What's new in Macaos Enterprise

What's new in Macaos Enterprise Bruce

Macaos Enterprise 5.6.19

BOM import improvements

  • Alternate MPNs: Support has been added for importing alternate MPN/Manufacturer pairs. This is done in the same manner as with Supplier/SKU pairs. Pairs must either come in paired columns, or with a specified delimiter character.
  • BOM Import column mapping: Columns are now mapped by selecting the type of column in the column  header. This change makes it possible to map an unlimited number of columns to the Value, Package, Description, Additional info, Supplier/SKU and Alternate MPN/Manufacturer fields.
  • Default mounting style: It is now possible to specify the default mounting style for connectors separately from other components. The default mounting styles are only used if no Mount style column has been mapped.

Other Assembly Data Manager improvements

  • Change component class: Select one or more components in the component list, right-click and choose Change component class to, and select the desired component class for the selected components.

Macaos Enterprise 5.6

IPC-D-356 Test Pad Data

With this release, we add support for bare-board test pad data. Most CAD systems are able to generate test pad data in IPC-D-356 format. Including this data together with your Gerber and Drill files is not just an advantage for the manufacturer when testing bare PCBs, but it also makes several operations in Macaos Enterprise quicker and easier.

  • Import module: If an IPC-D-356 file is included in the batch of files to be imported, it will be automatically detected, imported and linked to the Test pad top and Test pad bottom layers. Each testable point (typically bare copper pads and plated holes) is imported together with its designator, pin number and net name. If necessary, the test pad layers may easily be aligned with the Gerber layers.
  • Assembly data manager: If test pad data was not imported at the time the product was created, it may be added to the product in the ADM. A Merge function matches test pad data to the product's components, automatically identifying component footprint outlines and key pins, where possible.
  • Test fixture designer: When creating a test pin, if a test pad exists at that point, then the designator, pin number and signal name will be copied from the test pad.
  • Solder paste stencil creator: When test pad data is available, then it is possible to match stencil openings to component footprints. The footprint editor can easily modify all shapes in a footprint symmetrically. This can also be done in a single operation on all components having the same footprint.

Assembly Data Manager improvements

In addition to adding support for test pad data, we have made additional tweaks to streamline ADM usability. Our goal is to make the process of verifying PnP and BOM data as quick and painless as possible. Here's a list of the tweaks:

  • Ctrl+Alt+Click on a component in the viewer to locate that component in the component list
  • Right-click on a component instance and select Change part number of instance to edit the manufacturer part number of that instance. This function is intended for use if an instance inadvertently gets grouped together with other non-matching components.
  • Component alerts: In the PnP and BOM import dialog boxes, there are now check boxes in the component lists. Setting a check mark causes that component instance to be flagged with an "Alert." After import, the flagged components will show with bold red text in the component list. Right-click on a component instance to toggle the alert on or off.
  • We have added buttons at the bottom of the Component Properties pane to highlight the selected component instance, or all instances of the selected component. If test pad data is available, then the instance's pads may also be highlighted.
  • In the component search dialog box, we have added check boxes to the search results list, which are used for selecting the manufacturer part number and alternates.
  • In the component search dialog box, we have added an additional search text field.
  • When importing a BOM, if marking capacitors or resistors as Equivalent or better, it is now possible to specify individual components (by designator) which should not be marked.

Other improvements

  • Import module: You can now right-click on a drill file (in the drill files list) to toggle all tools in the file between plated and non-plated.
  • Test fixture designer: We have added Test fixture drawing and Test fixture annotation layers to improve fixture documentation. The Test fixture drawing layer shows all test pins with a symbol (for the receptacle size) and a text (for the pin head style, if specified). Guide pins are shown with a large cross and a letter indicating the pin function. The Test fixture annotation layer shows all test pins with a cross and a text with the Des-Pin of the test pin (if specified).
  • Test fixture designer: It is now possible to export the test circuitry PCB in DXF format.
  • Recent activity: Quotations in response to an RFQ are shown with a green and white dollar icon (rather than the gray and green icon used for quotations from online prices). If you view a quotation in the quotation viewer, you can double-click on a price to add it to the shopping basket.

What was new in previous versions

What was new in previous versions Bruce

Macaos Enterprise 5.5 (June 2021)

Macaos Enterprise 5.5 (June 2021) Bruce

Test Fixture improvements

Macaos Integrated Test Jig

Macaos Integrated Test Jig

The test fixture designer module now supports design of the Macaos Integrated Test Jig, a new design which integrates test circuitry into a modular test jig. It is developed for increased reliability and ease of design, compared to other supported test jigs.

The Macaos Integrated Test Jig incorporates an upper press fixture, a protective cover, a receptacle plate, and a test circuitry PCB. This is delivered fully assembled, with pins/receptacles installed.

The user selects an active area size, and then specifies the locations and types of Guide Pins and Test Pins. From this information, the Upper Fixture, Protective Cover and Receptacle Plate (the three gray modules shown at the right) are generated and added to the jig.

Use the Gerber button to generate a Gerber file of the test circuitry PCB outline and pin locations, for import to your CAD system. Connectors and indicators may be placed at the front and/or back edge of the PCB. This PCB must be ordered together with the test jig.

Automatic test pin placement

Test points that have been defined in the Assembly Data Manager (with the Test Point component class) may be automatically imported as test pins. The user need only specify a receptacle size (diameter) and pin head style.

Other tweaks

When publishing a test fixture, it is now possible to attach a STEP file (3D model) of the PCBA to be tested. This is strongly recommended when publishing a Macaos Integrated Test Jig.

As test pins are added to the fixture, the centroid of the test pins is shown as a hexagon.

Assembly Data Manager improvements

We have made additional tweaks to streamline ADM usability. Our goal is to make the process of verifying PnP and BOM data as quick and painless as possible. Here's a list of the tweaks:

BOM Import

  • If designators are separated by a comma, semicolon, or space, the separator character will be automatically identified in most cases.
  • An option has been added to treat the hyphen (-) as a valid designator character, instead of treating as a designator range character.
  • Up to three Value columns (in the source grid) may be specified.
  • If desired, all capacitors and/or resistors may be marked as "equivalent or better" during import.
  • Right-click on a column to search and replace text in the selected column.
  • A button has been added to clear all BOM import configuration settings.

Other tweaks

  • The shortcut key for opening the component search dialog has been changed from Ctrl+O to Ctrl+D in order to make it easier to use with only the left hand.
  • Additional commands have been added to the right-click menu of the component tree, to remove approval state, remove alternate manufacturer part numbers, and more.

Macaos Enterprise 5.4 (February 2021)

Macaos Enterprise 5.4 (February 2021) Bruce

Product Browser improvements

Recent activity listRecent Activity

We have added a Recent activity list, which lists the most recent events related to your company. For each event, you can click on the product number to view the product in the browser, or click on a document number to view the document details. The supported events are:

  • Product published
  • Quotation
  • Request for quotation
  • Order placed
  • Order shipment

Other tweaks

A new Has assembly info folder has been added to the My products group of folders. This folder includes any product marked as having PnP or BOM data attached.

If you have products that you wish to delete from Macaos Enterprise, you may use the Remove from all folders (make dormant) command. This will prevent the product from being listed in the product browser for all users. The product may be restored, if necessary, by locating it with the View|List dormant products command.

Panel module improvements

Panel scripts

Panel script manager

The panel script feature has been expanded to support fixed size frames, as well as scripts which only add frame objects to an existing panel. If desired, board rotation in a best fit script may be disabled.

It is now also possible to add text or a bar code to a panel script. You may specify any text, or right-click on the text field to insert the product number, name, article number, description or date of panelization.

Board as couponAdd board as a test coupon

Any (small) board may be added to the panel frame as a coupon. By default the Board as coupon chooser allows you to select boards with width or height small enough to fit in the panel frame. For each layer in the panel, data from the board is copied to the desired location in the frame.

Other tweaks

A notch may be added to the panel frame by placing a tooling hole or slot at the edge of the frame.

Diamond and octagon have been added to the available shapes for fiducial marks.

When placing an impedance coupon, if the frame width is too small for the coupon you may choose to automatically enlarge the width of one or more frame sides to accommodate the coupon width.

Import module improvements

When importing an archive which contains both Gerber/Drill and ODB++ data, the user may choose which dataset to import. (The other dataset will be ignored.)

Layers have been added for Beveled edge, Coating top and Coating bottom.

It is now possible to mark drill tools as countersink. This is done in the same manner as for marking drill tools with via protection or as press-fit holes.

Assembly Data Manager improvements

We have made numerous tweaks to streamline ADM usability. Our goal is to make the process of verifying PnP and BOM data as quick and painless as possible. Here's a list of the tweaks:

ADM module

  • New shortcut keys: Ctrl+Z=zoom to component; Ctrl+E=enter edit mode; Ctrl+S=save and exit edit mode
  • Ctrl+Click on component in viewer (to see component properties) works when in Move mode (but not other graphic modes)
  • BOM Placement list sorted in same order as component tree
  • Added Viewer button beside BOM list buttons in toolbar

Add component/Add fiducial

  • When adding a component, you may copy properties from the component selected in the component tree
  • Warn if specified designator is a duplicate and show alternatives
  • After adding a component or fiducial, the module remains in add component or add fiducial mode
  • Does not reload view if focused component's layer is already visible

Component treeComponent tree

  • Filter list by designator
  • "All approved" icons at parent level(s)
  • Value or OrigDescr is shown in the tooltip of Component level items
  • Hide approved components
  • Buttons to expand or collapse all levels of tree
  • Added Mechanical, Fuse, and Crystal component styles
  • Set Equivalent or Better for selected components
  • Set or remove Include in PnP Output for selected components
  • Set zoom size for double-click on component

Component editor

  • Check box for Allow Equivalent or Better

Import BOM

  • Add column to source grid
  • Edit text in selected cells (both grids)
  • Edit text in all cells of selected column (both grids)
  • Specify default mounting style when no column mapped for mounting style

Other improvements

A major change in this release is under the hood. We have increased the resolution of our internal database from 100 nm to 1 nm. Among other things, this will greatly reduce round-off errors in determining the center of arc objects.

Mechanical parts: It is now possible to choose Other material (see specification) and enter the material description in the Spec field.

User manager: We've added action buttons to the User manager, to make functionality more visible.

Viewer: When measuring, the angle from start to end point is also displayed.

Macaos Enterprise 5.3 (August 2020)

Macaos Enterprise 5.3 (August 2020) Bruce

Assembly Data Manager (ADM)

The new Macaos ADM is an integrated BOM Tool and Pick and Place Data Manager for PCBs. It provides an environment for managing and reviewing Pick and Place (PnP) and Bill of Materials (BOM) data.

Macaos Assembly Data Manager

The ADM helps dramatically reduce time and effort in preparing assembly data, by combining the following features in a single module:

  • Graphic viewer with component editing functionality
  • Structured component overview with properties editor
  • Component search facility
  • Send RFQ for assembly to participating EMS providers (Basic version only)
  • Component price estimator (Pro version only)
  • Component rotation, height and solder temperature editor
  • Export PnP and BOM data (Pro version only)

The ADM makes use of the recently released X3 extensions1 to the Gerber Format to combine PnP, BOM and Assembly Drawing data into an integrated component layer of a PCB product. As CAD systems2 implement these extensions, a rapid and error-resistant path from designer to manufacturer may be achieved.

The component layer displays the location, rotation, size and key pin location of each component together with properties such as manufacturer part number, supplier SKUs, height, max solder temperature, etc. The use of a standards-based structure for this information allows purchasers, supplers, process line operators, etc to automate their systems and thereby reduce costs.

1 Macaos actively participates in the development of these standards.
2 Some CAD systems, such as kicad, already support Gerber X3 output.

See the ADM user guide for more info.

Mechanical parts

When selecting the paint color for a mechanical part, it is now possible to specify exactly specify the color as RAL, NCS, RGB or HSL.

It is now possible to easily attach additional files, such as a STEP file or additional specification documents, to a mechanical part product.

Stencil module improvements

The stencil module now calculates the Aspect ratio and Area ratio for the smallest apertures in the stencil. This is used to recommend a maximum stencil thickness when creating a stencil. See Stencil ratios for more info.

DXF file import

Limited support for importing DXF files has been added.  A DXF file may be imported to a user layer in the Import module. When loading a file directly in the Stencil module, you may load either a Gerber file or a DXF file.

Only those DXF entities which easily map to Gerber-style objects are imported. Other entities are ignored. For more info see DXF Files.

Other improvements

The biggest change in this release is under the hood. We have enhanced our Gerber reader and writer to be fully compliant with all features of the latest Gerber Format standards. This improves data reliability from your CAD system all the way to the manufacturing processes.

Macaos Enterprise 5.2 (November 2019)

Macaos Enterprise 5.2 (November 2019) Bruce

Create wave solder pallets

With this new module, you can quickly design a pallet for transporting a board or panel through a solder wave. Solder pallets are useful when working with small, thin or irregular boards, as well as with boards that have both PTH components and solder-side SMT components.

Selective wave solder pallet

Two styles of pallets are supported:

  • A wave solder pallet exposes the entire board to the solder wave.
  • A selective wave solder pallet exposes only specified regions of the board to the solder wave.

Creating a selective wave solder pallet is easy:

  1. Select a material and thickness and specify component pocket depths.
  2. Place board fasteners at desired locations around the board.
  3. Draw "opening" outlines around the components to be soldered.
  4. Draw "pocket" outlines around the solder-side components that are covered by the pallet.
  5. Generate a milling file for the pallet.

All other elements of the pallet are calculated automatically. This includes edge rails, bottom side bevels, pallet floor, seal walls, etc.

Creating a wave solder pallet is even easier, since steps 3 and 4 above are unnecessary.

Note: Selective wave soldering requires some planning during board layout, in order to have sufficient clearance between wave-soldered components, and components which must be shielded from the solder wave.

PCB as test fixture

PCB as test fixtureThe Test Fixture Designer module has been expanded to allow creating a PCB test fixture.

Rather than using a sheet of fixture material as a holder for the test pins, it may sometimes be more useful to mount the test pins directly into a PCB.

For a standard test jig, choose Lower w/ PCB. For other jigs, choose Lower - flat and set the thickness to 3.2.

Use the Gerber button to export the fixture outline and holes to a Gerber file, which may then be imported to your CAD system for further design.

Import module improvements

PnP format specifier dialog box

PnP Import dialog box

When importing a Pick and Place file, if the file format is not automatically recognized, you can specify the format as necessary.

Mark holes as press-fit

It is now possible to mark holes as press-fit. This is done by right-clicking on the appropriate tool(s) in the drill tool list, and selecting Via protection/Press-fit|Press-fit.

Laser cutter tool size for flex boards

For flex boards, it is possible to choose Laser as a cutter diameter. Note: Laser is only suitable for outer and inner contours.

Backdrill layers

Drill files may be assigned to backdrill layers.

Other improvements

New button bars in product browser

Folder buttonsA button bar above the folder list gives quick access to commonly used folders.

Product buttonsA button bar at the bottom of the product list gives quick access to commonly used product operations (found in the right-click menu).

View list of active RFQs

Use the Operations|Active RFQs menu command to display a list of your active RFQs (if any). An RFQ may be created if you don't get an online price for a product.

Right-click on an RFQ and choose Cancel RFQ to cancel it.

Request interactive support

If you need help, an Elprint engineer can provide you with interactive support. Elprint uses TeamViewer technology, which allows the engineer to see your desktop and help you to quickly resolve your issue.

Click on the Interactive support button, which displays instructions for setting up a support session.

Note: Interactive support is only available for Elprint customers.

Macaos Enterprise 5.1 (January 2019)

Macaos Enterprise 5.1 (January 2019) Bruce

New panel module features

Allow rout slots to cross scoring lines

Normally, rout slots end at scoring lines, in order to prevent notches in neighboring boards. This can lead to unwanted burrs or sharp corners at the routing/scoring interface. For symmetrical boards, the slot may cross the scoring line without entering the neighboring board.

Lock/unlock scoring

When scoring is enabled, a padlock is shown. Click on the padlock to "unlock" the routing/scoring interface. When scoring is "unlocked" then the routing slots extend one radius beyond the scoring line. It is the user's responsibility to insure that any notches which may arise within neighboring boards are acceptable.

IPC-2221 Z-style Impedance test coupon

An impedance test coupon may easily be added to the margin of a panel. The user need only specify the signal style, layer and trace width (and spacing). The coupon is then automatically generated according to the specifications for a Z-style test coupon in IPC-2221.

IPC-2221 Z-style test coupon

A test coupon may contain up to 12 signals, but no more than two signals on a layer. Single-ended striplines and microstrips, edge-coupled differential striplines, and edge-coupled or broadside-couple microstrips are supported.

See the test coupons help page for more info.

Test accessory catalog

A catalog of test accessories has been added to the Test Fixture module. The catalog lists all of the test pins, guide pins, test jigs and other test accessories available for purchase through Macaos Enterprise. Double-click on a product to see product specifications and drawings or photos.

Support for CircuitData language

The CircuitData language is an open language for communicating PCB specifications, requirements and capabilities. Macaos Enterprise supports both reading and generating PCB product specifications in CircuitData JSON format.

A CircuitData file may be imported in the Buy module, allowing you to get prices for a product without having imported the Gerber/Drill files to Macaos Enterprise.

A CircuitData file may be exported by right-clicking on a PCB product and choosing Download|Download CircuitData.org data.

See www.circuitdata.org for more information about the CircuitData language.

Other improvements

Search for products by customer's requisition number

In the Extended Product Search module, it is now possible to search for a product by requisition number.

RFQ to external supplier

If enabled, you may choose to send an RFQ to an external supplier. An e-mail containing your RFQ and product specifications is automatically generated and sent to the supplier, who should then respond with their quotation by e-mail. Note: The external supplier must subscribe to the Macaos RFQ service and then enable this feature for your company.

Prices from Gerber Job file

A Gerber Job file (.gbrjob) may be imported in the Buy module, allowing you to get prices for a product without having imported the Gerber/Drill files to Macaos Enterprise.

Macaos Enterprise 5.0 (October 2018)

Macaos Enterprise 5.0 (October 2018) Bruce


Depanelization is the process of removing individual boards from a panel, after the boards have been populated with components. Traditionally, boards have been depanelized by breaking or cutting the the break-off tabs which hold the panel together. However, the mechanical forces (particularly bending) which can take place may weaken or damage the solder joints of fine-pitch SMT components near the board edges. This problem can be mitigated by using a milling machine to remove the break-off tabs.

The Depanelizer module allows you to easily and quickly accomplish the two specific tasks required for depanelization by milling machine:

  • Generate a milling program for removing the break-off tabs from a panel. A milling program contains the numerical instructions for operating a CNC milling machine which removes the break-off tabs from the panel. The Milling Program Setup dialog box helps you to specify axes and offsets when generating a CNC program for your machine.

  • Design a fixture for holding the panel frame and boards in place during the milling process. The depanelization fixture holds the boards in place, so that they do not move or otherwise get damaged during the milling process. Macaos has developed an inexpensive and reliable fixture style for this purpose. The fixture uses registration “pedestals” and vacuum suction to hold the boards in place as they are loosened from the panel, as well as a suction nozzle to remove dust from the milling process.

See the Depanelization module help page for more info.

Stackups with odd number of layers

It is now possible to define a multi-layer custom buildup with an odd number of copper layers. For example, to define a 3-layer buildup, start by defining a 4-layer buildup. Then, choose Omit as the copper thickness of one of the inner layers.

Panelization improvements

It is now possible to specify the outer dimensions of a panel. In this way, you can adjust the width of the outer frame to give the desired total panel width/height. The outer dimensions may only be adjusted after the Panelize operation has been executed.

It is now possible to place tooling holes and fiducial marks relative to the center of the panel. When specifying the X/Y distances, you can choose whether the distance is measured from the panel corner or the panel center.

Other improvements

Look and feel

We've given all modules a new look. Modules now have a more consistent layout, with parameters at the top left, info/help text at the lower left, and the graphical viewer's layer list to the right. Button bars across the top of each module give quick access to the most commonly used functions.

The graphical viewer has several status panels along the bottom edge, which display useful information. Click on the view mode or units panel to change the view mode or unit of measure.

Product variant

It is possible to change many more parameters of a PCB product when creating a variant of the product.

Minimum copper to unplated edge clearance

Pressing the N key (with the mouse over the graphic viewer module while viewing a PCB product), highlights and zooms to the objects having the minimum distance between a copper feature and an unplated hole or contour edge.

Connection manager

The connection manager has been expanded with Ping and DNS lookup functions, which can help when troubleshooting connection issues.

Macaos Enterprise 4.5 (February 2018)

Macaos Enterprise 4.5 (February 2018) Bruce

Import module improvements

Custom stackup definition

Expanded custom stackup definition

In this version we have expanded the custom stackup definition module to better support flex and rigid-flex boards.

  • In addition to the dielectric and copper layers which make up a stackup, it is now possible to define solder mask, cover layer, adhesive/bonding and stiffener layers.
    Note: It is not necessary to add cover layer or solder mask layers to a simple stackup, since these layers are already specified by product properties. However, if you have special material or thickness requirements, or are defining a rigid-flex board, then these layers may be specified.
  • It is now possible to specify the thickness of dielectric and thermal substrate layers in a metal-based board stackup.
  • Any individual layer may be marked as a flex layer. This would be used to indicate the layers in the flex region of a rigid-flex board.
    Note: With this version you can define two stackup regions for a rigid-flex board: the rigid region (encompassing all layers) and an implied flex region (the layers marked as flex). Our goal is to support up to five stackup regions in the next major release of Macaos Enterprise.
  • The format for specifying stackup materials has been expanded. The material name and manufacturer may be specified, as well as whether or not the material must be halogen-free. For dielectrics, IPC-slash sheet and minimum Tg may also be specified.


Refresh file during import

If while preparing a product for import, you discover that a layer needs to be updated, you can replace that layer without having to restart the entire import process. Right-click on the file name and choose Replace file.

Note: It is not possible to replace the board/contour file. If this file needs to be updated then the entire product must be imported again.

Gerber job file

If the product you are importing contains a Gerber job file (*.gbrjob) then file linking information and product parameters will be extracted from the file.

Note: The final format of the Gerber job file has not yet been published. Some Gerber job files may not be compatible with the current draft specification. We will update this feature when the final format is published.

3D mechanical parts

Mechanical parts may now be specified with a selection of different materials and colors.

An STL file is required for viewing the imported mechanical part, and may be used for manufacture of simpler parts in thermoplastic materials.

For complex parts and parts with many curved surfaces, a STEP file should also be uploaded. You will be asked to upload the STEP file when you publish the part.

Product browser

Several new automatic folders have been added to the product browser, for single PCBs, panels, solder paste stencils, test fixtures, and purchased off-the-shelf products. This should make it easier to locate products.

There are new browser options to hide empty or seldom used folders. Use the Tools|Options command to specify browser options.

Browser columns have been added for surface finish, solder mask color and legend color.

The icon in the "Buy" button shows the number of products in the shopping basket.


Macaos Enterprise 4.4 (May 2017)

Macaos Enterprise 4.4 (May 2017) Bruce

Test fixture improvements

Macaos standard test jig

Macaos Standard Jig

This version supports the Macaos standard test jig. The Macaos standard test jig is designed to use a lower fixture box with an internal height of 70mm, giving room for connectors, wiring and electronics in an easily swappable module.

The Macaos standard jigs issupplied with an easily removable generic upper fixture allowing for flexible placement of press pins. An adjustment screw and magnet make it possible to finely adjust the spacing between upper and lower fixtures.

Static guide pin placement

It is now possible to place static (non-deflecting) guide pins at any location along the edge of the PCB. Static guide pins are useful for insuring proper placement of boards that do not have holes with an appropriate diameter for normal guide pins.

Specify or edit pin coordinates

It is now possible to modify the pin coordinates and/or hole diameter when placing a test pin. It is also possible to edit these values after a pin has been placed.

The coordinates and diameter of holes for guide/support/press pins may also be edited, by first right-clicking on the pin list and showing guide pins.

View opposite test fixture

When creating a test fixture for the opposite side of an existing test fixture, the "other" test fixture may be viewed. 

Note: The "other" fixture data is not saved with the new fixture.

Import 3D mechanical part in STL format.

STL import dialog

Three-dimensional data for mechanical parts may be imported. Only STL format may be imported.

Once a file has been loaded, it may viewed from any angle. The part size, weight, volume and surface area are also displayed.

Note: STL is a unit-less format. By default, STL files are assumed to be in mm. Buttons are provided for converting to other units, if necessary.

After publishing, the part may be purchased through the Macaos Enterprise quotation module.

Annotation fields

Annotation field size dialog

Annotation fields may be placed with an appropriate size for a text, bar code or 2-dimensional bar code. The define annotation field dialog box automatically calculates the size of a rectangle for the text or bar code for a specified number of digits or alphanumeric characters, including appropriate margins. This feature is useful for laser marking of date codes and/or serial numbers.

Annotation fields may be added to a new product in the Import module, or to a new panel in the Panel module. Annotation fields may also be added to an existing product with the Add Masks module.

Other new features

Prices in Connector Chooser

Where available, prices for connectors are shown in the Connector Chooser without needing to go to the Quotation Module. Prices update dynamically as connector properties are changed.

Cancel symbol placement

In the Import Module, when drawing or placing a symbol, right-click to cancel the operation.



Macaos Enterprise 4.3 (January 2017)

Macaos Enterprise 4.3 (January 2017) Bruce

Test fixture improvements

Fixture specification

When creating a test fixture, you may choose a fixture suitable for one of the Macaos test jigs, or specify your own dimensions.

The fixture designer supports two kinds of lower fixtures:

  • Flat: A single sheet of fixture material with holes drilled in it for test pins. Test pins are wired to connectors in the base of the test jig.
  • Box: A low profile box with test pins in the top plate of the box. Test pins are wired to connectors mounted in the side walls of the box.

Macaos test jigs are supplied with a generic upper fixture allowing for flexible placement of press pins. In case of more specific needs, an upper fixture may be designed by selecting the lower fixture and then opening the test fixture designer.

Text may be placed on the fixture as desired. Text may be rotated in 90° increments.

When a box-style fixture is designed, then connector openings may be placed in the box walls as desired. Choose from pre-defined connector sizes, or specify your own opening. Connectors may be deleted by right-clicking on the list of connectors.

Pin placement

When placing pins you may choose a Macaos pin style, or specify your own hole diameter. Test pins must be placed on pads or holes. Guide pins must be placed on holes. Press pins and support pins may be placed at any location.

When placing test pins, if more than one pad/hole is selected, the pin will be placed at the center of the selected pads/holes.

Z-axis visualizer

The Z-axis visualizer shows vertical spacing of fixtures, PCB, guide pins and test pins, both with the test jig handle up and down. The drawing is dynamic, automatically updating in accordance with your specifications. Select from Macaos test/guide pin types or specify your own pin dimensions.

The drawings are stored with the test fixture data when you publish the fixture. Note: You must view both the up and down drawings in order for both to be stored.

Quotation and order placement improvements

The visual appearance of the quotation module has been changed somewhat. Check boxes for quantities and lead times have been moved to the left and top edges of the price grid.

An expanded price engine allows for more flexible calculation of prices for a wider variety of product types and parameters. Discounts are automatically calculated when certain products are ordered for delivery together.

If no price is available, it is still possible to place an order. You will be asked to confirm the price and delivery before the order is set in production.

Import module improvements

Contour specification

Depth routing: When specifying inner contours or track routing, a routing depth from the top or bottom side of the board may be specified.

Quick contour selection: Press the "Q" selection button to create a contour object from a selection rectangle. This is a quick way to define a rectangular outer contour in cases where only corner marks have been provided.

Select pads: Pads may be selected to define slots by holding down the Ctrl key while selecting. It is not possible to select pads and lines in the same operation.

Minimum features warning

When publishing, a warning will be generated if the estimated minimum features are less than the warning threshold. This threshold may be set in the Edit|Options dialog box.

Ferrite layers

Ferrite Top and Ferrite Bottom have been defined for use with sheets of ferrite material to be added to a PCB.

Proteus link filter

An additional link filter has been added for use with newer versions of Proteus.

Stencil module improvements

Adjust stencil opening size by height and/or width

Openings may be adjusted by a percentage of their height and/or width (instead of or in addition to adjusting them by a percentage of their area).

Stencil types

A number of additional stencil types (for licensed frame patterns, etc) have been added.

Stencil options

Options for polished hole walls, coating of hole walls and protecting/strengthening stencil edges have been added.

Other new features

Viewer: Rotation/mirror status

A status bar at the bottom of the product viewer indicates if the view has been rotated or mirrored.

Login: Manage multiple passwords

The File|Manage multiple passwords command opens a list of the login-name/password combinations you have used. Set a check mark by those you wish to delete and then click the OK button to delete them. Note: Multiple passwords are only stored if the File|Remember multiple passwords function is activated.

Macaos Enterprise 4.2 (June 2016)

Macaos Enterprise 4.2 (June 2016) Bruce

"Bed of Nails" test fixture creation

Test jig

A "bed of nails" test jig is used for in-circuit testing of a PCB with components. Typically, the jig consists of a bottom fixture with many spring-loaded test pins (pogopins) that are placed to make contact with test points on the PCB. An upper fixture presses the board onto the bed of nails so that all of the pins make good contact. A test program may then be run to confirm the operation of the PCB.

A test fixture is a plastic plate with holes drilled at each of the test point positions. Each test point hole will have a base (or receptacle) mounted in it. For each receptacle diameter, a spring-loaded pin head is inserted. You may choose from several different pin head styles, depending on the type of test point the pin will contact.

Test pin Test pin receptacle

Test Fixture Creator

Test fixture creator module

Open a PCB product in the test fixture creator module and specify the parameters of the fixture plate. Then click on holes to place alignment pins, and click on holes or pads to place test pins. Once all pins have been placed, adjust the position of the press point and then center the PCB under the press point. The published test fixture product includes a drill file for the fixture plate and wiring list documentation.

Top side fixture

Ideally, all of the test points should be on the bottom side of the PCB. However, if necessary, a top side fixture may also be created. If a test fixture already exists for a PCB, then you may choose to use that fixture to specify the placement of the PCB in the new fixture.

Test accessories

The Test accessories folder in the product browser lists test jigs, test pins and related accessories available for purchase.

"Off the shelf" products

Macaos Enterprise now supports ordering off-the-shelf products, such as test accessories, stencil frames, connectors, software, etc.

These products may be purchased in the same manner as your PCB and stencil products.

Not all products have prices available online. In cases where the price is not available, you will be notified of price and availability and asked to confirm your purchase before the order will be processed.


Connector chooser

Macaos Enterprise supports a wide variety of connector types, each with multiple options. The Connector Chooser module helps you to browse through the possibilities and select the appropriate connector.

Only connectors which your organization has previously purchased are listed in the Connectors folder, making it easier for you to find the same connector again.

Other new features

Product Browser: Folder icons

Standard folders now have icons, to make them easier to locate in the folder list.

Product Browser: Stackup number column

A stackup number column has been added to the product browser. Use the View|Show/Hide columns|Product stackup menu command to view this column.

Viewer: Lock cursor to axis

Press Alt+X or Alt-Y to lock the cursor position to the current X or Y coordinate. Press Esc to release the lock.

Move Macaos Enterprise to a new PC

Use the Tools|Move Macaos Enterprise to new PC command to copy all Macaos Enterprise program and settings files to a flash drive (or other storage location). These files may then be copied to the desired program folder on a new PC. When you start Macaos Enterprise on the new PC, the settings files will be relocated to the appropriate folder.

Macaos Enterprise 4.1 (March 2016)

Macaos Enterprise 4.1 (March 2016) Bruce

Product Browser Improvements

New product specifications and statistics

Numerous product parameters have been added to the Macaos system. This will improve online pricing and quality control. See the Import Module section (below) for a complete list.

Specify time interval for "Recent" folders

The time interval (in weeks) for a product to be included in the Recent Orders, Shipped Orders or Recently Published folders may be specified in the Tools|Options dialog box.

Product shares

If a product is shared, the product share information is shown at the bottom of the Product Specifications column.

The Shares context (right-click) menu has been restructured to make share management easier.

Drill tool list

For PCB products, a complete drill tool list is shown together with the product specifications and stackup diagram.

Video tutorials

Video tutorials for using Macaos Enterprise may be found with the Help|YouTube video tutorials menu command

New viewer functions

  • d Highlight minimum width lines on each visible copper layer
  • a Highlight minimum annular ring pads on each visible copper layer
  • o Toggle show only centerline/outline of objects

Order placement improvements

Order packaging options

Two packaging options have been added to the Macaos system.

  • Package in accordance with IPC-1601 (antistatic, humidity sensor, dessicant, etc)
  • Specify quantity boards per vacuum package

Place text

Allow text on notation layers to be placed within boards in a panel

Quotation quantities

When getting price quotes or placing orders for panels, the order quantity is always the number of panels. But it is now possible to specify number of boards, which will automatically be converted to number of panels in the price grid

Import module improvements

New product specifications:

  • board type: rigid, flex, rigid-flex, metal-based-board
  • depth routing
  • flex stiffener (flex, rigid-flex only)
  • cover layer  (flex, rigid-flex only)
  • thermal conductivity (metal-based-board only)
  • via fill type
  • flexible layers (rigid-flex only)
  • carbon print
  • kapton tape
  • countersink
  • half-moon holes
  • microvias
  • plated slots
  • beveled edge (with angle and backoff)

New product statistics:

  • holes/dm2
  • minimum non-plated hole/edge to copper clearance
  • qty routs
  • minimum rout tool diameter
  • total rout length
  • estimated weight
  • number of test points (solder mask openings)

Product options

  • Performance class 2, 2+ or 3
  • Impedance control to be done by manufacturer
  • Do not allow manufacturer marking on board
  • Do not allow copper shaving from board edges

New viewer functions

  • d Highlight minimum width lines on each visible copper layer
  • a Highlight minimum annular ring pads on each visible copper layer
  • o Toggle show only centerline/outline of objects

Custom stackup definition

  • It is now possible to indicate if a dielectric layer is core or prepreg in a custom stackup.
  • It is now possible to indicate that a dielectric layer is flexible
  • It is now possible to indicate that the thickness of a dielectric layer is impedance critical

Alignment of pick and place files

When aligning pick and place files, only the visible layer(s) will be moved. In this way, it is possible to make separate adjustments for top and bottom sides.

Panelization improvements

Place text

Allow text on notation layers to be placed within boards in a panel

Graphical remarks

Add graphical remarks to a panel.

Stencil improvements

Show potential errors

The stencil creator checks for stencil openings that do not appear to be consistent with the original stencil data. This could be due to the original openings having been reduced by the board designer, or because the stencil creator was not able to locate the correct reference pad on the copper layer. If potential errors are found, they can be highlighted for inspection.

Automatic fiducial detection

If the stencil data contains objects that appear to be fiducials, these are automatically detected and can be easily marked as fiducial or deleted. The same is true for stencil fiducials in a panel frame defined in the panel module.

Edit/split rotated shapes

The pad shape editor now works on shapes with any rotation factor.

Transfer objects from any layer

It is possible to copy objects from any layer to a stencil layer.

Assembly Data Manager

The Quick Help button opens a web page with step-by-step guidelines for generating an RFQ for Assembly.

Bill of Materials (BOM)

Before processing, a hint window reminds the user to specify column headers.

After processing, the rows of the output BOM are green if a single match is found, or yellow if multiple product matches are found.

Pick and Place Data Export

(Available only in Pro version for participating EMS providers)

Specify column order, coordinate units and separator character when exporting PnP data. May include part number and package footprint from BOM.

Macaos Enterprise 4.0 (July 2014)

Macaos Enterprise 4.0 (July 2014) Bruce

Assembly Data Manager

The new Assembly Data Manager Module allows you and your partners to work with component purchasing and placement data for a PCB. Once suitable Pick and Place data and a Bill of Materials have been provided, then it is possible to send a request for quotation to the Electronics Manufacturing Services providers of your choice. You may also create and modify graphical remarks for a product.

Pick and Place Data (PnP)

PnP data specifies the designator, location and rotation of components that will be automatically placed for (usually) reflow solderinig. There are, unfortunately, a multitude of different PnP data formats. Macaos Enterprise is able to read more than a dozen of these formats. (See the user manual for details about the most common formats supported.)

With the Assembly Data Manager, you can do the following:

  1. View PnP data for top and/or bottom side
  2. Enable/disable individual components. Disabled components are hidden from view and omitted from exported PnP data. They are still listed in the components list.
  3. Double-click on a component in the list to zoom into that component in the viewer.
  4. Import PnP data
  5. Align PnP data. If the PnP data does not have the same coordinate origin as the Gerber data, this can be corrected.
  6. Create PnP data. You can select one or more pads and define a PnP component or fiducial mark to be located at the center of the rectangle surrounding the selected pads.
  7. Edit PnP data. You can edit the designator, side, rotation and description text for any component.
  8. Export PnP data. Only with Pro version. PnP data may be exported in a simple tab-separated XYR format.

Bill of Materials (BOM)

A BOM is a list of the components that are to be used with the printed circuit board. The BOM is used to select and purchase the correct components as well as to specify where each component should be placed on the printed circuit board.

In many cases, a BOM contains component descriptions that require some interpretation by the purchaser, due to inconsistent or incomplete specifications. The Assembly Data Manager attempts to improve the usability of the BOM by applying a number of parameter recognition techniques and attempting to match components in the user's BOM to a database of known components.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Import a BOM. BOM data may be imported as a text file, an Excel .xls file, or copied and pasted directly from a spreadsheet program.
  2. Right-click on a row to mark it as the column headers or the first row of valid component data.
  3. Right-click on a column header to specify the type of information contained in the column
  4. Click on the Process (gears) button to process the list of components.
  5. A new spreadsheet is created with the interpreted parameters and search results. If necessary, make corrections and click on the Retry button to do a new search.
  6. Double-click on a row to open the Component Chooser dialog box, which will allow you to view product details or refine your search for the correct component.
  7. In the Component Chooser, double-click on a supplier's name to view the supplier's web page for the component.
  8. If no suitable component is found in the database, you may add it to the database with the Add new part to database button in the Component Chooser.
  9. Once you are satisfied with the BOM, save the processed list to the product.
  10. The processed list may be exported to an Excel file. Only with Pro version.

Graphical remarks

Graphical remarks may be added to any product. Existing graphical remarks may be deleted or replaced, if desired.

A remark may be created as follows:

  1. Click on the Add remarks to board (yellow note) button.
  2. Draw a circle around the feature(s) to which the remark applies.
  3. Enter the remark text in the dialog box.
  4. Click OK.

To delete a remark, click on the Delete button and draw a selection rectangle around the entire remark.

If you need to change the text of a remark, you can click on the Edit button and change a single line of text at a time. Note: This can only be done with remarks created during the current session. For older remarks, you must delete and re-create the remark.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

Once you have processed your PnP data and BOM, you can send a Request for Quotation (RFQ) to an Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider. The RFQ module in the Assembly Data Manager provides a simple checklist for creating an RFQ. Once you send an RFQ, the EMS provider will be notified that all of the data they need is available to them in Macaos Enterprise.

Stencil improvements

Split/replace openings

The module for splitting a large stencil opening into an array of smaller openings has been improved. It is now possible to choose between several split patterns or replacement opening shapes. You have full control over the size and shape of the new opening(s), as well as statistics to indicate how the change will affect total solder delivery.

Although this feature is primarily intended for working with large (heat sink) openings, it may be used to modify the shape of any opening in the stencil.

Highlight large pads

This feature allows you to easily locate stencil openings whose height and width are larger than the size you specify. This way you can quickly find opening that should be split.

Place board data relative to frame edge or frame center

It is now possible to specify the position of the board relative to the edge of the stencil frame, or relative to the center of the frame. Top and bottom side data may be offset horizontally or vertically, as desired.

Mirror bottom side data

Bottom side data is automatically mirrored, so that the squeegee side of the stencil will always be the top side of the stencil.

Import module improvements

Support for up to 30 copper layers

Macaos Enterprise now supports boards with up to 30 copper layers. This is an increase from the previous limit of 22 copper layers.

Full support for the latest Extended Gerber format (Gerber X2)

A new version of the Extended Gerber file format was released in the spring of 2014. This version adds a structure for identifying the file format version, board layer or function of the file, and classes of features within the file. Macaos Enterprise fully supports reading and interpreting these extensions.

Support for Pick and Place files generated by Cadstar

Pick and place files generated by Cadstar may now be imported, either in the Import Module or in the Assembly Data Manager.

Panelization improvements

Place tabs in line

When placing break-off tabs on a panel, if you click and drag the mouse then a horizontal or vertical line is shown. When you release the mouse, a break-off tab will be placed at each point where the line crosses a board edge.

Panel drawing improvements

A table in the upper left corner of the panel drawing specifies the size of fiducials and bad marks. For a single-product panel, this table also specifies the X and Y step distance of the boards in the panel.

Product chooser improvements for multi-product panels

When working with multi-product panels, the product chooser now displays the number of boards in the panel for each product in the list. You can also right-click on a product to view the product and its specifications. The product list now includes a filter function (at the bottom of the list) to aid in locating products.

Macaos Enterprise 3.8 (December 2013)

Macaos Enterprise 3.8 (December 2013) Bruce

Import module improvements

Place a text string on the PCB

A text string may be placed on a notation layer of the PCB as follows:

  1. After linking files and creating an outer contour, click on the Add symbols to board (paintbrush) button, and then click on the Text button.
  2. Enter the desired text string.
  3. Select the text height, layer and text rotation, as desired.
  4. Move the mouse cursor to the desired position and click to place the text.

Add IPC/JEDEC J-STD-609A compliant marking to the PCB

The IPC/JEDEC J-STD-609A stanard defines how PCBs should be marked to identify the the presence (or absence) of lead and/or other attributes in a PCB or PCB assembly. The import module includes a simple dialog box where you can create a compliant text string and add it to a PCB by answering up to 6 questions about the laminate material, surface finish and (optionally) the required assembly processes. Once the text string has been generated, it may be placed at any location on the notation layer of the PCB.

While in Add text mode, click on the J-STD-609A button to open the dialog box. Select the appropriate parameters for the text string, and then click OK. Place the text string as described above.

Add remarks to the PCB graphically

You can add remarks to a PCB at a specific location. This is useful when a remark is tied to some feature or location of the PCB. A remark may be created as follows:

  1. After linking files and creating an outer contour, click on the Add remarks to board (yellow note) button.
  2. Draw a circle around the feature(s) to which the remark applies.
  3. Enter the remark text in the dialog box.
  4. Click OK.

Remarks are added to the Remarks layer. A circle will be drawn around the selected feature(s) and the remark text placed to the right of the circle.

Via protection (plugging, filling, etc)

All holes with a specific drill tool may be specified for via protection. To do this, right-click on the tool in the tool list (of the Drill tools tab) and choose the desired via protection type from the Via protection submenu. A new layer will be created indicating the via holes to be protected.

Create contour segments graphically

When defining an outer or inner contour, the contour must be defined as a closed polygon. If there are missing segments, these can by drawn. This may be done as follows:

  1. Click on the Draw contour segment (pencil) button.
  2. Move the cursor to the position where the segment will start. If desired, press the X key to snap the cursor to the nearest existing segment endpoint.
  3. Click to start the drawn segment.
  4. Move the cursor to the position where the segment will end. If desired, press the X key to snap the cursor to the nearest existing segment endpoint.
  5. Click to create the segment.

​View endpoints of highlighted segments when creating contour

When selecting segments for a contour, the Show endpoints of highlighted segments causes the highlighted segments to be drawn with thin lines and arrowheads. This is useful when trying to see where a gap or overlap exists that prevents the selected segments from being recognized as a closed polygon.

Minimum features

Minimum track width and minimum annular ring are estimated by performing a simple analysis of the imported copper and drill layer data. Minimum clearance is estimated to be the same as the minimum track width. These estimates will be correct in most cases, but some CAD systems generate their trace and/or pad data in a manner that is too complex and time-consuming for the rapid analysis performed by the Import module.

If you know that one or more of the estimated values are incorrect, you should enter the correct values as necessary.

Import of ODB++ jobs

The import module now includes limited support for importing PCB jobs in ODB++ format. An ODB++ job may be imported as a .zip, .gzip, .tgz or .tar archive. When opening an ODB++ project, the layers, outer contour and drill tools are automatically imported and linked. The layers in from the ODB++ project are listed in the ODB++ Layers tab.

If a layer has been linked incorrectly, right-click to link it to a different layer. If the board has inner contours, track routing or scoring, then these must be specified in the normal manner. The stackup, finish and mask colors must also be specified.

If the ODB++ project contains multiple steps, you must choose which step to open. In most cases, one step will be the board and another step will be a panel containing the board. If you are unsure which step to open, choose any step. After viewing the step, you can reopen the file to view a different step, if necessary. The import module has some limitations when working with panelized steps, so we recommend importing the board step and using the Panelization module to create your panel.

Note: Import of ODB++ files is a new technology in the Import module. It has not yet been widely tested by Macaos. Please inspect your board carefully before publishing. If you encounter problems, you can help us improve the ODB++ engine by using the Help|Send problem report command to send us your files together with a description of the problem.

Import of HPGL files

The Import Module has limited support for plotter files in HP-GL format. HP-GL files may be included in a product for documentation purposes only.

Due to the nature of the HP-GL format it is not possible to reliably detect an HP-GL file without parsing the entire file. Therefore, the Import Module detects HP-GL files as Text (or Other, if the file contains plotter setup escape sequences).

To view an HP-GL file, right-click on the file name and choose Change file type|HP-GL. The file will be displayed in the viewer. To include the file in a product, link the file to a User layer. It is not possible to link an HP-GL file to any other layer.

Align pick and place files with Gerber data

If the coordinate origin of pick and place data is different from that of the Gerber data, the offset can be aligned in the same manner as when aligning drill data with Gerber data.

Panelization improvements

Flip board in panel

An individual board in a panel may be flipped upside-down. When a board is flipped, it is mirrored and all of its layers are swapped from top to bottom (and vice versa). This is useful when creating a panel where it is desirable to use the same solder paste stencil for both sides of the panel, or when necessary to improve the copper balance of the panel.

To flip a board, press Shift+Space while the mouse cursor is above the board to be flipped. (The board does not need to be selected.

Clear zone for fiducials

The clear zone around a fiducial mark may be specified as the diameter or width of a circle or square (depending on the soldermask shape). When copper fill is selected for outer layers, then the copper fill will be removed from the clear zone of each fiducial.

Pull scoring line back from panel edges

Scoring lines extend normally from one edge of a panel to the opposite edge. Individual scoring lines may be pulled back from the outside panel edge to the inside edge of the panel frame by holding the mouse cursor over the end of the scoring line and pressing Ctrl+V. Note: Manufacturing a panel with this feature requires Jump Scoring. Not all manufacturers are able to deliver panels with Jump Scoring.

Copper fill on inner layers

Copper fill on inner layers is now generated as a pattern of 5mm diameter dots rather than as solid copper..

Product number layer for multi-product panels

When working with multi-product panels, an additional Product number layer shows the placement and product number of each board in the panel. This layer is for documentation purposes only and may not be exported as a manufacturing layer.

Stencil improvements

Define reduced thickness region based on objects from any layer

When defining a reduced thickness region based on selected objects, the objects may be selected from any layer. The reduced thickness region may either be a rectangle surrounding the selected objects, or may follow the shape(s) of the selected objects plus an "oversize" dimension.

Viewer improvements

View from below

Press the M key to toggle the view between view from above and view from below. When viewed from below, the board is mirrored and only the bottom side layers are visible. This is useful if you wish to see what the bottom side of the product will look like.

Rotate view

Press the R key to toggle the view between unrotated and rotated by 90 degrees. This is useful when viewing a tall, narrow board to make it fit better into the available screen space.

Screen dump

Press Ctrl+V to copy the product viewer image to the clipboard. Press Ctrl+Shift+V to save the product viewer image as a file in PNG (Portable Network Graphics) format.

Padstack details

Press Ctrl+Alt and click on a drill hole to display a list of hole and pad diameters.

Other changes

Recently published folder

A new standard folder has been added to the product browser. The Recently published folder lists all products which have been published within the past month.

Filter order history and statistics

The order history viewer, accessible with the Tools|Order history menu command, may be filtered to show statistics for a single product or for a selected time frame.

Upload certification documents

If you wish, you may upload documentation about yourself to the server. Typically, this would be done by a PCB designer who wishes to attach their professional certificates (such as an IPC CID+ certificate) to the products which they have designed. Your uploaded documents may be viewed when viewing the product history for any product that you have published.

To upload a document, choose the Tools|Upload certification document menu command, and select the file you wish to upload. You may upload more than one file (but only one at a time).

Macaos Enterprise 3.7 (March 2013)

Macaos Enterprise 3.7 (March 2013) Bruce

Product browser improvements

Modify product specifications

If a product has not yet been purchased, then some product specifications may be modified. Modifiable specifications include: Name, Article no., Description, Stackup, Solder mask and Legend color(s), and Surface finish.

Create product variant

It may sometimes be useful to create a copy of a product with a different stackup, surface finish or color. The variant product is a copy of the original product, where any of the following specifications may be changed: Name, Article no., Description, Stackup, Solder mask and Legend color(s), and Surface finish.

Put products "on hold"

At times, it may be desirable to block a product from use. This can be done by putting the product "on hold." An "on hold" product is marked with a red and white triangle icon and listed in the On hold folder. It may not be panelized, purchased or used to make a stencil. To put a product "on hold", right click on the product and choose Put product "on hold." To release an "on hold" product, right-click and choose Remove from "on hold."

Hide seldom used folders

Seldom used folders may be hidden from the folders list by right-clicking and choosing Hide folder. Hidden folders may be viewed with the View|Show hidden folders menu command. When hidden folders are visible, their text is gray rather than black. Right-click on a hidden folder and choose Show folder to restore it to normal visibility.

Expanded print functionality

The print button now allows you to choose between printing a layout documentation set, a stackup drawing or a panel drawing (if available).

Import product from Macaos Gallery

Use the Tools|Import product from Macaos Gallery menu command to import a product from Macaos Gallery into Macaos Enterprise.

Panelization improvements

Automatic panelization

Panels may be automatically generated from scripts. A script specifies an ideal panel size, as well as maximum and minimum dimensions. The automatic panel generator steps the board as close as feasible to the ideal size.

A script may also specify panel parameters such as frame width, corners, copper fill, routing or scoring, break-off tab style, bad marks and break-off holes. In addition, any number of fiducials, tooling holes or slots and annotation fields may be added to the panel frame.

The Autopanel menu lists the available panelization scripts. Clicking on a script name in the menu runs the script and generates the panel.

Scripts may be created or modified in the panelization module's script manager, accessed by the Autopanel|Script manager menu command. It is also possible to download scripts that have been created by EMS providers and import them into the script manager. Right-click on the list of scripts and choose Downloadable scripts to open the download site in your web browser.

Scoring in multi-product panels

Scoring may be selected for a multi-product panel. This is only possible if all of the boards in each row (or column) of a panel have the same height (or width). It is not possible to select or move boards once scoring has been specified. Therefore, all boards should be placed prior to selecting X-scoring or Y-scoring.

Break-off holes

The break-off hole generator has been improved to better follow the contour of each board in the panel.

Alignment lines

When moving boards within a panel, vertical and/or horizontal lines show when the board is aligned with the edge(s) of other boards i the panel.

2-dimensional barcodes (Data Matrix ECC 200)

A Data Matrix 2-D bar code may be added to the frame of a panel.

Registration control coupon

A registration control coupon may be added to the frame of a panel. The coupon has a combination of thin lines and plated holes, for use with cross-section or registration testing of the finished panel. The product number is encoded as a Data Matrix at either end of the coupon.

Rotate a board in a panel with scoring

A board in a panel with scoring may be rotated 180 degrees by pressing the space key while the mouse cursor is above the board to rotate.

Import module improvements

Improved linking of files to layers

The import module incorporates a new functionality for automatically linking files to their corresponding layers. This approach uses a simplified artificial intelligence engine to analyze all filenames together with the contents of text files (if any) and assign the files to layers. This approach is most useful for users who import files from multiple sources.

The link filters functionality is also still available for use. This approach is more suitable for users who import files from only one or two CAD systems.

A new Autolink menu has been added to ease switching between the autolink modes.

Import board specifications from an existing product

The board specifications and mimimum feature sizes may be imported from an existing product and used when publishing a new product. Use the Edit|Import board specs from existing product menu command, and enter the product number. Be sure to edit any specifications that are not identical to the existing product, especially the board name. This feature is especially useful when importing a new product that is a revision of an existing product.

Let contour follow inside of lines

If the lines that describe an outer contour are larger than 0.6 mm, then the user may choose whether the center of the lines or the inner edge of the lines will be used to define the board contour.

2-dimensional barcodes (Data Matrix ECC 200)

A Data Matrix 2-D bar code may be added to a board.

Stencil module improvements

Automatic stencil creation

Stencils may be automatically generated from scripts. A script specifies the stencil frame and thickness, placement of data in the stencil, detection of fiducial and default reduction of openings.

The autostencil menu lists the available scripts. Clicking on a script name in the menu runs the script and generates the stencil. Additional modifications may be made as necessary before publishing the stencil.

 Scripts may be created or modified in the stencil module's script manager, accessed by the Autostencil|Script manager menu command. It is also possible to download scripts that have been created by EMS providers and import them into the script manager. Right-click on the list of scripts and choose Downloadable scripts to open the download site in your web browser.

If a panel is generated from a panel script and a stencil script with the same name exists, then a stencil may be automatically created immediately after publishing the panel.

Problem report facility

The problem report facility has been added to the Stencil module, under the Help menu.

Viewer improvements

Snap to feature when measuring

When making measurements, you can press the X key to snap the cursor to the nearest object endpoint. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Move the cursor near the object endpoint where you wish to start measuring.
  2. Press the X key and the cursor will move to the endpoint. Release the X key.
  3. Click the left mouse button to begin measuring.
  4. While holding the mouse button down, move the cursor near the object endpoint to which you wish to measure.
  5. Press the X key and the cursor will move to the endpoint. Release the X key.

An object endpoint is the start or endpoint of a line or arc, the center point of a hole or pad, or any vertex of a polygon.

Note that some CAD systems create what may appear to be a pad or polygon as a set of lines and arcs. In this case, the cursor will snap to the line or arc endpoint.

Other changes

View order history and statistics

Use the Tools|Order history menu command to open the order history and statistics summary for your company.

Pro version

All functionality that was previously reserved for users with Pro licenses is now available for all users. There is no "pro version" of Macaos Enterprise release 3.7.

User manual

There are no longer separate user manuals for the import and panelization modules. All information is contained in one user manual, which may be opened from the Help menu in the product browser, import module or panelization module.

What's new

Use the Help|What's new in this version menu command to open this web page.

Macaos Enterprise 3.6 (March 2012)

Macaos Enterprise 3.6 (March 2012) Bruce

Print a documentation set

Generate a PDF document with technical drawings of each layer in a PCB or paste mask product. A stackup drawing and drill template drawings are also included. The title block texts (such as owner, title, date and drawing number) for the document may be specified as desired.

Panelization improvements

Scoring in multi-product panels

Scoring may be selected for a multi-product panel. This is only possible if all of the boards in each row (or column) of a panel have the same height (or width).

Break-off holes

The break-off hole generator has been improved to better follow the contour of each board in the panel.

Alignment lines

When moving boards within a panel, vertical and/or horizontal lines show when the board is aligned with the edge(s) of other boards i the panel.

Macaos Enterprise 3.5 (December 2011)

Macaos Enterprise 3.5 (December 2011) Bruce

Import module improvements

Automation improvements when importing files

We have made a number of changes further automate the import process.

Automated drill file scaling

In many cases, the drill files will automatically be scaled to match the scale of the Gerber files. Boards with very few drill holes, or where only a small portion of the board has drill holes, may not be scaled automatically.

Automated contour selection

Outer and inner contours are automatically detected/created in many cases. Track routing and scoring must still be specified manually. Note: If the Gerber file for the board layer contains a drawing frame or title block, then contours will not be automatically detected.

Unpack .rar files

Compressed archives in rar format can be opened in the same manner as zip files.

Link filter sharing

User defined link filters are stored online, so that they may be shared with other users in your company. We are also constantly looking at ways to improve and expand the link filters built into the system.

Paste drill tool specifications into the tool list

Copying tool definitions

If drill tool diameters are not defined in the drill file, they are probably defined in one of the text files generated by your CAD system. If you right-click on the file and choose View file, you can select the lines of text that specify the tool definitions and copy them to the clipboard. Then go to the Drill tools tab, right-click on the tool list and choose Paste tool sizes from clipboard to load the tool definitions into the tool list. Note: you should only copy the lines of text that define tools. Do not copy any other text into the clipboard.

Get assistance from an engineer

If you are still having trouble getting your files imported properly, you can send them to a Macaos engineer with the Help|Request assistance from a Macaos engineer menu command. The engineer will import your files and return an import (*.mei) file to you by e-mail. After opening the .mei file in the Import module, you can add symbols and complete board specifications (as necessary), prior to publishing the product.

Improved stackup drawing

Stackup drawing

We have refurbished the PDF stackup drawing, to give a more detailed and accurate view of the stackup. Right-click in the stackup viewer (in the stackup selection dialog box) to generate a PDF stackup drawing. The drawing follows ISO standards for the frame and title block.

A product stackup drawing is automatically generated when a product is published. If the product has blind or buried vias, these are shown in the stackup drawing. The product stackup drawing may be viewed or printed from the Macaos Enterprise product viewer.

Macaos Pro users have the option of entering their own text into the various fields of the drawing's title block. In this manner technical drawings for project documentation may be easily created, with title, drawing number, revision, etc. in accordance with the requirements of your organization.

Aluminium stackups

It is now possible to specify an aluminium carrier or core when defining a custom buildup.

Board specifications accessible in tabs

Two new tabs have been added to the product specifications tabs. Board specifications and statistics are shown in these tabs, rather than in a dialog box. This makes it possible to use the graphic viewer while viewing the product data, which can be useful when measuring minimum track, clearance and annular ring values.

Additional layer definitions

Three additional documentationlayer definitions have been added (to Additional layers) for assembly drawings and drill drawings in Gerber format.

Show/hide top or bottom layers

Right-click on the layers overview to show top, bottom or all layers, or to hide all layers.

Panelization improvements

Stackup drawing

A product stackup drawing is automatically generated when a panel is published. If the panel has blind or buried vias, these are shown in the stackup drawing. The product stackup drawing may be viewed or printed from the Macaos Enterprise product viewer.

Available only with pro license

Macaos Pro users have the option of entering their own text into the various fields of the title block. This feature applies both to the panel drawing and the product stackup drawing. In this manner technical drawings for project documentation may be easily created, with title, drawing number, revision, etc. in accordance with the requirements of your organization.

Default panel settings

With the Tools|Settings menu command, you can choose between specifying the default panelization settings at program startup, or automatically remembering the specifications used last time the program was run.

Other improvements

Request a quotation for assembly of a PCB

RFQ for assembly dialog box

RFQ for assembly button

You can automatically send an RFQ to Electronic Manufacturing Service (EMS) providers for a selected PCB. The EMS providers will view your PCB and component info in Macaos Enterprise and then return a quotation to you by e-mail.

Create solder paste stencils with variable thickness

When creating a solder paste stencil, you may define regions that are to have a different thickness than the thickness of the stencil. Regions may either have a reduced thickness (by etching the region) or an expanded thickness (by gluing additional material to the stencil). Defining variable thickness regions will give you more control over the amount of solder paste deposited on component pads.

New color scheme in viewer

The product viewer has been given a new color scheme which more accurately matches the colors of a typical PCB. You can restore the older color scheme by right-clicking on a layer name and choosing Restore classic colors.

Multiple login identities

If you use multiple user logins, Macaos Enterprise will allow you to select an identity when logging in. To enable this feature, set a check mark by the File|Remember multiple passwords menu command.

Get new password

If you have forgotten your login name or password, click on the Get new password button in the login dialog box. A new password will be sent to you by e-mail.

Commit order dialog box

Commit order dialog box

The Commit Order dialog box has a summary of the order, including contents of the shopping basket, price and delivery info for each item, invoice info and total price for the order. You may add a purchase order number and additional comments, if desired.

View packing list

When viewing the order history for a product, you may click on the pack list number to view the package contents and a link to the shipper's online tracking system (where available).

Macaos Enterprise 3.4 (December 2010)

Macaos Enterprise 3.4 (December 2010) Bruce

Panelization module improvements

Multi-product panels

Multi-product panelsIn many cases, it may be desirable to put several different boards together into a panel. For example, by putting the different boards in a system together into a panel, it would be possible to order one panel per system. Often, the price of a multi-product panel will be substantially lower than the price of the same quantity of boards ordered individually.

Select a board in the product browser and open the panelization module. Press Ctrl+R to open the product chooser, which lists all board products that match the stackup (or number of layers) and finish/colors (if selected) of the first product. Drag a product from the product list into the panel to add the board to the panel. Move the board to the desired location and click to place the board.

All boards should be placed on the panel before adding tabs, fiducials, drill holes, etc. If no tabs are added to the panel, then the boards will be delivered as individual boards.

Move and rotate boards within a panel

Any board in a panel may be moved or rotated as desired. Draw a selection rectangle over part of a board's contour to select the board. The board will move with the mouse, but will automatically snap to align with the edges of neighboring boards. Press Ctrl to disable snap. Press the space bar to rotate 90 degrees. Click to place the board into the panel.

Add assembly masks to a panel

Peel-off mask

Add data for peel-off mask (blue mask), paste mask, glue mask, carbon or hard gold to a panel.

Often, the necessary data for assembly masks is missing from the Gerber files created by the board designer. Especially in cases where assembly is being done by an EMS provider, this missing data can be a problem. It is the EMS provider who knows the processes and needs to specify the masks, but getting this information to the board designer early enough to be included in the design is usually not possible. With this feature, the mask areas may be specified by the production engineer while creating the assembly panel.

Masks are specified by drawing rectangles on the panel. The user selects whether the mask will be applied to the entire rectangle or to all soldermask openings within the rectangle. This is repeated at the same location on all instances of the same board. The following assembly masks (top or bottom side) may be defined:

  • Peel-off mask (Blue mask): Used to protect a region from the solder process(es). Normally applied to an entire rectangle.
  • Paste mask: Defines openings in a solder mask stencil. This data may then be used in the Stencil Module to create a stencil product. Normally applied to pads within the rectangle.
  • Glue mask: Defines openings in a glue mask stencil. Normally applied to an entire rectangle drawn between the pads of a component.
  • Hard gold: Defines which pads should have a hard (electrolytic) gold (finger contact) finish. Normally applied to pads within the rectangle.
  • Carbon: Defines which pads should have a carbon (finger contact) finish. Normally applied to pads within the rectangle.

Import module improvements

Custom stackup definition

Define custom stackups

Specify custom layer buildups as a "free build" or a "constrained build" .

  • Free build: Define the copper layers and total thickness
  • Constrained build: Define the copper layers and the individual dielectric layers thicknesses

Dielectric layers may be specified by thickness or by prepreg glass style. Combinationions of prepregs (such as 1x1080+2x7628) are permitted.

The thickness tolerance may be specified. However, one should only choose a tolerance different from the default value of 10% if required by the design, due to the potential for substantial increases in production costs and lead time.

Commonly used dielectric materials may be selected from the drop-down box, or the material may be specified as a text string.

Right-click on the word "Metal" to add plating above or below an inner layer, for use with buried vias or sequential buildup.

Fiducial marks at specified coordinates.

Fiducials may be added to a board at specified coordinates by pressing Ctrl+Alt and then clicking on the board.

Stencil module improvements

Split stencil opening

Split large stencil openings into an array of smaller openings

Often it is desirable to split a large stencil opening into an array of smaller openings. This can give better control over the total amount of solder paste deposited on a large pad. The number of columns and rows in the array may be specified, as well as the size of the split openings. By default, the split openings are reduced 10% relative to the un-split opening size. The viewer allows the user to see how the opening will be split prior to applying changes to the stencil.

View pad size adjustments

All of the pad size adjustments are listed in a table on the Shape Manipulation tab. Clicking on a row in the list causes the pads with that adjustment to be highlighted. This feature makes it easy to see what adjustments have been made to which pads.

Product browser improvements

Add assembly masks to existing products

Available only with pro license

Add data for peel-off mask (blue mask), paste mask, glue mask, carbon or hard gold to an existing product by selecting the product and clicking the Add masks button. Assembly mask data is added in the same manner as for panels (described above).

Standard folders

Four new standard folders have been added to the product browser.

  • Shipped orders: Orders which have been shipped within the past week.
  • Recent orders: Orders placed within the past 3 months.
  • Global products: Products which may be purchased by anyone. These are typically kits for student projects.
  • Bargain products: Products which are in stock at the supplier (due to overproduction) and which may be available for a reduced price.

Product search

It is now possible to choose between "begins with", "ends with", "equals" and "contains" when searching for a product.

Product history

A new progress indicator shows the status of active orders.

Macaos Enterprise 3.3 (March 2010)

Macaos Enterprise 3.3 (March 2010) Bruce

Import module improvements

More silkscreen symbols

More silkscreen symbols

Add ESD-susceptibliity and RoHs symbols to the component legend or solder mask layer of your board. You can also add an annotation field (a filled rectangle) for adding serial numbers or other handwritten information.

Bar code

Bar code

Add a bar code to the component legend layer of your board. Bar codes are generated in standard Code128-B format.

Define custom stackups

Custom stackup definition

Specify custom layer buildups in detail with the new custom build definition module in the stackup selection dialog box. Or choose one of your previously defined custom stackups.

Right-click on the stackup viewer to open a detailed stackup diagram in PDF format.

Fiducial marks

Add fiducial marks to your board. If Pick and place data or paste mask data exist, then fiducials are added to those layers as well.

New autolink filters

Pre-defined autolink filters have been added for Proteus and CADint 4.x

Panelization module improvements

Bar code

Bar code

Add a bar code to the component legend layer of the panel frame. Bar codes are generated in standard Code128-B format.

Annotation field

Add an annotation field (a filled rectangle) for adding serial numbers or other handwritten information to the frame of a panel.

Stencil module improvements

Improved shape manipulations

Select and highlight objects before adjusting them. Select all objects having the same size/shape. Shapes adjustments are made relative to the size of the corresponding copper pad. Corner rounding may be specified.

Objects may be deleted

Select and delete unwanted objects from the stencil data. Delete unused frames from the frame manager.

Product browser improvements

Product browser columns

Two new configurable columns (Article and Description) have been added to the product browser. Use Show/hide columns in the View menu to turn them on or off.

Product info

Right-click on the stackup viewer to open a detailed stackup diagram in PDF format or to copy a simple stackup diagram to the clipboard in text format.

Product viewer

Add documentation files to a product. Right-click on the file list (below the layer list) to add a file to the product. This feature is intended for keeping component assembly documentation together with the product. (Note: Documents added to a product after an order has been placed will not necessarily be used by the manufacturer.)

If a product contains a UL-mark, this is indicated with a text just above the cursor coordinates.

Product history

An expected shipment date column has been added to the product history view.

Macaos Enterprise 3.2 (December 2009)

Macaos Enterprise 3.2 (December 2009) Bruce

Stencil Product CreatorStencil Product Creator

Create a new solder paste stencil product from an existing PCB product or from a Gerber file. Choose from one of our pre-defined stencil frames, or upload your own. Reduce opening sizes globally or individually and see the results compared to the copper pads. Once the stencil product is defined, publish it to the product browser for pricing and ordering.

Pick and Place data

Pick and Place data

Import pick and place data together with Gerber files. Pick and Place data is automatically stepped when panelizing a board product. Right-click on a Pick&Place layer and choose from several formats for Pick and Place output.

Specify files as assembly documentation to insure that they follow the product throughout the fabrication and assembly processes.

More silkscreen symbols

More silkscreen symbols

Additional symbols for the component legend or solder mask layer of your board are available:

  • WEEE symbol
  • Recycle symbol


Improved product searching

The product search dialog now lists the names of folders where the product may be found.

You may now assign your own article and description to products which have been shared to you by partners. This should make it easier to organize and locate partner products.

Autolink filter for Proteus

A pre-defined link filter has been added for Proteus files. You may need to open the link filter manager (Edit|Link filters) to enable the new filter.

Rounded corners on panels

When panelizing a product, it is possible to specify that the corners of the panel frame should be rounded. This makes it easier to load panels into processing machines.

Macaos Enterprise 3.1 (October 2009)

Macaos Enterprise 3.1 (October 2009) Bruce

New panelization features

Three new features have been added to the Panelization Module:

  • Fill area outside of boards with copper
  • Bad-board marks
  • Break-off holes in panel frame


Silkscreen symbols

Silkscreen symbols

Add symbols to the component legend or solder mask layer of your board. The following symbols are available:

  • Lead-free symbol
  • CE-mark


Complex Contour EditorComplex Contour Editor

At times, complex contours may be difficult to define, due to the Import Module's requirement that an outer or inner contour be a closed loop without gaps or overlaps. By holding down the Ctrl and Alt keys while selecting a contour, you can open the Complex Contour Editor, which lists all of the selected segments and indicates any breaks with bold-faced text. You may add or delete segments to try to correct the situation, or simply use the information presented as an aid to correct the layout in your CAD system.

Macaos Enterprise 3.0 (July 2009)

Macaos Enterprise 3.0 (July 2009) Bruce

Panelization ModulePanelization Module

With the new Panelization Module, you can quickly step up a single board to an array suitable for assembly. Specify the number of boards, frame width and board spacing. Break-off tabs are automatically added, but these may be modified as necessary. Add tooling holes, fiducial marks and text and then publish the finished panel to the Product Browser.

New viewer features

Cursor coordinates and board size are displayed at the bottom of the layer list.

Left-click and drag to measure distances in the viewer.

New import features

Support has been added to the Import Module for the following:

  • combined positive and negative Gerber files on same layer.
  • plated inner contours
  • G85 slots in drill files
  • placement of UL-marks
  • rotation of manufacturer's batch number