Venice, Florida — Zuken has partnered with Dassault Systemes to launch Board Interchanger, a integrative add-on tool for concurrent mechanical and PCB design. This offers MCAD engineers interactive access to Zuken's board design data interface within Dassault Systemes' CATIA V5 solutions for virtual design by linking to CR-5000 Board Designer. This integration specifically allows the MCAD engineer to set mechanical space requirements before the layout process and provides speedy digital mock-up of modelling for mechanical design reviews. This helps solve 3D design issues earlier in the design process and eliminates the need for any re-design.
The lack of integration between PCB and 3D mechanical tools historically required layout engineers to complete initial board layout for later checking by MCAD engineers, which involved extensive layout rework.
By allowing layout engineers to use pre-defined 3D positioning that is established as 'stable' from stage-one, layout engineers can work with MCAD approved positioning for placement, wiring and via keep-out areas, while working with within the restrictions of height-limited areas; eliminating potential placement errors and design rework. A cell based generation of height-limit areas depending upon mechanical constraints is fully automated.
Board Interchanger also provides a mock-up facility for PCB modeling. By taking all the geometric data from CR-5000 Board Designer the new tool can translate this to 3D shapes within CATIA V5, maintaining the layer structure as defined by the layout engineer. Prior arrangement of component shapes within the parts library also means that elaborate PCB models can be created. These models can then be used for mechanical design reviews of the overall assembly view of a complete electronic product. To facilitate the process of 3D floor planning of electrical components, Board Interchanger will also allow 3D collision checking between housing, components or other PCBs.
The amount of translation tasks can be dramatically minimized through detailed configuration of Board Interchanger. MCAD engineers need only work with required data from Board Designer; sending back only changed parts - maintaining the integrity of existing design data to speed up the loop of communication between the mechanical and electronic design departments.
Design for mechanically complex PCBs and other 3D electronic devices, such as molded interconnects, is more efficient using Board Interchanger. There is also potential to reduce board sizes to a minimum, as floor planning and routing is optimized through concurrent mechanical and electronic design.
Board Interchanger is the product of Zuken's established CAA Software Gold Partnership with Dassault Systemes. Revision 1.1 now available supports CATIA V5 R16SP4 and R17SP4.