PCBto3D™ Integration for Solid Edge Electrical and Mechanical
PCBto3D™ is a software tool that bridges the gap between your electrical and mechanical worlds. PCBto3D™ does this by passing the board design back and forth between your PCB design software and Siemens Solid Edge design software.
PCBto3D utilizes one of two file formats as a means of passing the PCB data between the electrical and mechanical designs. The first, and most widely used, of these formats is the Intermediate Data Format (IDF). IDF is a standard originally developed by Mentor Graphics to allow integration between electrical and mechanical CAD systems. If you are using a PCB design package that can write and read an IDF file, you can use PCBto3D to create 3D Assembly models. IDF is an open standard and many electrical CAD vendors have chosen to support IDF, including Cadence OrCAD, Mentor Graphics, Veribest (now Mentor Graphics), Zuken-Redac, Innoveda (Formerly PADS, now Mentor Graphics) and others.
The second format is the PADS ASCII format. This is a proprietary format of PADS software and is supported by PowerPCB now owned by Mentor Graphics. We highly recommend the use of IDF Link from Mentor Graphics for translation to from PADS to IDF.
PCBto3D reads either the IDF or PADS ASCII file and uses Solid Edge to create the corresponding 3D solid assembly. If you’re using the IDF format, you can make changes to the board design in Solid Edge. This can be done using standard Solid Edge editing commands to modify the solid geometry and reposition parts and you can use PCB specific commands that are added to Solid Edge when PCBto3D is installed.