PADS gains 3D features in Mentor’s PCB tools update

October 22, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Mentor Graphics’ PADS 3D tool capabilities, plus major usability enhancements to the PADS design flow, are part of this release of the PCB design suite, with added visualisation, placement, and design rule checking. Schematic design and layout enhancements improve usability across the flow for increased user productivity.

The 3D engine within the PADS product enables full 3D visualisation, placement, design rule checking and PDF creation, minimising iterations with mechanical and manufacturing teams. The commercial engine also provides faster and more robust performance compared to traditional open-source software, supporting large databases. PADS tool users can import STEP [Standard for The Exchange of Product Data] models, as well as export full PCB assemblies in multiple formats. This release also extends the 3D functionality in the PADS Professional product with an optional four million parts 3D library and ECAD-MCAD collaboration tool. 3D capabilities are scalable depending on the PADS product configuration.

The PADS layout has been updated to include enhanced reference designator placement with physical design reuse elements, improved padstack editing, and updated translator and migration tools. The PADS schematic capture feature now includes the ability to automatically renumber a schematic sheet and update the bill of materials (BOM) report.

Design starts can be accelerated with a new sample library, and access to the Mentor component portal (PartQuest), now populated with schematic symbols, footprints, and parametric data for over 450,000 parts. Translators from competitive tools have been updated, including import of Altium V15 libraries and designs.

The new PADS product release ships in November 2015and will be available in a variety of configurations

Mentor Graphics; - a webinar called “PCB Design with 3D - New Release!” can be accessed there.