SOLIDWORKS PCB, Altium Designer, and the Big Picture

Any software package that has longevity goes through a fantastic evolution. For example, Microsoft Word has progressed from a word-processing tool to a suite completely capable of formatting a book for publication. Intuit's Quicken went from passive computerized accounting sheets to a financial system that can actively participate in financial transactions. When one thinks about it, any tool you have used for years has added features and abilities to make life a little easier or more productive.

But jumping into a fully grown and mature product can be daunting and a bit intimidating if you're new to the tool. There are so many buttons, so many options, and manuals that run 300+ pages. Sometimes one wishes that the bells and whistles can be set aside to focus on the core capabilities that make the tool great.

Fortunately, when it comes to Altium Designer, there is such a tool. Developed jointly by SOLIDWORKS and Altium Inc, SOLIDWORKS PCB was designed for those designers and engineers who want the power of Altium Designer's core capabilities and the added benefits of seamless MCAD-ECAD collaboration.

We will introduce SOLIDWORKS PCB (which we affectionately 'SWPCB') and discuss the use models each represents.

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