Altium/SolidWorks collaboration tool for PCB design

May 28, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Altium has released a PCB design tool to provide seamless collaboration features for ECAD and MCAD design teams. PCBWorks integrates directly with SolidWorks and existing mechanical workflows.

PCBWorks is a PCB design tool engineered for collaboration with mechanical designers in SolidWorks, a feature that Altium describes as a “never-before-seen collaboration process” between electronic and mechanical design teams. PCBWorks is available globally through a certified network of SolidWorks resellers.

Altium comments, “PCBWorks allows the design process to mirror the product experience by connecting formerly separate modes of design into a single, unified workflow. The traditional barriers between creating something and validating it across these two historically separate domains are gone. Designers can now create the ideal balance between industrial design and electronics functionality.”

Collaboration features include;

  1. ECAD/MCAD collaboration server. SolidWorks users can now make changes to component placement, board shape, and mounting holes on a PCB, and then push those changes to PCBWorks as a managed Engineering Change Order (ECO) to keep design data in sync.
  2. Separate component lifecycles. Lifecycles for components can now be separately managed in their respective design environments. This allows an electrical designer to place a component without waiting for mechanical models to be complete, while linked data allows the component to be updated when the 3D model is finished.
  3. Parasolid support. PCBWorks support for SolidWorks Parasolid file format allows the electrical designer to link directly to native mechanical models for enclosures and component bodies.