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All you need to know about the SMT File Format and SMT software

We live in an era where manufacturers use software to manufacture and assemble electronic devices. Now, unlike in the past, manufacturers have to make sure that they use the right:

  • Hardware and,
  • Software

Using these two components, commercial manufacturing of electronic devices becomes pretty easy. Due to this reason, many manufacturers are turning away from traditional PCB assembly methods and moving on to SMT. But what exactly does SMT software entail? And what does the SMT File Format do? If these questions puzzle you, do not worry because we shall answer them both in this article. In addition, we shall also cover more interesting topics; hence follow along to learn more.

The SMT file: what does it do?

SMT files contain CAD 3-dimensional models. These models are usually in the ASM (Auto Shape Manager) format. SMT files store structure and 3-dimensional information about a component in ASCII text format.

What’s more, you can transfer SMT files between different  apps, for example:

  • AutoCAD
  • Inventor
  • Moldflow Adviser

During the transfer of SMT files across these applications, they do not lose model fidelity.

SMT Files – Extended

The ASM (Auto SHAPE Manager) came from the Autodesk ShaperManager. But what is the ShapeManager, you might wonder? Well, the shapeManager is a 3-dimensional geometry modeling Autodesk inventor component. The component is also found in many other apps and has been in use since the early 2000s.

The ASM format lets you maintain the CAD model’s integrity when transferring models between CAD applications. For instance, you can develop a prototype in the Autodesk inventor application export it as an SMT file. After that, you can then import the model into another app, say Moldflow, for further processing.

ASM has two different extensions and variations:

  • Autodesk shapeManager Binary ( also known as the .SMB file) – saves content in Binary form
  • Autodesk ShapeManager Text (also known as the .SMT file) – saves content in ASCII format

How can you open up an SMT File?

To open SMT files, you must first understand the software that utilizes this file extension. In most cases, many different applications utilize this file format. You can call them file associations.

Some of the most popular apps that utilize this file extension include:

  • QuickBooks
  • IconAuthor SmartObject
  • Apollo Database engine Memo File

You can also easily open up any SMT file using various Autodesk apps, for example:

To get that SMT file up and running in the Autodesk Moldflow adviser app, follow these simple steps:

  1. Move on to the home tab and click it
  2. Head on to the import panel
  3. Import
  4. Select “file of type” on the dropdown list
  5. Select “All models.”
  6. Navigate on to the SMT file, click open

And that is it, you have your SMT file up and running in Moldflow adviser.

If you are using Autodesk FeatureCAM, use the following procedure:

  1. Select file then import
  2. Select file
  3. Click open

With these simple steps, you get your SMT file up and running in no time.

Because SMT files use ASCII text to save your content, that means that you can also open them up in text editors, for example:

  • Microsoft Notepad
  • Apple TextEdit

However, you should also note that opening SMT files using text editors is not the same as opening them using CAD applications. The display is entirely different.

The most recent SMT Software in the Market

The current electronic industry is highly utilizing SMT software to process electronic devices. Due to this, more companies are now working on new SMT software to up the competition. Because of this competition, we now have more efficient apps that we can utilize to work on our projects. Here are some of the most recent SMT applications in the market.

ASM Works

You can now integrate a smart factory into your electronics manufacturing process with ASM works. The core package of ASM works offers a comprehensive solution to manage the shopfloor in a connected factory. What’s more, this software comes with eight upgrade modules. These modules greatly improve factory areas and individual processes according to your specifications.

Advantages of this software to manufacturers include:

  • No interference worries
  • Great compatibility
  • No worries about data transfer in between lines

You can launch and administer this suite’s tools from a central location, making it pretty efficient.

V-ONE

Are you a fan of customization? If so, then you most probably will like the V-ONE software. The software is a pretty customizable platform that lets you make data-driven decisions. Using the V-ONE software, you can access and even monitor a personalized dashboard, wherever they are, using a smart device.

The V-ONE software also helps technicians and operators manage their:

  • Assigned tasks
  • Maintenance tasks.

The most recent V-ONE software version has an e-ticketing functionality that works on mobile phones and PCs. And yes, you can customize the e-tickets to suit your needs. In addition, your clients can also request certain templates to customize their e-tickets.

With the V-ONE software, you get to improve on:

  • Cost
  • Deliver
  • Quality

TestWay

Do you like to take precautions before moving on to make a major step? Well, that is what this software is all about. The TestWay software is a test optimizer simulator that produces outputs that help you:

  • Estimate the test coverage
  • Eliminate any redundancies
  • Minimize escape rate

The software lets you import schematics in varying native formats. It also creates electrical views and digitizes schematics. You can utilize this features to analyze your board against testability rules, boundary rules, and design. After this analysis, you can possibly define custom rules using scripts. What’s more, the software highlights:

  • Design
  • Boundary scans
  • Testability violations

All this makes sure that the board is testable before moving on to build the first print circuit board.

The software lets you import up to twenty native CAD formats. It can also carry out accessibility analysis on any board, which helps in terms of probe placement for FPT and ICT.

Conclusion

Commercial electronics manufacturers look for a:

  • Fast,
  • Cost-friendly,
  • Flexible, and
  • An efficient method to produce electronic devices.

SMT provides all this and more, and hence it has become pretty popular. SMT utilizes software to manufacture electronic devices, which makes it pretty flexible. This software utilizes the SMT file format, which is pretty efficient in this case. As for the software, there exists more than one so do not feel tied up. You can explore to find the one that suits you. We hope this article has given you all the answers you were looking for in terms of SMT files and SMT software.