Clark MENTOR, A SIEMENS BUSINESS Figure 2: ODB++ helps users transform their designs into a final product.

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