ECAD MCAD Collaboration

connecting . two . worlds

prostep ivip ECAD/MCAD Collaboration

Advanced Collaboration

As form factors continue to shrink, while at the same time ever increasing complex electronics are still expected to fit seamlessly, ECAD/MCAD Collaboration must be a natural part of your product design cycle.

Modern designs require functionality that spans multiple design disciplines. This requires close communication between electrical and mechanical engineers from each team. Designers are no longer bound by a single domain. Many products result from collaboration with teams that work across multiple countries and continents, which presents a challenge when communicating between the different designers and engineers in a electro-mechanical system.

Many product designs are conceived in the MCAD domain and historically design reviews take place late in the overall design cycle, therefore causing maximum disruption and forcing non optimal trade-offs and effort to get to market on time. The prostep ECAD/MCAD Collaboration standard supports the instant communication of design intent and incremental changes.

IDX supports the continued real time synchronization of the ECAD and MCAD designs. The tighter integration will lowers risk and improves time to market.

Better Collaboration
for everyone

Comparing IDX with IDF

Most issues with collaboration can be traced back to the limitations of the format that was used during the exchange. To date, the Intermediate Data Format (IDF) and Drawing eXchange Format (DXF) have been widely-used to exchange PCB data between mechanical and electrical designs. IDF was initially developed and released in 1992 and was updated until 1998. DXF, on the other hand, was released in 1982. For older designs, IDF and DXF provided a powerful mechanism to collaborate between electrical and mechanical domains, however with the evolution of the workforce and ever-changing product complexity and scale of the products we design, these static formats can end up hindering the design process instead of facilitating it.

With the introduction of the ProSTEPiViP Incremental Data Exchange (IDX) communication protocol, designers are now able to fully sychronize their data between both ECAD and MCAD and more effectively collaborate on criticle design items between domains, ensuring that the design intent is interpreted correctly. This allows designers to collaborate and identify issues much more easily throughout the design process, which in turn enables more robust designs that get out to market faster.

Implementing the IDX Standard!

The aim of the ECAD/MCAD Collaboration Implementor Forum (IF) is not only to develop a standard for the exchange of ECAD and MCAD data, but also simplify the implementation for vendors. For this reason, in addition to adding new functionality to IDX schema we’ve also significantly simplified the way items are described in the format. Information and examples of how to describe items using the new simplified standard format are available in the “Implementation Guidelines”. These Guidelines and the Recommendation documents are available for free from the prostep ivip Media Library.

Implementing the IDX Standard:Comparing IDX vs IDF

Design Object IDX IDF
Incremental Changes
Accept / Reject Changes
Comments on Changes
Change History Tracking
Board Outline
Stackup Structure
Multiple Stackups(Flex/Flex-rigid)
Board Bend Areas
Board Cutouts(Contours)
Board Cavities
Copper Shapes
Pin 1 Location
Object Ownership

From the 2D circuit board to the 3D mechanical product and back. Exchanging correct information is important here.

Who implements the standard?

CADCAM Group Logo
Cadence Logo
Continental Logo
Dassault Systemes Logo
Desktop EDA Logo
Mentor Graphics Logo
PTC Logo
Siemens Logo
SolidWorks Logo

In this Project Group prostep ivip is working together with different partners from the industries:

Company Product Integration Tool Additional Information
CADCAM Group Catia V5 MECODES Link
Cadence Design Systems Allegro X MCAD Collaboration Link
Cadence Design Systems OrCAD X MCAD Collaboration Link
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks CircuitWorks Link
Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE Catia Circuit Board Design Link
PTC Creo Parametric ECAD-MCAD Collaboration Extension Link
PTC Onshape PCB Studio Link
Siemens Xpedition MCAD Collaborator Link
Siemens PADS Professonal MCAD Collaborator Link
Siemens NX PCB Exchange Link
Siemens Solid Edge ECAD Collaborator Link

What our implementers say:

How to get involved

prostep ivip logo Enjoying the benefits of ECAD/MCAD is fairly simple. First of all, you and your company need to become a member of the prostep ivip association, here. If you like, you can also participate in the first meeting as a guest without a membership, so you can casually evaluate, whether ECAD/MCAD solutions fit your needs. After becoming a member, you can fully get involved and benefit from every aspect of the ECAD/MCAD project.
For more information on the prostep ivip association membership, you can click here. If you have questions of any kind, feel free to contact us via the form down below.