Altium aims to integrate PCB with SolidWorks design

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Altium is looking to bridge the world of product and PCB design with its extension tool for more collaborative design

A new extension for Altium’s flagship PCB design tool, Altium Designer, should help facilitate collaboration between mechanical and electronic design teams with integrated design data.

The MCAD Co-Designer: SolidWorks extension, by integrating directly, should allow for better collaborative process on projects without having to interrupt their existing workflow efficiencies.

Altium suggests that current trends in product design, including connected products, require a more tightly interwoven design process between electrical and mechanical design teams.

Component models and electrical data can be worked on independently in both design environments

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“The MCAD Co-Designer extension adds a number of new design efficiencies to an already highly-productive design environment in Altium Designer,” said Jason Hingston, CTO at Altium.

“We’re really excited to see how design collaboration begins to evolve organically between electrical and mechanical designers when there’s no longer that divisive wall between the two design environments.”
Dated Design Trends

With the new version designers are able to make changes to component placement and board shape in their respective design environments, with changes pushed through a new ECAD/MCAD project collaboration server, which notifies the designer of changes made and provides the option to accept or reject changes as desired.

With design data being linked between Altium Designer and the SolidWorks environment, designers can export board assemblies to the CAD software with included copper information, allowing mechanical designers to perform thermal, vibration, and other mechanical simulations.

The extension is set to offer new distinct workflows and lifecycles, allowing electrical and mechanical designers to maintain their existing workflow productivity with no interruptions to their design environment.

Component models and electrical data can be worked on independently in both design environments, and completed design data can then be joined into a unified component model.

The MCAD Co-Designer extension is available now as an upgrade to Altium Subscription for all current or prospective Altium Designer customers.