Altium Designer Documentation

Exporting a Design to Ansoft Neutral Format from Altium Designer

Created: October 26, 2022 | Updated: October 26, 2022
Applies to Altium Designer versions: 22 and 23

Supporting your need to work with design files in other formats and with other tools, Altium Designer provides an exporter to export your PCB layouts to the Ansoft™ Neutral file format.

Ansoft was acquired by ANSYS™ and, therefore, the Ansoft Neutral file format is also known after that time as the ANSYS Neutral file format.

Version Support

Altium Designer's Ansoft Exporter exports into version 4.0 Ansoft/ANSYS Neutral file format.

Installing the Ansoft Exporter

The Ansoft Exporter can be installed alongside all other importers and exporters as part of initial installation of Altium Designer. Ensure that the Ansoft option - part of the Importers\Exporters functionality set - is enabled on the Select Design Functionality page of the Altium Designer Installer.

The Ansoft Exporter is selected for installation as part of the Importers\Exporters area of functionality.The Ansoft Exporter is selected for installation as part of the Importers\Exporters area of functionality.

If support has not already been added during initial installation of the software, it can be added from the Configure Platform page when managing the extensions and updates for your installation through the Extensions & Updates view (click on the  control at the top-right of the workspace then choose Extensions and Updates from the menu):

  1. From the Installed page of the view, click the Configure button at the top-right to access the Configure Platform page.

First access the Configure Platform page of the Extensions & Updates view.First access the Configure Platform page of the Extensions & Updates view.

  1. Scroll down the page and enable the entry for Ansoft in the Importers\Exporters region of the page.

Enable the Ansoft option under Importers\Exporters.Enable the Ansoft option under Importers\Exporters.

  1. Click the Apply button at the top-right of the page. Altium Designer must be restarted for the changes to take effect, so click Yes at the dialog prompt.

Accessing and Running the Ansoft Exporter

To access this feature, choose the File » Export » Ansoft Neutral command from the PCB Editor's main menus. In the Export File dialog that opens, specify where and under what name the file is to be stored. By default, the file will be named using the PCB document name and stored in the same folder as the parent project.

The Ansoft exporter extracts component Value parameters from the components on the project's schematics; open the entire Project rather than just the board for the exporter to access these parameters.

With name and location specified as required, click Save. The Ansoft Export dialog will open. Configure further options relating to component naming then click OK to proceed with the export. Once the export has completed, an Information dialog will appear to confirm;  click OK in this dialog.

Export dialogs when exporting to the Ansoft Neutral file format.Export dialogs when exporting to the Ansoft Neutral file format.

Importing to Ansoft/ANSYS Tools

With your PCB design exported, you can then import the design into the required Ansoft/ANSYS tool. These include:

  • ANSYS™ SIwave™ (which can also import data generated from Altium Designer in ODB++ format).
  • Ansoft™ DesignerSI™
  • Ansoft™ HFSS™

Notes on Supported Layers and Objects

All appropriate Altium Designer PCB layers and objects are exported to the file, with the following exceptions:

  • All enabled copper, power plane, mechanical and overlay layers are exported.
  • Layer-stack details, including copper thickness and dielectric properties (material, thickness and dielectric constant) are exported.
  • Text strings are exported as objects rather strings, ensuring that their shapes are accurately represented in the ANF file, regardless of the font used in Altium Designer.


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