Should I use SOLIDWORKS PCB?





The target audience for SOLIDWORKS PCB is wide ranging:

Electrical Engineers with little PCB tool experience

  • Electrical engineering is comprised of numerous disciplines such as ASICS, RF, systems, signals, power, hardware, software, and control. This is a partial list, for there are disciplines that were ‘spun off’ of the electrical engineering field that became their own field of study such as Information Technologies, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science. The fact is, the vast majority of engineers, even though who are electrical engineers by academic degree were not taught PCB design tools. SOLIDWORKS PCB is a great place to start.

Electrical Engineers and Designers whose organizations prefer to stay under the Solidworks banner

  • As the old joke goes, electrical engineers, like electricity, take the path of least resistance. This is true of all engineering disciplines. To be efficient in what we do every day, we use the same methods and tools. When one has a good relationship with an existing product line and the company that provides it, it makes sense to purchase within that company if they can offer it. Working with another company requires research into the company and its products, the building of trust, the need to overcome the learning curve, and the effort to understand the company’s avenues of support after the sale. By working with what you know, you know what you are getting.

Altium Designer users who are considering SOLIDWORKS PCB as a low cost alternative

  • Altium Designer is a very powerful tool. In many cases, the biggest issue is the lack of licenses available within a company. With the Altium Designer’s compatibility to SOLIDWORKS PCB, companies can make more licenses available to keep everyone moving forward.
  • In addition, having SOLIDWORKS PCB licenses allows others who are new to PCB design an opportunity to try the tool without trying up Altium Designer licenses and also at a lesser cost.

Mechanical Engineers or Solidworks Premium users who occasionally need to do PCB design

  • A PCB is just as much of a mechanical object as it is electrical. Granted, circuits can get complex; however, there are times when a PCB is necessary for the simple task of holding a few electrical components together with some connectivity between those components. In fact, that was the whole purpose of the PCB when manufacturers needed a better way to connect their components together.
  • SOLIDWORKS PCB interfaces with SOLIDWORKS. This allows the user to design the board outline in SOLIDWORKS and to complete the work in SOLIDWORKS PCB which is specifically designed to make copper routing easy. SOLIDWORKS PCB also has a schematic editor so that the design can be documented.

Electrical or Mechanical Engineers who wish to become Mechatronics Engineers

  • As the industry continues to move into the mechatronic space, there need to be tools available that can get the job done without a steep learning curve. Those who are willing to move beyond their field of expertise should not be hampered by tool issues. SOILDWORKS PCB was design to provide the core features of Altium Designer with an easy to use interface.


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