Design Automation


3D PCB design tool receives update

16 July 2014 Design Automation

Altium has updated its signature PCB design software, Altium Designer, to version 14.3. In response to feedback from its user community, the latest release focuses on delivering improved support and new features that facilitate design reuse and more efficient electronics design.

Available to all subscription users, the latest version improves Component Variant Support, which gives users the ability to design the schematic and PCB for drop-in replacement and alternative parts. This provides sizeable productivity gains for product variants, while also making it easy to source and manage multiple alternative parts from the supply chain.

To better support 3D rigid-flex designs, the new version features 3D STEP export of rigid-flex PCBs in the folded state. Previously, MCAD designers had to model rigid-flex boards as sheet metal parts, which limited the accuracy of the design. With this update, designers can open the folded model of a flexible PCB in mechanical design tools to ensure correct form and fit. In addition, they can run detailed analysis on the PCB, checking on connections and heat flow.

Other notable features include improvements to schematic wire dragging for easier handling of overlapping wires, net labels and junctions; speed improvements to the interactive routing engine and length tuning tools; improved via stitching and via shielding tools to reduce manual placement and editing of shielding vias; improved internal layer usage for high-density designs with automatic, unused PAD removal; and updated Mentor Graphics PADS and xDX Designer importers.



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