How Altium Designer Integrates ECAD and MCAD Software
Outdated design software with inconsistent workflows have siloed design teams for far too long. Productivity takes a major hit when communication between electrical and mechanical design teams relies on email chains, printed documents, and word processing software. Instead of working with an outdated design workflow that inhibits communication, you need design software that unifies ECAD and MCAD features, making collaboration easy. Only Altium Designer integrates these critical features into a single design platform.
TOPICS IN THIS SOLUTION
A unified PCB design package with the best 3D MCAD features and PCB design tools.
Building a great PCB takes excellent design software, but almost every PCB will appear as part of a complete product. Packaging design, clearances, connectors to external components, and integration in an overall electronic system requires MCAD software and communication between electrical and mechanical design teams.
When the design features your teams need to build a complete product are separated into different programs, you’ll find that your designers become siloed into their respective domains. Communication between teams breaks down and relies on ad hoc processes and external tools that don’t synchronize with your design changes. So how can your teams break out of their silos and collaborate on product design? This is where integrated design software comes in.
The new paradigm in PCB design is integration among formerly disparate design tools. Your productivity during the PCB design process hinges on moving information between members of design teams, which is something you just can’t do when your design features are as siloed as your teams. If you want to give your electrical and mechanical designers a massive productivity boost, enhance collaboration, and prevent design errors, you need design software that integrates ECAD, MCAD, documentation, data management, and simulation capabilities into a single interface.
Why You Need MCAD Capabilities in Your PCB Design Software
Including MCAD capabilities in your PCB design process gives you a full 3D view of every aspect of your design. You’ll be able to see how your product looks before it comes off the assembly line. You can verify packaging dimensions, component clearances, and the overall arrangement of components on your board. You can even get a 3D view of your component and trace layout.
If you use proprietary components or nonstandard components, you’ll need to include footprints and STEP models as part of the mechanical design process. The right PCB design package allows you to link STEP models to your components as part of your design process. If you’re working on rigid-flex boards or a multi-board system, using MCAD software takes the guesswork out of design and helps ensure your boards will meet your packaging requirements.
- When people from different teams are contributing to a new product, proper collaboration is the key to design success.Learn about mechanical and electrical collaboration with the right design software.
- Simple mistakes can arise that cause component placement errors when your ECAD and MCAD software siloes your design teams.Learn more about preventing design errors with integrated ECAD/MCAD software.
- Integrated ECAD and MCAD software lets you use STEP models from other design programs. This collaboration and data management is easy.See how managing 3D STEP models improves productivity and collaboration.
3D view of a finished board in Altium Designer
PCB layout, electronic schematic, and mechanical packaging design used to force members of large design teams into siloes. This hampers collaboration and forces teams to use ad hoc workflows to collaborate critical changes to designs. Critical changes were communicated using email chains without any formal, easily accessible system for compiling and accessing documentation.
Working with design software that integrates ECAD tools with MCAD capabilities gives team members the ability to easily see each other’s changes. Documentation is generated quickly and easily, and everyone can track design changes and prevent miscommunication. Integrated software has truly changed electronic design for the better.
Streamline Collaboration and Documentation with Integrated Software
Now you can overcome the challenges involved in documentation and collaboration when you use design software that integrates ECAD and MCAD capabilities. Building electronic products and designing with MCAD software is easy when you work in this type of unified environment.
- Integrating ECAD and MCAD software into a single interface gives you design capabilities that no other program can match.
- Whether you are using standard or custom components, ultra-accurate MCAD design requires including 3D component models in your component libraries.Learn more about creating and importing 3D component models into your designs.
- ECAD and MCAD design is easy when your integrated design software includes adaptable viewing modes and powerful 3D graphics.
Integrated electrical and MCAD tools in Altium Designer
Instead of suffering through the inefficiencies that result from siloed design teams and separated design software, you can give your design teams a major productivity boost when your design software integrates your ECAD and MCAD design software. Placing design tools in a single program with collaboration, documentation, and deliverable generation features gives your design teams the boost they need to create the best products imaginable.
Altium Designer is the only PCB design program that integrates ECAD and MCAD design tools with a full suite of analysis, data management, and production tools. These features are easy to access, enforce a consistent workflow, and interface directly with standard design tools. The underlying rules-driven engine ensures your design meets basic and custom design rules, ensuring your next product will squash the competition.
Working with ECAD and 3D MCAD Software in Altium Designer
Mechanical and electrical design teams no longer need to remain siloed due to the use of separate tools. Altium Designer provides fully integrated ECAD and 3D MCAD design features into a single program. Now you can use one program to design your electronic device and its packaging. Altium Designer includes the best design features you need to create the most intricate PCBs without using outdated workflows in multiple programs.
- Altium Designer is the only PCB design platform that integrates 3D MCAD capabilities in a single program.Learn more about the native 3D design features in Altium Designer.
- Working with rigid-flex boards is much easier when 3D MCAD features are integrated into your PCB design software.Learn more about rigid-flex design in Altium Designer.
- If your organization still uses outdated PCB design software, migrating your design data to Altium Designer is easy.Learn more about switching to Altium Designer.
Whether you’re a mechanical designer, electrical engineer, or professional PCB designer, Altium Designer has something for everybody. The integrated MCAD/ECAD features interface with powerful PCB design tools that expedite the design and production process. The collaboration and data management tools improve the quality of your designs and your workflow. Only Altium Designer offers all these tools in an integrated design environment.
MCAD programs have been around for some time, and switching to an integrated MCAD/ECAD design platform may seem daunting. Thankfully, when you switch to Altium Designer, you’ll have access to resources to help you get started and use all the features successfully. You’ll have access to an extensive knowledge base, the AltiumLive forum, podcasts and webinars from industry experts, and plenty of feature tutorials.
The days of siloed teams, lack of collaboration, and sending design files between multiple programs are over. No other design platform places the ECAD and MCAD design tools you need in a single program. Now teams can easily collaborate on electrical and mechanical design projects in Altium Designer. You’ll only need one design platform to take your product from idea to production.