Launch your boards layout view and get ready to create some manufacturing outputs.
Navigate to the output dropdown and select ODB++… the IPC2581 file option for Mentor Graphics MUST be generated alongside an ODB++ export.
The following window will launch, many of the parameters only relate to the ODB++ export which we are not using however, some will affect the IPC2581 export so be sure to follow this table very closely.
Output Path: Take note of this, it is where you will find your IPC2581 file.
Log File Path: Also worth taking note of, if there are any errors during the conversion and export of your board they will appear here.
Export Options: ‘Board Outline’ must be selected, ‘Generate Silkscreen Data’, ‘Round Corners’, ‘Part Numbers’ are recommended, ‘Neutralize Nets’ and ‘Advanced Packaging Data’ must not be selected.
Leave all other settings as they are shown and press ‘Advanced Options...’ to configure the final step of your export.
The dialog above will launch, select only the box in the bottom left corner and click ok. Pressing ‘Ok’ in the main dialog will start your file export (you can hit ‘Apply’ to save things as a default for next time when you make the export).
The IPC2581B file you need will be located directly next to the ODB++ file directory, it will be an xml file.