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The information in the sliding panel below is presented according to your  corporate role .
Note: you can also slide the pages using the small arrow buttons outside the panel.

Center Piece

Why Should I Care?

The name of the game is "time to market". In the PCB business, wrong component geometry or placement - mistaken footprint, interference with a connector, missing a mounting hole, daughter-board mismatch - all will necessitate a board re-spin - with minimum delays of 6-10 days for simple boards, 3-6 weeks or more for complex boards. Not to mention new tooling and doubling manufacturing costs.

Also, looking at the flow from Mechanical to Layout - how many days does your department spend fixing and drawing a complex board outline in PADS that DXF just can not handle properly?

SW_Assy

What Options Do I Have?

It is clear that visualizing the layout - board, holes, components and keepouts - in the same context and environment as the case / enclosure will provide the necessary assurance that the design "fits": components are matched to their footprint and stuffed boards do fit inside their enclosure.

There are three options in the market for PADS - 3D design transfer:

  1. Using the IDF interface - added-cost option that is cumbersome to use and has limited set of features.
  2. Using the PADS 3D output build-in feature (PADS V.9.x and above only)- one way only, output can not be brought into many 3D solid programs for assembly / packaging integration.
  3. Using SolidMaker - Bi-directional full interface. Can bring-in and edit the PCB model in the Mechanical solid program for assembly / packaging integration, as well as bringing back mechanical constrains into the layout. Cost is comparable to the IDF I/F, but you get much improved functionality, easier usage, and a rich 3D Shape libraries at no added cost.

SW_Assy

Verify Mechanical Fit

It is clear that visualizing the layout - board, holes, components and keepouts - in the same context and
environment as the case / enclosure will provide the
necessary assurance that the design "fits": components
are matched to their footprint and stuffed boards do fit
inside their enclosure.

SolidMaker enables the electrical/mechanical integrated design flow. What Option Do I Have? So how do we do that? SolidMaker to the rescue!
A program so simple to use (1 hour learning time,
2 minutes job setup and run time), that a a few mouse
clicks will transform your PCB layout into a 3D solid sub-assembly.

Loading the resulting 3D solid sub-assembly into an existing solid viewer, the Layout Engineer could easily identify wrong packaging, mismatched footprints, or component placement problems. At the same time, the Mechanical Engineer could view the sub-assembly inside the overall enclosure to verify proper fit.


Center Piece

Identify Footprint Mistakes

The name of the game is "time to market". In the PCB business, a mistake in a component geometry or placement - wrong footprint, interference with a connector, missing a mounting hole, daughter-board mismatch - all will necessitate a board re-spin - with minimum delays of 6-10 days for simple boards, 3-6 weeks or more for complex boards. Not to mention new tooling and repeat manufacturing costs.

SolidMaker show your layout designer the full PCB model in 3D - board, pads, keppouts and components and their terminals. In one visual scan one can easily identify mismatched pins-to-pads, undersizes holes for THP parts, mismatched power semiconductors (e.g. flat TO-220) to their clamping holes - you get the picture...

Layout Engineer

While PCB layout systems are optimized for placing components and routing traces, there are two major deficiencies that may require inordinate amount of time to resolve or will affect the manufacturability of the board :


1. Complex board outlines. Let's face it: layout systems are not even close to the mechanical design capabilities of dedicated mechanical design programs like Autocad or SolidWorks. When you try to use your layout system with its limited geometric capabilities, you must approximate the board contour by lines and arcs. This can take many hours for a complex board. Common practice is to import DXF - however, there are know issues with such mechanism, and the first to suffer are complex arcs.

With SolidMaker, the mechanical designer uses her capable system to create the board outline, and with a few button clicks in SolidMaker you get it into your layout - be it either PADS or Allegro. The most complex boards and their cutouts are brought in as designed - guaranteed.

Can you design or import such boards with your current layout system? It took 6 mouse clickes with SolidMaker to import this solid design done by the Mechanical Dept.

Complex Synthetic Board



2. Mismatch of component's terminals to their pads. We will talk about this later.

Packaging Engineer

How difficult are your board-enclosure integration duties? Have you ever run into a LCD display or an indicator LED missing the panel opening? Have you run into a connector that is too close to the mounting screw head? Or just one too tall a component that interfere with an enclosure divider?

You would not believe how all these issues can be visually observed BEFORE the company commits the board to fabrication. Well, a picture is worth a thousand words...











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