Altium NEXUS Documentation


Created: May 4, 2019 | Updated: May 4, 2019

Parent page: EDMD Commands

The following pre-packaged resources, derived from this base command, are available:

Applied Parameters: None


This command is used to import a ProStep EDMD Baseline file that has been created by the mechanical designer - otherwise called the MCAD Baseline file (MCAD Baseline.idx). Collaboration between the ECAD and MCAD domains uses ProStep's Electrical Design, Mechanical Design (EDMD) standard for data exchange, that is based on XML protocol. This collaborative standard is often simply referred to by the name of the exchange file format - IDX (Incremental Design EXchange format). With this intermediate exchange file (*.idx), an electrical designer can export only changes to the board design that are needed (and of value) by the mechanical designer. Conversely, the mechanical designer can float change proposals back to the electrical designer, who can then import those changes back into their design.

For a high level overview of this ECAD-MCAD collaborative functionality, see IDX Support.
Support for this standard of collaboration between ECAD and MCAD domains is available in Altium NEXUS, courtesy of the Mechanical CAD Collaboration extension. This extension allows you to incrementally exchange data between Altium NEXUS and mechanical CAD applications (such as SOLIDWORKS), using the ProStep EDMD exchange format. Functionality includes support for change requests, as well as the transfer of Cu geometry.


This command is accessed from the PCB Editor by choosing the File » Import » MCAD IDX Baseline command from the main menus.

The command is only available once the Mechanical CAD Collaboration software extension is installed in Altium NEXUS. This extension can be found on the Purchased tab of the Extensions & Updates view (click on the  control at the top-right of the workspace and choose Extensions and Updates from the menu). You will need to restart Altium NEXUS to complete the installation.


After launching the command, the Import MCAD Baseline dialog will appear from where you can browse to and specify the MCAD Baseline file (MCAD Baseline.idx) and the PCB document into which proposed changes are to be synchronized.

Once the MCAD Baseline EDMD file has been imported, collaboration proceeds through the Mechanical CAD Collaboration panel.


  1. Altium NEXUS supports IDX format version 2.0 only.
  2. The Mechanical CAD Collaboration panel provides controls for keeping changes synchronized between the ECAD and MCAD domains. Changes are proposed through EDMD Changes files:

    1. If the mechanical designer has proposed some changes and sent them across in a new EDMD Changes file, the panel allows those changes to be received (imported) into the PCB design, for consideration.

    2. If some changes have been made to the board, the panel can detect these changes (except copper changes) and list them, ready for export to an EDMD Changes file, that is subsequently made available to the mechanical designer.
Found an issue with this document? Highlight the area, then use Ctrl+Enter to report it.

Contact Us

Contact our corporate or local offices directly.

We're sorry to hear the article wasn't helpful to you.
Could you take a moment to tell us why?
200 characters remaining
You are reporting an issue with the following selected text
and/or image within the active document: