It’s rare these days to find a mechanical design that exists in isolation with no PCB counterpart. As connected as the physical customer experience is, our ECAD/MCAD design collaboration process is commonly fragmented and separate, with both sides vying for control and struggling to communicate. And we all know what this leads to:

When we looked at the traditional design environment in several companies, what we found is mechanical designers leading the workflow process, with the mechanical enclosure being the final determinant for how a design would come to completion.

Changing the mechanical designer’s tool would lead to a disruption in this traditional structure, and the weak link was clearly the PCB design tool being used that had no intelligent data connection with the mechanical environment.

SOLIDWORKS PCB (formerly PCBWorks from Altium) unites the electrical (ECAD) and mechanical (MCAD) worlds by streamlining collaboration between the two. Engineered specifically for collaboration with SOLIDWORKS, an electrical designer can export 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. Ultimately, this level of collaboration and integration brings harmony to the overall design process - a process that while traversing these two distinct parallel paths, ultimately delivers a single product to market.

And from the PCB design perspective, SOLIDWORKS PCB meets all of your expectations. With a streamlined interface built atop a powerful PCB Design engine, it provides the tools necessary to capture and layout your boards, and produce the manufacturing data with which to turn your ideas into physical reality. And all from within a unified design environment.

Key Benefits

  • Ensures that design data is as accurate as possible by using SOLIDWORKS native Parasolid file format directly in SOLIDWORKS PCB - by using native loss-less files instead of error-prone translations,
  • Parasolid provides the most accurate representation of your design intent and keeps your mechanical and electrical data in sync.
  • Avoids tedious importing/exporting of STEP models between ECAD and MCAD systems
  • Actively make changes to component placement, board shape, and mounting holes on your PCB directly in your SOLIDWORKS environment, syncing data with SOLIDWORKS PCB easily with managed ECOs.
  • Avoid missed time to market
  • Avoid design revisions and prototype costs skyrocketing from failed communication processes
  • Multiple revisions can be solved first time with a properly implemented collaboration system
  • Moderately complex PCB prototypes are costly - avoid numerous prototypes that fail to fit the mechanical enclosure
  • Gain an even greater degree of control over your PCB design process with access to copper traces from board designs