STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product model data) is a common CAD file format. STEP files generated using 3rd party CAD drawing software (with *.stp, *.step, *.STP, or *.STEP file extension) can be imported as “CAD Solid” type objects in CHARGE, HEAT, DGTD and FEEM. This page describes the STEP import feature and shows how to import 3D structures from STEP CAD files.
STEP files can be imported in the graphical user interface by selecting 'File' --> 'Import' --> 'STEP', or from the Import menu in the main toolbar. Import can be performed from the script using the stepimport command.
The associated STEP file below can be used to test the import. When imported, each part is imported as a separate object and all imported objects are contained in a structure group within the geometry group in the Objects Tree.
- Supported STEP file types: STEP files in the AP 203 or AP 214 format are supported. Color, tolerance, material or other information in the STEP file that is not related to the geometry of the structure will be discarded.
- Geometry restrictions: Only manifold (boundary representation) solid bodies are imported – wires, surfaces, and faceted solids will not be imported.
- Multi-body parts: A STEP file may contain a single part or multi-body parts. Both single and multi-body import is supported.
- Imported structure hierarchy: For multi-body parts, imported structures are sorted into nested structure groups by part and by body color upon import.
- Progress bar: For complex geometries it might take some time to import and a progress bar with “Cancel” button will appear. If you click “Cancel”, the import will be stopped and no objects will be added.
- Scripting: The same import functionality as the import through the graphical user interface provided through the stepimport script command.
- Scaling: Users can choose to assign a scaling factor for the length units in the STEP file.
- X, Y, Z: The relative position of imported object from the origin of the layout editor.
- USE RELATIVE COORDINATES: If selected the specified position of the object will be relative to the parent object.
The material options are as follows:
MATERIAL: This field can be set to any material included in the material database. It is possible to include new materials in the database, or edit the materials already included. See the material database section for more information.
- OVERRIDE MESH ORDER FROM MATERIAL DATABASE: Select to override the mesh order from the material database and manually set a mesh order. The mesh order is used by the simulation engine to select which material to use when two materials overlap. See the mesh order (optical) or mesh order (electrical) section for more details.
- MESH ORDER: Set the mesh order in this field if the OVERRIDE MESH ORDER FROM MATERIAL DATABASE option is selected. If the option is not selected, the field displays the material's default mesh order from the database. For example, a material of mesh order 1 will take precedence over a material of mesh order 2.
The following only applies to MODE and FDTD:
If <Object defined dielectric> is selected, then the INDEX property must be set.
- INDEX: The refractive index of the structure, when the material type is <Object defined dielectric>. The index must be greater than one.
- Anisotropic index: To specify an anisotropic refractive index, use a semicolon to separate the diagonal xx,yy,zz indices. Eg. 1;1.5;1
- Spatially varying index: It is possible to specify a spatially varying refractive index by entering an equation of the variables x,y,z in this field. Eg. 2+0.1*x will create an object where the refractive index increases in the X direction. The units of the spatial variables (x,y,z) must be set with the 'INDEX UNITS' property described below. The variables x,y,z will be zero in the center of the object. When using an equation in this field, consider using a mesh override region to control the simulation mesh size. For more information on entering equations, see the Equation interpreter section.
- INDEX UNITS: Only relevant when specifying a spatially varying equation in the INDEX properly described above. Specify the units (nm, um, m) of the x,y,z position variables.
- GRID ATTRIBUTE NAME: Enter the name of the grid attribute that applies to this object, see the grid attribute section
The following only applies to CHARGE, HEAT, FEEM, DGTD:
If the material chosen from the drop down menu is a binary alloy consisting of two semiconductors, then there will be an additional property, namely, the "composition fraction" to set as well.
COMPOSITION FRACTION: This is x, the fraction of the semiconductor in the alloy. x can either take a fixed value or vary.
The user can see which semiconductor has fraction x and which has fraction (1-x) shown in a line above this drop down menu.
FIXED: This means that fraction x will be a constant value between 0 and 1.
LINEAR X/Y/Z: This means that the composition fraction x will vary as a function x or y or z. In this case, user can specify the min and max fraction values for the min and max spatial points and the fraction will be interpolated linearly in between. x,y,z here are those of the unrotated object. x,y,z are local to the object.
EQUATION: The user can enter an equation for the fraction that varies with u,v and w. u is (x-x0), v is (y-y0) and w is (z-z0) where x0, y0 and z0 are the center coordinates of the object. This means that u,v and w are local to the object.
Rotate objects by setting the following variables:
- FIRST, SECOND, THIRD AXES: Select rotation axis. Up to three different rotations can be applied.
- ROTATION 1,2,3: The rotation of the object in a clockwise direction about each axis, measured in degrees.
Graphical Rendering tab
The graphical rendering tab is used to change how objects are drawn in the layout editor. The options are:
- RENDER TYPE: The options for drawing the objects are detailed or wireframe. Detailed objects are shaded and their transparency can be set using OVERRIDE COLOR OPACITY FROM MATERIAL DATABASE.
- DETAIL: This is a slider which takes values between 0 and 1. By default it is set to 0.5. Higher detail shows more detail, but increases the time required to draw objects. This setting has no effect on the simulation.
- OVERRIDE COLOR OPACITY FROM MATERIAL DATABASE: When unselected the opacity is determined from the material database. When selected, you can specify a value for ALPHA between 0 (transparent) and 1 (opaque) for the object, depending on how transparent you want the object to be.