Altium NEXUS Documentation

ECAD-MCAD Video Tutorials for Altium CoDesigner

Created: November 17, 2020 | Updated: August 4, 2021

Altium CoDesigner brings the electronic and mechanical design worlds together. With this comes the challenge of defining design object and spatial requirements in different design domains, and different design languages. This series of videos will help in the process of understanding how best to transfer your design between the mechanical and electronic design domains.

The videos on this page have been recorded using Altium Designer and SOLIDWORKS®. All of the tasks performed in these videos can also be performed in Altium NEXUS, where you interface to the mechanical CAD tool through the Collaboration panel, instead of the MCAD CoDesigner panel.

This video collection will continue to grow, check back to see the latest additions. You can also Subscribe to the Altium Academy channel and get notified of updates.

MCAD CoDesign video playlist on Youtube

Altium Academy Youtube channel


MCAD CoDesigner Overview

Altium's MCAD CoDesigner allows for seamless design transfer between the Electrical and Mechanical engineers. In this overview, we’ll show you how to transfer the board from Altium NEXUS to your MCAD tool, how to resize the board, add mounting holes, add a new connector, and Push the updated board design back to Altium NEXUS.


Shaping the PCB in MCAD

Through Altium CoDesigner, you can collaborate with a mechanical engineer to shape the PCB in your MCAD tool and keep it updated in Altium NEXUS. This video shows you how to manage that in Altium NEXUS and in your MCAD tool.


Bringing an MCAD Enclosure to ECAD

Altium CoDesigner makes it easy to move a 3D enclosure model from your MCAD tool to Altium NEXUS. This video shows you how, and what to watch out for while you're transferring your enclosure model to Altium NEXUS.

Altium CoDesigner is under constant development, check out how a recent update added support for working at the device assembly level and directly transferring the enclosure with the board from MCAD to ECAD.


PCB Origins During the ECAD-MCAD Exchange

Origins can vary between your MCAD tool and Altium NEXUS. Altium CoDesigner can keep track of your origin point and make sure your design changes are exchanged correctly.


Maintaining MCAD Constraints During Exchange

Altium CoDesigner gives you a few tools to help create a model that remains unified during the ECAD-MCAD Exchange. This video shows you how to make sure your models are transferred correctly between the ECAD and MCAD domains.


How to Reuse Board Shapes in MCAD

You can use the Altium CoDesigner to reuse your board shape or geometry in your PCB. This video shows you how to use the MCAD CoDesigner panel in Altium NEXUS and how to copy your board shape and geometry from your MCAD tool to Altium NEXUS.


Fixing Broken Component Models

Have you got a broken component model that won’t transfer correctly from ECAD to MCAD? This video will show you how to use the Make PCB Library tool, the Extract 3D models tool, and your MCAD tool to correct broken components and make them usable.


Rigid-Flex Board Shape Design in MCAD

MCAD Codesigner allows you to design or edit your rigid-flex board shape in the MCAD environment and then push it back to Altium NEXUS. We’ll show you how to configure the board shape, rigid and flex regions, and mounting holes.

Rigid-flex support is only available for SOLIDWORKS®, support for PTC Creo® and Autodesk Inventor® is coming soon.


Component Placement on a Rigid-Flex PCB

With MCAD CoDesigner, you can quickly add and move components from your MCAD tool and update the design in Altium NEXUS. We’ll show you how to add a new component, move components, change a component’s region in MCAD, and update your design in Altium NEXUS.


Altium MCAD CoDesigner Plugin Installation

Learn how to add MCAD CoDesigner to Altium NEXUS, as well as where and how to download the MCAD plugin for your favorite MCAD tool.


 

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