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As the CAD to CAM process developed, more and more files were added to the "Gerber File Set". Management of the file collection was/is a manual job. To this day, there is no fully adopted standard file collection schema.
The nature of the 3D Viewer does not allow for ignoring the purpose of each file. Like in the PCB factory, files have to be ordered in stackup, drill files assigned to specific layer spans, etc. This task can be performed automatically by using file names and a set of editable rules. The picture below shows a modified File Explorer window in action:
Alternatively, you can load your Gerber files manually, using provided File Explorer, by buttons, or by drag-and-drop.
In any case, the stackup needs additional adjustments. For example, files might be freely shifted between fields (stackup, drills, ...) or reordered by the drag-and-drop action.
Right-Click on each column and line allows adjusting parameters, like layer thickness, file function (e.g. copper or silkscreen), or drill layer span.
Please save the arranged stackup / job. This will speed up loading the board next time.
We are using a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) via Direct3D to display the image. The drawn/painted layer contains a lot of overlapped objects. Another example is a track in a plane. First, a part of the plane is cleared, and other elements are drawn in the resulting hole. All this higher-level construct must be converted to optimal positive mesh. The result is that even a complicated PCB can be displayed by moderate GPU, usually at 60fps.
A drawback of the flattening stage and triangulation is the time it takes before passing the mesh to the GPU.
The rendering speed allows animating the displayed components, creating unique impressions of rotation, movement, spreading, and stripping layers of the PCB.
The approach lets you keep the frame of reference - it is clear where you are, what had happened to create a particular view.
Please see the video below, showing the navigation possibilities.
Please see the video below, showing the animated selection of layers.