Altium Designer - Unified Seamless PCB Data Management from ECAD to MCAD

Zachariah Peterson
|  Created: February 24, 2020
Design Tools to Take You from ECAD to MCAD Seamlessly

Altium Designer is the world's most powerful PCB design software - a seamless data integration tool for ECAD to MCAD data. It not only offers you a range of features and technologies to boost your productivity, but it also works with a full ecosystem of applications to help you stay on top of multiple streams of work. And that's really important when you're using Altium Designer to keep up with any design needs — even where ECAD data migration is concerned.


Do you find it difficult to maintain CAD servers using two different technologies such as ECAD and MCAD? Do you want an effective solution where your existing ECAD and MCAD tools can communicate directly with one another so that your designs are updated simultaneously, translated automatically, and checked for discrepancies quickly? If so, then Altium Designer is what you've been looking for all along.

With its unified data model, which includes PCB design tools operated from the exact same program interface, Altium will offer quick responses and interactive operations when conducting prototyping operations such as design sharing or importing projects from legacy versions of the same product. This will save you time since there won't need to be constant manual transfers between platforms either. Last but not least importantly we're improving productivity by allowing equal distribution of tasks among team members without anyone having greater responsibility than they should simply because they work in a different domain than their teammates do.

ECAD Software Built on a Foundation of Power and Unity

Altium Designer begins with a steadfast foundation of power thanks to its 64-bit multithreading architecture. This gives you all the might you need, no matter how complicated your designs may seem.

With Altium Designer’s unified ECAD data model—you don't have to stress about if or what type of electrical component information will align with what we see in CAD software. Every part of an overall PCB design has been crafted with this unified data model in mind so everything works seamlessly when it comes time to lay out circuitry down onto a board.

As technology keeps moving forward and changing, there'll never be anything wrong with your engineering software because engineers at Altium are always updating and enhancing their own products. With up-to-date electric components information or computer-aided design within an intuitive interface, everyone can guarantee they'll have access to every tool necessary for production.

One Single Powerful Platform of Tools Tied Together in a Unified Environment

Altium Designer’s powerful platform of tools tied together through its unified design environment will enable you to create world-class designs.

ECAD PCB screenshot of AD18 showing multiple tools

Altium Designer’s powerful unified data environment allows multiple tools to work together

ECAD Design Software for Schematics and Libraries

In order to populate your electrical schematic with parts, you need the newest component data from your suppliers. However, Altium Designer offers an alternative way of sourcing this information: its Active BOM tool. As well as providing yet another window into your project’s design Altium ECAD data, it also allows you to communicate directly with suppliers via cloud connections.

And when it comes time to create your library, Altium Designer is prepared with an IPC-compliant 3D footprint creation wizard. Everything you need to create the schematic and prepare your design for layout is contained within Altium Designer. You’ll be sure to leave any member of your team, from electrical engineers to purchasing, happy with easy-to-read files and well-organized libraries within your computer-aided design software.

Create Your Design with Confidence Using the Best Schematic and Library Tools

Altium Designer provides you with the tools you need to create your circuit designs.

ECAD PCB screenshot of AD18 3D layout

Altium Designer’s native 3D engine allows full placement to mechanical DRCs

ECAD PCB Software to Take You from Start to Finish

Utilizing the 3D models that you've designed throughout your CAD process and integrated into a unified data environment, you'll have access to Altium Designer's native 3D engine which allows you to assess placement errors. Furthermore, you'll be able to import mechanical design ECAD data and assess board placements against the mechanical features and enclosures of a final system.

You'll also be able to import other designs into a multi-board assembly in your layout session where all of your system PCBs will be checked for form, fit, and connectivity along with their corresponding mechanical constraints. And when paired with all the verifications available within Altium Designer—such as PDA—you'll have full confidence knowing that whatever design you're working on will turn out exactly how it was intended without any hiccups or mistakes whatsoever. With Altium ECAD/MCAD integration being made possible via cutting-edge CAD software such as this, electronics designing just got much simpler.

Design Tools to Take You from ECAD to MCAD Seamlessly

Altium Designer is the complete system answer for your ECAD to MCAD design process.

If you’ve been struggling with making your different ECAD and MCAD systems work together, take a look at Altium Designer to see how this process can be done well.

About Author

About Author

Zachariah Peterson has an extensive technical background in academia and industry. He currently provides research, design, and marketing services to companies in the electronics industry. Prior to working in the PCB industry, he taught at Portland State University and conducted research on random laser theory, materials, and stability. His background in scientific research spans topics in nanoparticle lasers, electronic and optoelectronic semiconductor devices, environmental sensors, and stochastics. His work has been published in over a dozen peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and he has written 2500+ technical articles on PCB design for a number of companies. He is a member of IEEE Photonics Society, IEEE Electronics Packaging Society, American Physical Society, and the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA). He previously served as a voting member on the INCITS Quantum Computing Technical Advisory Committee working on technical standards for quantum electronics, and he currently serves on the IEEE P3186 Working Group focused on Port Interface Representing Photonic Signals Using SPICE-class Circuit Simulators.

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