Redefine Collaboration with Altium’s Free Software to View CAD Drawings
PCB design collaboration with CAD software becomes easier and faster with Altium’s free PCB viewer. With strong software to view CAD drawings, you and your teams can connect through powerful tools that allow secure read-only access to all design files created. Your design team can access schematics, PCB footprints, BOM entries, and fabrication files while communicating about the next steps of the design process. All this leads to the more efficient use resources for creating footprints, placing components, or defining object properties, establishing the layer stackup, and applying design rules.
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A PCB design software package that design tools with a plethora of simulation tools
Successful PCB design relies on teamwork between you, your team, and your computer-aided design tools. On large projects, hundreds of designers, engineers, manufacturer representatives, and supply chain staff from widespread locations work together to bring the design to market on time and under budget. Their busy schedules require intuitive products that promote teamwork and leave easy to access CAD files.
However, many challenges to achieving teamwork exist. Team members have little time for sorting through emails, notes, and other forms of communication while solving problems or reviewing design. Design teams face challenges with multiple versions of design data that lacks any type of tracking system. A strong CAD viewer or modeling software would help immensely in keeping a professional team feeling like each department speaks in compatible formats.
Altium’s focus on unified PCB design saves time and money. Designers can simultaneously see changes to the board. The ability to simultaneously view schematic generation, PCB layout, and component selection reduces errors caused by navigating between different screens. PCB Viewer allows communication and collaboration to flourish its Managed Projects function. Working from the same source on projects ensures data integrity. Revision management guarantees that your teams will only work with the approved revisions. Functions found within PCB Viewer assist with maintaining consistency across the system and a standardized approach to the design lifecycle.
Altium’s free PCB Viewer allows you and your team to open and use single documents, multipage design product documentation, or to simultaneously view multiple CAD models grouped as part of a design workspace. As an example, PCB Viewer displays schematics, PCB, Gerber, OpenBus, CAM, and OutJob documents through its Document Editors. You can view embedded source files, VHDL files, and script files with PCB Viewer’s Text Editor.
Simplicity and functionality set PCB Viewer apart. Your team—no matter their location—can open documents, projects, and design workspaces by using relevant commands. You can also drag-and-drop documents, project files, or design workspace files directly into PCB Viewer. The functionality given by PCB Viewer allows you to zoom, select, view object properties, generate reports, and print. PCB Viewer provides document .assurance by limiting access to viewing rather than editing.
You can use Schematic Editor main design window to check and print the schematic sheets that form the foundation of design project. Schematic Editor provides the editor-specific menus, tools, and utilities that you need to check for electrical and drafting violations, generate reports, and develop high-quality schematic drawings. Altium’s powerful schematic editing tool recognizes the physical links between objects inside the sheet and associates logical connections between sheets in a multi-sheet design. Each open schematic sheet appears as a tabbed document view in the main design window.
PCB Viewers Offering Output File Management
- Altium offers increased functionality through PCB Viewer’s PCB Editor. As an Editor, you can inspect PCB designs, generate reports, and build assembly drawings through user-friendly tools and utilities. Once you have an active PCB document, PCB Editor’s main design window allows you to view the design in 2D and 3D modes. Open PCB documents appear as a tabbed document view in the main design window.
Learn more about Altium’s PCB Editor with a free trial.
- Your design team needs near-instant access to the Gerber files that link PCB design with PCB manufacturing. PCB Editor provides the capability to convert Gerber files back into layer-specific designs. Then, you can load the file for viewing through PCB Viewer. As a result, you and your team can securely access read-only documents, initiate the design review process, and provide valuable peer feedback.
Learn how Altium enables easier manufacturing output files.
- Altium’s free PCB Viewer give you access to a wide variety of reports and print-outs obtained from an open Output Job Configuration file. The reports include BOMs, component cross references, and other key outputs. With this capability, you can open, view, and generate reports and assembly drawings, composite drawings, PCB prints, schematic prints, composite drill drawings and guides, power-plane prints, final artwork prints, and many drawings and prints. Using the OutputJob Editor and output generators defined in the file, you can access manufacturing and design information. The Editor divides the Output Job file into categories that reflect the function of the output and the predefined output generators.
Learn more about Altium’s Output Job Editor.
The beginnings of a circuit board
Altium presents information and controls through the workspace panels found within PCB Viewer. You can use centralized panel views of design information to develop an efficient, online workflow. With your computer aided design and computer aided drafting, all board information—such as supplier information from more than 100 Altium verified suppliers--resides in one convenient location. CAD viewers and associated CAD files will make it so that your designs make it to that final production stage.
No matter the size of the project need, panels allow you to align controls and information for a specific document editor or at the system-wide level. You can tailor your document windows, panels, and toolbars to your design environment and save everything as a preferred Desktop Layout. For example, you can use the properties panel for access to object attributes and parameters. Using the libraries panel speeds your ability to search and place components.
Make Faster Decisions about Real-time Costs with PCB Viewer
- The interaction needed to complete large PCB design projects relies on accurate information. Altium’s free PCB Viewer allows your team members to live search supplier data through its Supplier Search panel. Enter keywords relevant to the supplier item and select Search. PCB Viewer’s results region will show all the items that match your search criteria and any advanced filtering options. Live searching allows your team to track components and make faster decisions about real-time costs and component obsolescence. In addition, real-time supplier links provide access to the accurate pricing, quantity, and parametric information from popular vendors.
- PCB Viewer gives you and your team a direct connection to supplier web services. You can search across supported suppliers’ databases and view the results without signing in to your Altium account. With access to multiple suppliers, you can save your budget by comparing products and prices. Simply enable suppliers from the System – Suppliers page of the Preferences dialog to search supplier databases from within PCB Viewer. Restricted access to the Live Links to Supplier Data feature prevents the creation of Supplier Links or the importing of Supplier data.
Learn more about the Supplier Data available from Altium.
- Altium’s PCB viewer centralizes the information and enhances access through the Altium Vault. In addition, PCB Viewer synchronizes component information and simultaneously updates design changes made to schematic symbols, PCB footprints, and BOM entries. Your goal of comprehensive integration has become reality through Altium’s free PCB Viewer.
Learn more about Altium’s free PCB Viewer.
Collaborative design tools working together
Your team needs a product that covers the entire electronic product lifecycle. Altium’s PCB Viewer speeds your design review process and encourages quick peer feedback. By giving unified access to all members of your team—board designers, engineers, mechanical designers, manufacturing representatives, CAD librarians, and others—PCB Viewer creates a single efficient and complete workflow. Native 3D PCB design allows you and your team to visualize the PCB and to integrate the mechanical design flow into the PCB design.
Along with giving easy, read-only access to designs, PCB Viewer provides the ability to print, cross probe, and examine design projects and documents created through Altium Designer.
Integration to the Best PCB Design Software
Keep your CAD models safe, and allow yourself to edit designs in a straightforward and quick fashion. The latest drawing and modeling software will be more than just an app, Altium Designer will provide you with professional CAD models. Furthermore, Altium Designer allows for full integration of the files you need to use, including the ability to import DXF files.
- Altium’s application of unified data models allows anyone on your team to find objects in the PCB environment.
Learn more about Altium Designer’s Unified Design Environment.
- The cross probing feature found in PCB Viewer allows your team to select groups of components from the schematic and then automatically select footprint counterparts in the PCB environment.
Learn more about how to best utilize Altium’s Schematic Capture and Footprint features.
- Version control allows your team to compare different PCB layouts and schematic visually and to spot potential errors early in the design process.
Learn more about Atium’s strong version control.
An old cliché says that “nothing is for free.” Altium’s free PCB viewer turns that old cliché upside down and gives new meanings to collaboration and service. Sign in to your registered account with Altium to download PCB Viewer from the AltiumLive community site. Don’t have a registered account? Create your registered Altium account by selecting the Create Account option.