For the purpose of this migration guide we are going to focus on importing CADstar Schematic and PCB Designs, if you require other files migrated please refer to their specific guide.
Before You Start to Import
This guide will show you how to import data from your legacy system into Altium Designer. What it will not ask is “why do you want to do it?” Customers frequently ask about data import facilities before we go forward however we need to ask ourselves why.
"We have 20 years of data and I don’t want to leave it behind."
"Our service bureau doesn’t use Altium but they can import Altium data. Our Altium system can import their data, is this a reliable way to pass designs between our companies?"
"We have some ‘golden’ designs that we need to bring into Altium Designer so that we can up-issue them."
"We have a library of trusted parts which we’d like to bring into Altium."
So, after considering these points you should read on if you still wish to import your legacy data into Altium.
Never forget that migration of data follows the «garbage in….more garbage out» principle. So we need to consider four distinct phases of the process, this is best shown in the flow diagram below:
1. Prepare original data
2. Export data
3. Import data
4. Post import
It is prudent to clean and tidy your design within your legacy system before trying to export. We’ve put together a check list to help you:
Supported Versions and File Formats
The following table details the versions of all the file types of CADSTAR Designs that can be migrated into Altium Designer. Note that this list is updated all of the time, so please check with us for specific systems and versions before undertaking migration.
The importer supports up to CADSTAR version 17. The importer does not support binary CADSTAR files. The
binary CADSTAR file must be converted to CADSTAR archive file before importing to Altium Designer. The
CADSTAR archive file has the extension .cpa or .csa. The importer supports the following CADSTAR file types:
The following table describes the types of CADSTAR files the importer supports with the description of how to
convert CADSTAR binary files to CADSTAR archive files and the equivalent Altium Designer output.
Using the Import Wizard for CADSTAR Files
The Import Wizard can be launched from the Altium Designer File menu. Choose the CADSTAR Designs and Libraries option as shown in the screenshot below. On the “Importing CADSTAR Design Files” screen, click the Add button to choose the CADSTAR files. Multiple files can be translated at the same time. Step-by-step instructions on using the Import Wizard follow next.
Starting the Import Wizard for CADSTAR Files
Step-by-Step Import Instructions on Importing a CADSTAR Design
The following CADSTAR Design, has been exported from CADSTAR in PCB archive (.cpa) and Schematic archive (.csa) format
You can add as many design files at this point. However, if you add files of a different file name, separate projects will be created.In the next step you can add your Schematic or PCB Libraries to import (if available).
Because the library part and decal information is included in the source files, it is not necessary to add libraries for schematic or PCB files to successfully translate. Only add libraries to this screen if you wish to independently translate entire libraries for later use in Altium Designer.