Altium Designer Documentation

New in CoDesigner

Modified by Phil Loughhead on Jan 5, 2021
All Contents

Parent page: More about ECAD-MCAD CoDesign

Altium's CoDesigner technology connects the mechanical and electrical design domains, allowing the mechanical and electronic engineers to pass the loaded PCB back and forth.

In Altium Designer this is achieved through an extension that loads and extracts board and component data from the PCB editor, the MCAD CoDesigner extension. In the MCAD software the Altium CoDesigner Add-in performs the same function, loading and extracting board and component data from the MCAD workspace. The ECAD and the MCAD software are brought together by an Altium managed content server, such as Altium 365 or Concord Pro. This acts as a bridge, with both the ECAD and MCAD software connecting to it. The managed content server holds the board and component data, allowing the ECAD and MCAD engineers to continue to work autonomously, Pulling and Pushing their changes when they are ready.

CoDesigner is under continuous development, this page outlines the changes made in each version. Because the CoDesigner extension and Add-ins can be updated separately from the Altium Designer update cycle, this page includes versions information about versions of each, as well as the supported versions of MCAD software.

  • Download and install the version of Add-in you require for your MCAD software from the MCAD CoDesigner Plugins section on the Altium Downloads page.
  • The updates are listed in reverse order on this page - you'll find the latest updates at the top of the page.

New in Altium Designer 20.2/21.0  & CoDesigner 2.2.0

Feature Highlights

Push the Enclosure from MCAD to ECAD

This update sees the addition of support for working at the device assembly level in MCAD and the ability to transfer the enclosure with the board to ECAD. The video below demonstrates the process of including the board assembly in the device enclosure, and transferring the enclosure to Altium Designer.

CoDesigner Ribbon added to Creo

The Altium CoDesigner ribbon has been added to PTC Creo (the ribbon is already available in SOLIDWORKS and Autodesk Inventor). The ribbon provides an easy way of accessing the common PCB-specific design objects needed during the MCAD-ECAD CoDesign process. Use the ribbon buttons to ensure that the correct MCAD object-type is used to create a compatible ECAD object.

New MCAD Planes for Component Placement

CoDesigner now creates top and bottom side component planes in MCAD, which simplifies the process of placing components in MCAD. Components are now placed to ignore the thickness of the soldermask layer.

Support for Via and Pad Copper Barrels

  • Pad Barrels - thruhole Pad barrels are now transferred from ECAD to MCAD when the Build 3D geometry for Copper is enabled in the Altium CoDesigner Settings dialog.
  • Via Barrels - enable the Build Vias option as well to include the Via barrels.

Via and Pad copper barrels are always Pushed from ECAD (left image), use the CoDesigner options described above in MCAD to control if they are Pulled into MCAD (right image).

Simplified CoDesigner Panel

The CoDesigner menu has been updated to include the Help and Settings options that were previously located on the face of the Altium CoDesigner panel.

Improved Support for Keepouts and Rooms

CoDesigner now detects the locked status of Keepouts and Rooms in ECAD, ensuring that these are not moved during a Pull from MCAD.

Versions Supported by CoDesigner 2.2.0

Altium Designer 21.0 with the MCAD CoDesigner extension version 2.2.1

Altium Designer 20.2 with the MCAD CoDesigner extension version 2.2.0

This update has been tested on the following MCAD platforms and Add-in versions:

MCAD Version MCAD Add-In Version
Autodesk Inventor Professional® - versions 2019, 2020, 2021 2.2.0.x
Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS® - versions 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 2.2.0.x
PTC Creo Parametric® - 4.X , 5.X, 6.X, 7.X 2.2.0.x

Release Notes for CoDesigner 2.2.0

MCAD-400 CoDesigner now supports working with a PCB in the context of a Device in MCAD, without switching to the PCB assembly. This makes working between the PCB definition and the enclosure much easier. If there are several PCBs in one device, CoDesigner supports switching between them.
MCAD-786 CoDesigner now builds the copper barrel for plated thruhole pads in MCAD (if the "3D Copper" option is enabled in the settings. This option is required for thermal simulation).
MCAD-796 CoDesigner now builds the copper barrel for Vias in MCAD (the precise 3D geometry of the Via copper and hole through the board). Note: the transfer of changes made to the Vias from MCAD to ECAD is not supported.
MCAD-987 The search for projects in "Choose a PCB project" dialog on MCAD side is now case insensitive.
MCAD-1531 CoDesigner icons now support 4K monitors.
MCAD-1586 CoDesigner is now validating micro-arcs on push from ECAD (along with the micro-segment validation implemented previously).
MCAD-1607 The solution for PTC Creo now includes CoDesigner's toolbar with the commands related to PCB definition.
MCAD-1609 CoDesigner now supports sending the parts of the PCB enclosure from MCAD to ECAD (see MCAD-400 also). User can choose those parts by clicking the new "Enclosure" button on CoDesigner's ribbon toolbar in MCAD.
MCAD-1652 The "Refresh" button has been added to the CoDesigner panel in MCAD. When the button is clicked CoDesigner will detect any board assemblies present in the currently open device assembly. See MCAD-400 also.
MCAD-1679 Internal Plane layers were not transferred from ECAD to MCAD and were not included with the 3D Copper option. Fixed.
MCAD-1689 The performance of updating of the board area properties in MCAD is improved.
MCAD-1693 CoDesigner is now placing the components in MCAD so that they ignore the thickness of the solder mask layer. For the components on PCBs that were pulled in MCAD previously, CoDesigner will show "Stand off height adjustment" change on the first update. Additionally, CoDesigner is now creating two additional planes in MCAD for top and bottom component placement accordingly. The purpose of those planes is to help mechanical engineers with the precise placement of new components, and with making changes to the placement of existing components.
MCAD-1694 The components on rigid-flex boards were placed with the wrong offset in some cases. Fixed.
MCAD-1697 CoDesigner now considers the change of component's stand off height in MCAD (according to the value set up in ECAD) as a separate change type (was covered by "Placement change" previously).
MCAD-1703 The movement and the deletion of locked Keepouts and Rooms are now blocked on Pull into ECAD. This will help electrical engineers prevent accidental changes being made to the "electrical" board areas on the MCAD side.
MCAD-1780 Fixed an issue where an exception could sometimes occur when a New Board was created in MCAD.

New in Altium Designer 20.2 / CoDesigner 2.1.0

Feature Highlights

Support for the Latest MCAD Versions

This release adds support for the following versions of MCAD software:

  • Autodesk Inventor Professional® 2021
  • Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS® (Standard, Pro & Premium) 2021

Updated MCAD CoDesigner Panel

The MCAD Altium CoDesigner panel now has two tabs, labeled Activity, and PCB Definition.

  • Activity - displays the history of Push and Pull operations and the associated comments, as displayed in earlier versions of CoDesigner.
  • PCB Definition - displays Board Area definitions that exist on the board. Currently supported area definitions include Keepouts and Rooms, which can be created on both the MCAD and ECAD sides.
    • Click on a definition to configure Keepout settings, or to add a comment to a Room.
    • If the definition has been renamed in the MCAD feature tree, the change will not be immediately reflected in the PCB Definitions tab of the Altium CoDesigner panel. Switch to the Activity tab then back to the PCB Definitions tab to refresh the definitions.

The MCAD Altium CoDesigner panel now has a PCB Definition tab, use this to configure Rooms and Keepouts that have been added to the board.

New Altium CoDesigner Ribbon

A new Altium CoDesigner Ribbon has been added to SOLIDWORKS and Autodesk Inventor (solution for Creo is coming soon). The tab provides an easy way of accessing the common PCB-specific design objects needed during the MCAD-ECAD CoDesign process. Using these buttons ensures that the correct MCAD object-type is used to create a compatible ECAD object.

Support for Keepouts

A PCB Keepout is a region or area of the board that has been configured to restrict the placement of specific ECAD objects. Keepouts can be defined for either side of the board, or to apply to all PCB layers. The objects that are to be kept out of this area are selected as Keepout Restriction properties.

Defining a Keepout in MCAD:

  • Click the Keep Out Area button on the Altium CoDesigner ribbon.
  • You will be prompted to choose a face, surface or plane, click on the side of board that requires the keepout. If the keepout is to apply to all layers it can be drawn on either side.
  • Click on a suitable MCAD sketch tool, for example Rectangle, to define the keepout. Note that the sketch must only include one contour, internal contours are not supported.
  • Draw the shape required for the keepout.
  • Exit the Sketch mode.
  • The properties of the feature can now be edited. You can think of the keepout as a fence around the keepout area, edit the Depth to a small value, for example 1mm.
  • This keepout will become an Altium Designer layer-specific keepout, on the layer it has been drawn in MCAD. To define an all-layer keepout, in MCAD configure the keepout to extrude in both directions, setting the Depth in the second direction to a value that is large enough to extrude it through the board.
  • Click the MCAD Accept button  to finish the feature definition process. If required, the feature can be renamed in the Feature tree.
  • In the Altium CoDesigner panel, select the PCB Definition tab and configure the keepout restrictions as required. The keepout can now be pushed to Altium Designer, where it will be added as a Keepout Region. Depending on how it was configured in MCAD, it will become a Top Layer Keepout, a Bottom Layer Keepout, or a Keepout Layer Keepout. If required the keepout shape can be adjusted in Altium Designer, and pushed back to MCAD.

Support for Rooms

A PCB Room is a design rule that is used to define an area that specific components must be placed in, or excluded from. A common use for this rule is to define a component height restriction in the board area covered by the Room. Typically the Room rule will be applied to an individual component, or a class of components.

Defining a Room in MCAD:

  • Click the Text Note Room button on the Altium CoDesigner ribbon.
  • You will be prompted to choose a face, surface or plane, click on the side of board that requires the room.
  • Click on a suitable MCAD sketch tool, for example Rectangle, to define the room. Note that the sketch must only include one contour, internal contours are not supported.
  • Draw the shape required for the room.
  • Exit the Sketch mode.
  • Click the MCAD Accept button  to finish the feature definition process. If required, the feature can be renamed in the Feature tree.
  • In the Altium CoDesigner panel, select the PCB Definition tab and enter a comment for the room that explains its purpose to the ECAD engineer. The room can now be pushed to Altium Designer, where it will be added as an Altium Designer Placement Room design rule, on the layer it has been drawn in MCAD. The only property that can be transferred between MCAD and ECAD is the Comment, which becomes the Placement Room design rule comment.
  • The Placement Room design room can now be configured as required in Altium Designer.

Keepout areas and Rooms can now be defined in MCAD and pushed to ECAD.

Notes about transferring Board Areas:

  • Fill and Solid Region ECAD Keepout Regions are supported.
  • Because the ECAD Keepout objects do not include a unique identifier or an object name, ECAD to MCAD Keepout changes are made by removing the existing object and adding a new object (with a new MCAD name).
  • Changes made to ECAD Rooms are also marked as removed and added during an ECAD to MCAD change, but the Name and Comment are retained.

Important Note about Versions: If there is potential that the ECAD extension has been updated but the MCAD plugin has not, be careful when you are applying MCAD to ECAD changes. If you have Keepouts and Rooms defined on the PCB in ECAD, CoDesigner will suggest to delete them. The solution is simply to reject those changes in ECAD, so that the Keepouts and Rooms are retained.

Improved Support for the Transfer of Layer Colors

The color of the Core layer defined in ECAD is now transferred and applied to the board part in MCAD. The color and transparency of the Solder Mask layers defined in ECAD is now transferred to MCAD and applied to the corresponding decals in MCAD.

Solder Mask and Core colors are transferred between ECAD and MCAD.

Renaming the Board in ECAD

Changes made to the name of the board in Altium Designer are now supported. A board that has already been pushed to MCAD can now be renamed, and pushed again to MCAD.

Versions Supported by CoDesigner 2.1.0

Altium Designer 20.2 with the MCAD CoDesigner extension version 2.1.0.1033

This update has been tested on the following MCAD platforms and Add-in versions:

MCAD Version MCAD Add-In Version
Autodesk Inventor Professional® - versions 2019, 2020, 2021 2.1.0.6
Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS® - versions 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 2.1.0.7
PTC Creo Parametric® - 4.X , 5.X, 6.X, 7.X 2.1.0.10

Release Notes for CoDesigner 2.1.0

MCAD-659

"View Changes" and "Discard" buttons are shown in the change notifications in the Collaboration Panel in Altium NEXUS now.

MCAD-738

CoDesigner now logs most of its internal tech events for further potential investigations of tech issues. The logs are saved locally into \Users\{user}\AppData\Local\Altium\Altium CoDesigner folder.

MCAD-910

Some component models which went beyond the border of the rigid region of a rigid-flex board in ECAD were placed incorrectly in SOLIDWORKS. Fixed (the component region in MCAD now includes the component pads).

MCAD-1073

Turning the "Build 3D Geometry of Copper" option OFF did not suppress the Copper assemblies in PTC Creo and Autodesk Inventor. Fixed.

MCAD-1299

CoDesigner now supports the changes made by the user to the name of the board part.

MCAD-1375

The type of a Hole was reset to the default one in SOLIDWORKS if the properties of hole were changed in ECAD. Fixed.

MCAD-1398

CoDesigner now supports defining areas in MCAD, including: a) Keep Out Areas, b) PCB Rooms, referred to as "Text Note Rooms". Both can be created in MCAD using the new CoDesigner ribbon toolbar (supported for SOLIDWORKS and Autodesk Inventor, the solution for PTC Creo is coming soon) or manually as extruded surfaces with the sketch placed on a board face. The new "PCB Definition" tab has been introduced in the CoDesigner panel for working with the properties of these areas. A "Text Note Room" entity created in MCAD is represented as a Room entity in ECAD and can be used for assigning rules such as height limits.

MCAD-1416

Autodesk Inventor 2021 is now officially supported.

MCAD-1417

SOLIDWORKS 2021 is now supported.

MCAD-1442

Construction lines included into the board sketch in SOLIDWORKS caused an error. Fixed.

MCAD-1465

Component Name and Reference Designator are now put into the corresponding property fields in the component properties in a PCB assembly in SOLIDWORKS (previously, ECAD's reference designators were put into the "Component Name" field)

MCAD-1514

Component Names are shown along with the Reference Designators in the Changes' Table on pull in MCAD now.

MCAD-1519

The deletion of the Free 3D Bodies that are deleted in ECAD is now allowed when pulling a PCB on MCAD side (with the warning for the models placed in MCAD).

MCAD-1520

"Altium CoDesigner" ribbon toolbar is now provided for SOLIDWORKS and Autodesk Inventor users. The ribbon currently includes commands for creating holes, cutouts and board areas. Note: the solution for PTC Creo is coming soon.

MCAD-1528

The order of decals (the pictures that are representing copper, silkscreen and solder mask on a board face) applied in SOLIDWORKS has been changed. Now the order (from a board face) is: Copper, Solder mask, Silkscreen.

MCAD-1536

The 'default_dec_places' param was set up for the entire session in PTC Creo. Now it's set up for the PCB models only.

MCAD-1567

The different decimal separators used in ECAD and in MCAD in non-English Windows locales caused error on pull in ECAD. Fixed.

MCAD-1571

The way of applying color properties to the board itself and to the board layers in MCAD has been changed. Now all the color properties are applied according to what is set up in the 3D View Properties in ECAD.

MCAD-1577

CoDesigner plugin for Autodesk Inventor was installed for the current user only, which caused some issues if that user is not an administrator. Now the plugin is installed for all Windows users.

MCAD-1588

Performance improvements: The algorithm for building holes in SOLIDWORKS (it was one of the slowest operations) has been improved, PCBs with many holes are now built approx twice as fast.

MCAD-1594

"Use common folder for storing models that are coming from ECAD" option was ignored in Autodesk Inventor. Fixed.

MCAD-1600

The decals representing the Paste layers are not sent from ECAD to MCAD anymore.

MCAD-1612

Auto-update mechanism of MCAD plugins did not work from behind a proxy. Fixed.

MCAD-1614

The way of storing decals (the pictures that are representing copper, silkscreen and solder mask on a board face) has been changed: a) they are now stored in the same folder where the board part is stored, b) the path to a decal is not assigned anymore, only the name of a decal is kept.

MCAD-1629

Re-annotation of PCB in ECAD (changing the reference designators for components) caused the usage of the wrong models in MCAD in some cases. Fixed.

MCAD-1685

PCB component parameters were not always synchronizing to MCAD. Fixed.


New in Altium Designer 20.2 / CoDesigner 2.0.5

Feature Highlights

Support for PCB Variants

Altium Designer allows the electronics designer to create variations of the product they are designing. Supported variations include: flagging a component as not fitted; modifying a component's parameters, including the component value that is silkscreened on the board; or replacing a component with an alternate component (which may or may not use a different footprint).

In Altium Designer, there is only one board design. Variant information, such as details about an alternate component, is stored in the project file and applied to the board when the variant is selected in the Projects panel. The [No Variations] version of the board is saved as the PcbDoc.

Altium Designer can be used to create variations of a board design.

Pushing a Variant from ECAD

For this release, CoDesigner has been updated to support Pushing and Pulling a specific variant of a board between ECAD and MCAD. When you perform a Push from ECAD, you are pushing the variant you are currently looking at in the PCB editor.

Double-click in the Projects panel to select the required variant to be Pushed.

Each time a board is Pushed from Altium Designer to the managed content server, it overwrites the data saved during the previous Push. If multiple variants need to be pushed, each variant must be Pulled to MCAD and saved before the next variant is Pushed from Altium Designer.

Pulling a Variant in to MCAD

A PCB variant is Pulled to MCAD in the same way as a non-variant PCB, by clicking Pull Board from Server button in the Altium CoDesigner panel. If the board is a variant, additional information detailing the variant name is displayed at the top of the Altium CoDesigner panel, as shown below.

Each component that is varied is identified by including the variant name in the designator, as detailed below.

  • Non-varied component: <EcadDesignator>
  • Varied component: <EcadDesignator>_VARIANT_<VariantName>

Varied components are identified by their MCAD part name and their designator.

Because the default name for the MCAD board assembly is the project name, it is recommended to save each variant assembly with a variant-related name.

Pushing a Variant from MCAD

In MCAD, CoDesigner is aware if a component is part of the base design [No Variations], or belongs to a specific variant. Changes made to a component in the base design [No Variations] will impact all variants of the board in Altium Designer, while changes made in a specific variant will only be applied to that variant in Altium Designer.

Modifications made to a variant are pushed from MCAD to ECAD in the usual way, by clicking Push in the Altium CoDesigner panel.

Pulling a Variant in to ECAD

If you attempt to perform a Pull in to Altium Designer and the wrong variant is currently active, you will receive the following error message. The applicable variant name is displayed in the Error dialog, switch to that variant and Pull again.

The Pull cannot be completed as the wrong variant is active in Altium Designer.

If there have been changes made to a component in the base design, they can be applied in any variant in Altium Designer. Those changes will then be present in all variants in Altium Designer.

Read about CoDesigner and PCB Variants

► Learn more about creating Variants in Altium Designer

Improved Support for Problematic Models

Each ECAD and MCAD tool has its own model conversion software, offering different levels of support for importing and converting a model that has issues with inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the model description. To help in this situation CoDesigner now transfers single-body Parasolid models directly from ECAD to MCAD, without transformation and without converting (which could sometimes result in the corruption of a model).

If a model is causing problems during a Push-Pull between ECAD and MCAD, extract it from the ECAD component, import it into your MCAD software and save it out as Parasolid (confirming that it opens correctly in MCAD), then import it back into the ECAD component.

When you are importing the Parasolid model back in to ECAD, there are different techniques you can use to orient and position the model in the PCB library editor:

Position and orient the model using the Properties panel

Position and orient the model using the Orient and Position 3D Body command

Learn more about the Requirements for the MCAD and ECAD models

Versions Supported by CoDesigner 2.0.5

Altium Designer 20.2 with the MCAD CoDesigner extension version 2.0.5.885

This update has been tested on the following MCAD platforms and Add-in versions:

MCAD Version MCAD Add-In Version
Autodesk Inventor Professional® - versions 2019, 2020 2.0.5.52
Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS® - versions 2018, 2019, 2020 2.0.5.68
PTC Creo Parametric® - 4.X , 5.X, 6.X, 7.X 2.0.5.60

Release Notes for CoDesigner 2.0.5

MCAD-1098 CoDesigner can now synchronize PCB Variants from ECAD to MCAD and back. The Variants can be synchronized one by one, without creating product configurations in MCAD (CoDesigner shows which variant is currently in sync there).
MCAD-1167 Wrong header was shown for warning messages from the Collaboration Panel in Altium NEXUS. Fixed.
MCAD-1168 CoDesigner now reports the absolute time of push and pull actions in ECAD in order to avoid any confusion when the user took a long break after doing a sync.
MCAD-1185 CoDesigner now shows the coordinates of problematic points in the units being used for the board (previously they were always shown in mils).
MCAD-1228 Rigid-flex board support: CoDesigner now detects the situation when one of the ends of a split line is covered by a cutout on push from ECAD (which means that most probably a coordinate system that is used for mating a component assembly will not be created in MCAD properly) and warns user.
MCAD-1252 CoDesigner now transfers the single-body Parasolid models imported into the footprints to MCAD without transformation and without converting. This helps avoid model corruption that can occur during these steps in some cases.
MCAD-1287 CoDesigner now reads the server MCAD component placement settings on each push, so there is no need to restart the ECAD/MCAD software after changing the settings.
MCAD-1346 Rigid-flex boards support: CoDesigner now allows the synchronization of the movement of pads that are placed on a flex segment and represented by a body-less component.
MCAD-1424 On pull from ECAD, CoDesigner now reports components that do not have designators.
MCAD-1452 Free 3D bodies were not sent from Inventor 2020 to ECAD due to the modern version of Parasolid used. Fixed.
MCAD-1464 Tolerance settings were wrongly set up by CoDesigner in PTC Creo. CoDesigner now stopped to set up those settings.
MCAD-1476 Placement change was wrongly shown in the changes' table in MCAD for the components which were initially placed in MCAD on the bottom face of a board. Fixed.
MCAD-1477 Incorrect standoff height was defined on pull in ECAD for Free 3D Bodies placed on the bottom face of a board on MCAD side in some cases. Fixed.
MCAD-1485 UI: "Help" button has been moved to the top of CoDesigner's panel in MCAD.
MCAD-831 CoDesigner was not able to read a board outline in PTC Creo if that outline was created as a reference to a part located in a parent assembly (eg an outline created as an offset from an enclosure). Fixed.
MCAD-854 Changes made to the 3D models in MCAD were not synchronized with ECAD and vice versa. Fixed.
MCAD-903 CoDesigner now builds a hole with its center located outside of the board outline as a cut extrude in MCAD, in order to avoid incorrect behavior in MCAD.

New in Altium Designer 20.2 / CoDesigner 2.0.4

Feature Highlights

Rigid-Flex Board Definition in MCAD

Substantial improvements to rigid-flex support – the board shape and bending definitions can be now be defined and modified in SOLIDWORKS® and components can be placed and moved in SOLIDWORKS. (rigid-flex support for PTC Creo® and Autodesk Inventor® coming in a future update)

The board shape and bending definitions can now be defined and modified in SOLIDWORKS.

Learn more about Synchronizing a Rigid-Flex Board

Stronger Support for Complex Board Shapes

Improved support for board shape definition issues – micro-segments and self-intersections in the ECAD board sketch are now detected and reported on Push. Their locations are detailed, and are fixed automatically in MCAD where possible.

For issues that cannot be resolved in MCAD, learn more about Resolving Issues with the Board Contour in ECAD

Improved Component Synchronization

Handling of locked components has been simplified – Fixed or Constrained MCAD parts now translate to Locked components in ECAD, and Locked in ECAD becomes Fixed in MCAD. Changes to the Locked/Fixed state now synchronizes between MCAD and ECAD.

ECAD component properties now transfer to MCAD – All ECAD PCB component parameters now transfer to the MCAD part.

Altium Designer PCB component parameters transfer to the equivalent MCAD part.

Versions Supported by CoDesigner 2.0.4

Altium Designer 20.2 with the MCAD CoDesigner extension version 2.0.4.829

This update has been tested on the following MCAD platforms and Add-in versions:

MCAD Version MCAD Add-In Version
Autodesk Inventor Professional® - versions 2019, 2020 2.0.4.45
Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS® - versions 2018, 2019, 2020 2.0.4.62
PTC Creo Parametric® - 4.X , 5.X, 6.X, 7.X 2.0.4.53

Release Notes for CoDesigner 2.0.4

MCAD-1394 PTC Creo crashed on editing the definition of a component outside of context of PCB assembly. Fixed.
MCAD-1367 PTC Creo crashed on applying changes on the secondary pull if there were ECAD components with the long names. Fixed.
MCAD-1294 Sync Component Holes change appeared in change table on each pull in SolidWorks for components that have more than two slotted self-intersected pads. Fixed.
MCAD-1285 Sign In by pressing Enter didn't work in Inventor plugin. Fixed.
MCAD-1283 Added support for PTC Creo 7.
MCAD-1276 Rigid-Flex boards support: Validation of the minimum acceptable distance between a bending area and a split line is added.
MCAD-1258 All the properties of components transferred from Altium Designer are applied to the corresponding models in MCAD now.
MCAD-1239 The UI of the Settings dialog in MCAD plugins is simplified and unified for all the MCADs supported. The settings for handling fixed/locked state and for auto-constraining in SolidWorks are removed (see MCAD-788)
MCAD-1236 Rigid-Flex boards support: Undoing changes to the board outline which were made in MCAD and applied in ECAD, and pulling those changes again in ECAD broke the board structure in ECAD. Fixed.
MCAD-1222 CoDesigner now checks if PCB project includes Variants and warns user that Variants are not supported yet.
MCAD-1221 The list of available workspaces was not shown in CoDesigner panel in ECAD if user opened a PCB stored locally. Fixed.
MCAD-1192 The versioning of the model of exchange data is introduced. If the version of ECAD extension or the version of MCAD plugin doesn't correspond the version of the model of data stored on the server, CoDesigner will warn user.
MCAD-1191 Old coordinates were shown in the warning/error messages in ECAD if the ECAD board origin was relocated to the new position.
MCAD-1188 Rigid-Flex boards support: The structure of a rigid PCB created on MCAD side was broken after transforming it to a rigid-flex PCB in ECAD and sending back to MCAD. Fixed.
MCAD-1187 Components that were placed in MCAD and then recognized in ECAD were shifted if the board outline was moved to the negative coordinates in MCAD. Fixed.
MCAD-1183 Rigid-Flex boards support: SolidWorks stopped working on applying changes to the bend angle on some boards. Fixed.
MCAD-1166 Wrong preview of a free 3D body was shown in ECAD if the model was rotated for more than 45 degrees around Y axis in MCAD. Fixed
MCAD-1165 Wrong preview of a free 3D body was shown and the corresponding change appeared again in the changes' table in ECAD if the model was rotated around X axis in Inventor. Fixed
MCAD-1164 'Placement changed' change was wrongly shown for a free 3D body in ECAD on the second pull despite the corresponding change having already been applied. Fixed
MCAD-1163 A bend was not created in MCAD in some cases if there was a cutout placed in the middle of that bend. Fixed.
MCAD-1161 Decals were shifted in some cases on the rounded-shaped boards in Creo. Fixed.
MCAD-1159 Some improvements to keyboard support were made in the MCAD "Select Project" dialog.
MCAD-1119 CoDesigner now detects issues with the board contours (micro-segments, self-intersecting contours) on push on ECAD side in order to prevent sending boards that can't be built in MCAD.
MCAD-1104 MCAD stopped working if a PCB assembly was opened locally after stopping the CoDesigner Server. Fixed.
MCAD-1102 Rigid-Flex boards support: Mechanical engineers can now add and delete the rigid and flex regions as well as bends on a rigid-flex board in MCAD.
MCAD-1101 CoDesigner now shows the coordinates of problematic elements of cutout contours.
MCAD-1070 There was no preview of a cutout shape change in ECAD, for changes made on MCAD side. Fixed.
MCAD-1067 The behavior with interpreting holes and cutouts on push in Solidworks is changed (unified with other MCADs supported): an extruded cut is now always transferred to ECAD as a cutout.
MCAD-1066 Component holes are always created in SolidWorks now (unified with other MCADs supported). The corresponding option is removed from the settings.
MCAD-1063 The link to the documentation on CoDesigner panel in ECAD didn't work if a project was not available online. Fixed.
MCAD-1060 Wrong message was shown in the Collaboration Panel in NEXUS if a project was just made available on the server. Fixed.
MCAD-1054 Wrong preview was shown in MCAD for a component that was initially placed in MCAD and then recognized in ECAD and then deleted if its Z axis was oriented horizontally. Fixed.
MCAD-1046 CoDesigner now warns user when it's impossible to define the rotation of a component that was synchronized between MCAD and ECAD but has no 3D bodies embedded.
MCAD-1028 Push comments made in MCAD were not shown in ECAD if there were no changes detected. Fixed.
MCAD-1025 The preview for the hole placement change made in ECAD was not shown in MCAD. Fixed.
MCAD-1019 CoDesigner now warns the user if the "-" symbol is detected in component designators in ECAD (that symbol is reserved for internal purposes).
MCAD-990 CoDesigner now informs the MCAD user that issues with micro segments in the board sketch that came from ECAD, are fixed automatically in MCAD.
MCAD-968 UI improvements: Options to switch between Altium 365 and a Custom Server have been made more obvious in MCAD plugin.
MCAD-955 Rigid-flex boards support: CoDesigner now checks for issues with the board definition on push on ECAD side: if a bending area touches/overlaps another bending area or a split line.
MCAD-944 Component holes with a self-intersecting contour are created as separate features in MCAD now.
MCAD-943 Rigid-flex boards support: CoDesigner now shows the preview of component placement changes (it is shown in the unfolded state).
MCAD-942 UI improvements: The default size of the "Open Project" dialog has been decreased, and the dialog opens in the center of the screen now.
MCAD-926 Rigid-Flex boards support: Internal contours made in the board outline sketch in MCAD are not supported anymore. CoDesigner now warns the user if such a contour is detected.
MCAD-867 CoDesigner failed to create a circular-shaped PCB in Creo. Fixed.
MCAD-840 CoDesigner in Creo failed to create a cutout located at the corner of the PCB if the cutout including the board corner point. Fixed.
MCAD-839 The Board Outline shifted to negative coordinates in ECAD after undoing changes that came from MCAD, if that board had negative coordinates in MCAD. Fixed.
MCAD-793 CoDesigner now validates components placed on the MCAD side if the "Component Recognition" option is turned ON, and warns the user if there are no corresponding components found on Altium's server.
MCAD-788 The behavior with handling ECAD's "locked" state and MCAD's "fixed" and "constrained" states is changed. The dynamic constraints to the board face are not created automatically in MCAD anymore. The “Mate Electrical Components to Board” and "Fix components on board" options are removed from the settings of SolidWorks plugin. If a component is fixed or constrained in MCAD, it becomes locked in ECAD (regardless of if that constraint allows any movements within the PCB assembly or not). If a component is locked in ECAD, it becomes fixed in MCAD unless it's constrained there. The removal of locked/fixed state is synchronized between MCAD and ECAD as well.
MCAD-709 CoDesigner now allows the user to re-connect to the server if the connection has been lost.

New in Altium Designer 20.1 / CoDesigner 2.0.3

Stronger Support for Complex Board Shapes and Components

This release sees substantial improvement in the support for passing PCB designs back and forth between Altium Designer and your favorite MCAD design software.

This support includes:

  • Bi-directional transfer of complex board shapes with cutouts
  • Bi-directional transfer of placed components as 3D models
  • MCAD to ECAD transfer of native components
  • ECAD to MCAD transfer of native components (Creo only)
  • Support for rigid-flex PCBs (SOLIDWORKS only)

Versions Supported by CoDesigner 2.0.3

Altium Designer 20.1 with the MCAD CoDesigner extension version 2.0.3.721

This update has been tested on the following MCAD platforms and Add-in versions:

MCAD Version MCAD Add-In Version
Autodesk Inventor Professional® - versions 2019, 2020 2.0.3.27
Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS® - versions 2018, 2019, 2020 2.0.3.30
PTC Creo Parametric® - 4.X , 5.X, 6.X 2.0.3.31

Release Notes for CoDesigner 2.0.3

MCAD-983 SolidWorks crashed on pull sometimes. The cause of most of these crashes has been found and fixed.
MCAD-1107 Top Solder Mask and Bottom Solder Mask decals are applied as visible in SolidWorks 2019- and as hidden in SolidWorks 2020+ now. Note: previously applying of these decals was disabled because of the issues with the rendering in SolidWorks 2020. Now the user can make them visible manually in SolidWorks 2020+ and then adjust the appearance if necessary.
MCAD-1170 Autodesk Inventor crashed if a board was created on MCAD side. Fixed.
MCAD-1180 The models that are sent to the server are now packed in order to save space and to increase the performance.
MCAD-1186 UI change: the progress bar has been moved from separate window to CoDesigner's panel.

 

 

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