ECAD-MCAD Presentation 2011


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Altium Designer is known for it's strength as a PCB design tool, first on Windows, and first with true 3D editing and collision detection. This presentation from 2011 highlights the main method now used for working with mechanical design tools and PCB design in Altium Designer.

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ECAD-MCAD Presentation 2011

  1. 1. Achieving MCAD and ECAD Integration
  2. 2. What exactly does this mean?  All Electronics Product Designs, have to fit into some kind of form factor  Increasing complexity of these form factors  Traditional interchange formats increase the difficulty as these form factors increase in complexity.  Fit or Multi-dimensional checking, is a necessity  This interchange needs to be done in Real time Copyright © 2012 Altium Limited 2
  3. 3. Traditional ECAD-MCAD Integration  Getting the electronics to fit into the mechanical enclosure has •DWG - a laborious painful iterative traditionally beenAutoCAD Native Binary Format process. •DXF - Drawing Exchange Format by Autodesk  ECAD and MCAD design Mechanical Design Tool data transfer has traditionally been addressed by -the use Circuit Board file formats that pass basic •IDF Printed of common Data Exchange File 3D Component Model dimensional information between the design applications in each domain: •IGES - Initial Graphics Exchange Specification; DXF/DWG/IDF Input ASME  Data translationY14.26M frequent due to limitations and errors are inconsistencies in the exchange Exchange of Product •STEP - Standard for the format itself (i.e. resolution settings, PCB Footprint version, etc…). data; ISO 10303 Design Tool PCB model Model  Many companies have an archaic ECAD-MCAD methodology in DXF/DWG/IDF Output place and typically welcome any new ideas/capabilities Copyright © 2012 Altium Limited 3
  4. 4. Inherent Problems  2D formats DXF, DWG, and IDF do not support complex features  Height information may not available and is typically entered manually  Correlation of 3D data may be required  Interference checking typically a lengthy painful iterative process (manual) between mechanical designers and electrical designers Copyright © 2012 Altium Limited 4
  5. 5. A New ECAD-MCAD Integration Method  What’s needed is the ability to design and position correctly-sized objects in STEP domains to ensure the overall design fits together as both 3D intended.Component Model STEP Input PCB Design  The ECAD design domain must be able to check the integration of (Altium Designer) PCB design with the mechanical design elements PCB Footprint Model STEP Output  Integrating the MCAD world in a non-proprietary way with ECAD design through the STEP format. Mechanical Design Tool  Bring the mechanical assemblies or case designs from the MCAD system directly into PCB design/layout process. Copyright © 2012 Altium Limited 5
  6. 6. Unifying ECAD and MCAD in the EDA tool  Provide a direct link to external STEP models – a robust, data-rich 3D file format supported all major MCAD software systems  Enable dynamic or live clearance and mechanical (multi-dimensional) fit rule checking  Enable detection of updates to the source STEP models, providing a dynamic link between the electronic and mechanical domains  Multiple boards should be represented by STEP model assemblies  PCB mechanical structures should be created by this same universal format Copyright © 2012 Altium Limited 6
  7. 7. STEP Import and Export  STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data) •AP203–- Configuration controls 3D designs of mechanical parts and assemblies Support for STEP AP203 and STEP AP214 •AP214 - Core data for automotive mechanical design processes  Import and embed a STEP model file into a footprint •AP214 and 203 in the area of 3D mechanical design for electro/electronicmechanical products or link, a STEP model files of the PCB enclosure  Import, embed, •AP214 took over all of the functionality of the earlier AP203 edition and then  Import capabilities significantly extending the a STEP model file to create a board shape  Export a STEP model of the PCB or entire assembly Copyright © 2012 Altium Limited 7
  8. 8. 3D Rule Checking  Component Clearance Rule  Free-Floating 3D Body Clearance Rule  3-D Body Infinite Clearance Rule  Rule Priorities  Live and Batch Rule Checking  Real Time checking between multiple board assemblies Copyright © 2012 Altium Limited 8
  9. 9. Benefits  Results in a significant reduction in the number of design iterations necessary to fully verify mechanical and electrical constraints have been met  Relies on a widely accepted standard format; Not Sticky  Enables early verification of PCB component clearance directly against the real enclosure design  Enables direct DRC feedback during board layout, component placement and even component package choice to suit the proposed enclosure design Copyright © 2012 Altium Limited 9
  10. 10. Competitive Position  Let’s just look at some quotes from the Mentor PADs forum: “I made 2 ideas toward STEP - 3D Functionality of Decals / PCB and 3D import in PADS (June 2008; under consideration) - 3D with PADS: more functionality (July 2009: received)… Altium does a good job (STEP import / export, support of 3D Space Mouse, ...) and i hope that PADS will have soon the same or even more functionality (collision detection, min. distance from Housing to Components or Traces, ...)” - Mentor user, May 2011 Copyright © 2012 Altium Limited 10
  11. 11. Competitive Position  Let’s just look at some quotes from the Cadence forum: “Our company has transitioned tools from Altium to Cadence and one of the features we have lost with Cadence is the ability to export the board outline to our mechanical engineers in a STEP format. 1. Is there a way of exporting this from Allegro PCB? 2. Do you have to buy some costly third party SW to do this? (I am already taking heat for the cost of Cadence versus Altium)” - Cadence user, Aug 2010 Copyright © 2012 Altium Limited 11
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