Altium has introduced CoDesigner capability, that gives PCB designers using Altium Designer a much faster and easier way to collaborate with mechanical designers working with tools like PTC Creo, Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS, Autodesk Inventor, and Autodesk Fusion 360.
During the design process of any complex electronics product, both mechanical and PCB designers are continually importing, exporting, and converting files to keep mechanical and electronic designs in sync.
“Export and import of files are what most EDA companies are calling co-design,” says Ted Pawela, Chief Ecosystem Officer at Altium. “That’s like sending someone a letter in the mail and calling it collaboration. Altium CoDesigner simply keeps MCAD synchronized with ECAD so that electronic and mechanical design teams can truly work concurrently.”
Mechanical engineers can use CoDesigner capability at no cost and while staying in their favorite MCAD design environment.
“With CoDesigner capability, we can detect potential problems like we couldn’t before,” reports Jeremie Waller, Sr. Electrical Engineer at Quantel Laser USA, a division of Lumibird, a global leader in laser technology. “We can see silkscreens, hidden vias, make sure polarities are correct, where copper traces are—our models are now 100% complete, including overlay and copper. I don’t have to worry about board shapes, or connector placements, even in very tight spaces. With CoDesigner capability, we have the confidence that everything will fit exactly as planned when it goes to manufacturing,” Waller adds.
Laine McNeil, Sr. Mechanical Engineer at Quantel Laser USA, concurs. “Before we started using Altium’s CoDesigner, there was an element of “Us vs. Them.” It is a much more collaborative process now. We no longer lack context when working with our PCB design teams.”
Altium’s CoDesigner gives mechanical engineers the ability to design alongside PCB designers in real-time and empowers effortless product design reviews.
Accessing CoDesigner is easy for both ECAD and MCAD users. The MCAD CoDesigner extension is included in the standard Altium Designer installation, appearing as a panel that’s always available in the PCB editor. Once MCAD users install the aforementioned plug-in, CoDesigner is just as effortlessly accessible.