Free Trials

Download a free trial to find out which Altium software best suits your needs

How to Buy

Contact your local sales office to get started on improving your design environment

Downloads

Download the latest in PCB design and EDA software

  • PCB DESIGN SOFTWARE
  • Altium Designer

    Complete Environment for Schematic + Layout

  • CircuitStudio

    Entry Level, Professional PCB Design Tool

  • CircuitMaker

    Community Based PCB Design Tool

  • NEXUS

    Agile PCB Design For Teams

  • CLOUD PLATFORM
  • Altium 365

    Connecting PCB Design to the Manufacturing Floor

  • COMPONENT MANAGEMENT
  • Altium Concord Pro

    Complete Solution for Library Management

  • Octopart

    Extensive, Easy-to-Use Component Database

  • PRODUCT EXTENSIONS
  • PDN Analyzer

    Natural and Effortless Power Distribution Network Analysis

  • See All Extensions
  • EMBEDDED
  • TASKING

    World-Renowned Technology for Embedded Systems Development

  • TRAININGS
  • Live Courses

    Learn best practices with instructional training available worldwide

  • On-Demand Courses

    Gain comprehensive knowledge without leaving your home or office

  • ONLINE VIEWER
  • Altium 365 Viewer

    View & Share electronic designs in your browser

  • Altium Designer 20

    The most powerful, modern and easy-to-use PCB design tool for professional use

    ALTIUMLIVE

    Annual PCB Design Summit

    • Forum

      Where Altium users and enthusiasts can interact with each other

    • Blog

      Our blog about things that interest us and hopefully you too

    • Ideas

      Submit ideas and vote for new features you want in Altium tools

    • Bug Crunch

      Help make the software better by submitting bugs and voting on what's important

    • Wall

      A stream of events on AltiumLive you follow by participating in or subscribing to

    • Beta Program

      Information about participating in our Beta program and getting early access to Altium tools

    All Resources

    Explore the latest content from blog posts to social media and technical white papers gathered together for your convenience

    Downloads

    Take a look at what download options are available to best suit your needs

    How to Buy

    Contact your local sales office to get started improving your design environment

    • Documentation

      The documentation area is where you can find extensive, versioned information about our software online, for free.

    • Training & Events

      View the schedule and register for training events all around the world and online

    • Design Content

      Browse our vast library of free design content including components, templates and reference designs

    • Webinars

      Attend a live webinar online or get instant access to our on demand series of webinars

    • Support

      Get your questions answered with our variety of direct support and self-service options

    • Technical Papers

      Stay up to date with the latest technology and industry trends with our complete collection of technical white papers.

    • Video Library

      Quick and to-the-point video tutorials to get you started with Altium Designer

    Move 3D Interference Checking to Electronic Design for a More Efficient Flow

    Charles Browne
    |  March 21, 2017
     
    During a typical design process it can take multiple iterations before your PCB fits its enclosure, leading to delayed schedules and missed deadlines. How can you ensure your PCB fits right the first time? With 3D interference checking.

    Every electronic product consists of both mechanical and electrical assemblies. The two need to fit together — you don’t want electronic components interfering with the mechanical enclosure. Typically, the completed electronic design moves to mechanical designers for 3D interference checking. Any component interference problems are identified and then passed back to the electrical designer for necessary changes.

    During this process, it can take multiple iterations before the electronics properly fit within the enclosure. This iterative approach delays product completion negatively affecting schedules and in some cases can even cause missed deadlines. So how can you shorten this timetable and successfully release your products on time?

    A New Methodology

    What’s needed is a methodology that gives electrical designers the opportunity to verify interference before the design is handed off to mechanical designers. Using that methodology can reduce iterations, save time, and improve the overall accuracy of your schedule. Let’s look at how this methodology works.

    A Better Approach with STEP

    The best way to reduce (or eliminate) iterations is for the electrical designer to verify clearance before it’s handed off to the mechanical team. STEP files can be imported for each component and then embedded as a component property. This STEP model can either be obtained from the manufacturer or manually created within the electrical design tool. Either way, it has the accurate physical dimensions of the component. Embedding dimensions moves toward the goal of interference checking taking place completely within ECAD.

    Imported 3D STEP Model Enclosure Fitted Over PCB Design

    STEP files are not limited to components. The mechanical housing itself can be imported as a STEP file from the mechanical designer. Once this data is obtained, you then import it into the ECAD tool and verify that the all of the components and connectors fit securely within the housing and mounting holes are where they belong. Any discrepancies can be quickly adjusted in the ECAD tool, eliminating the interference. Once verified, the final electrical assembly design moves to the mechanical team for any further testing. This methodology significantly reduces the number of iterations, saving time and money — and keeping the product on schedule.

    Checking Interferences in Altium Designer

    Altium Designer® supports both import and export of STEP models and files, allowing inference checking within the electrical design. The component clearance rule verifies that all 3D bodies and models within the design adhere to the constraints you have defined.

    Learn more about how to easily implement PCB 3D interference checking in Altium Designer by downloading a free white paper.

    About Author

    About Author

    Biography

    most recent articles

    Back to Home