3D Experience

The Top Three Things Engineers Use 3D for in CADSTAR

We live in a 3D world (OK, four if you count time). Over a decade ago 3D made a comeback in cinemas. And in the world of engineering, most mechanical design engineers have worked in 3D for decades. But it’s only relatively recently that electrical/electronic engineers have been able to fully join the 3D world – and wow, what a difference it’s made!

Coincidentally, while Avatar, Monsters vs. Aliens and Up were thrilling 3D-spectacled audiences, the CADSTAR Board Modeler Lite module was being launched. By offering PCB designers a 3D work environment, CADSTAR Board Modeler Lite offers better collaboration between electronic and mechanical engineers.

As part of our celebrations for 30 years of CADSTAR, Zuken is offering Board Modeler Lite’s 3D design capabilities for free, with the purchase of a 30th Anniversary Edition CADSTAR 3D bundle, for a limited time only.

CADSTAR Board Modeler Lite users are doing so much in 3D that just can’t be done in 2D.

Here’s a countdown of the top three uses:

3. Visualisation

Many users use Board Modeler Lite to better appreciate how the PCB will look as a solid structure, and the tool can render near photo-quality images. Engineers are using this feature to appreciate the component skyline, for example. Also, though Board Modeler Lite is not a multi-board package, 3D models of other boards can be created to visualise how the board (being worked on) will fit alongside others.

3D Visualization

2. Collision Checks

Electronic and mechanical engineers are working in close collaboration to determine if the PCB will clash with the enclosure and/or key mechanical components, and to validate interference fits and space clearances (e.g. for thermal management purposes). Frequently, and in response to changing customer requirements, mechanical engineers need to modify the profile of the enclosure housing the PCBs. The modification of the space envelope can be easily appreciated; and when changes cannot be accommodated, PCB designers are flagging this before too much time is lost.

1.  Real Shapes

Boards are often complex shapes; with rectangular boards now the exception in most industrial sectors. Defining a board’s geometrical shape has been time consuming. But now, rather than struggling with defining a complex board using coordinates, PCB designers are finding it far simpler to import the board outline directly from a mechanical file supplied by the mechanical engineer, which may have complex curves and cut-outs.

CADSTAR Real Shapes

So, these are the top three things PCB designers are doing in 3D using CADSTAR Board Modeller Lite.

Find out more about the time-limited offer to get Board Modeler Lite for FREE as part of the CADSTAR 30th Anniversary bundles.

Written by

Nikola has worked at Zuken (and formerly Racal-Redac) since 1988, and has been involved in all global markets from USA, EU and Japan in the area of PCBs for various electronic product designs. During his tenure, Nikola has presented at events worldwide sharing his experience, knowledge of the EDA market, and technology trends and future direction. His involvement in many EU and UK funded projects has helped to introduce new design processes, design practices and help to evolve Zuken’s EDA solutions. In his current role, Nikola contributes to the strategic direction of electronic product design solutions within Zuken and works closely with customers’ engineering communities.

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