PCB Collision Checking with CADSTAR Board Modeler Lite

Tips and Tricks for PCB Design Collision Checking in CADSTAR

Who performs PCB design collision checking in your company? Is it the PCB designer, or do you simply pass it over to the mechanical engineers? Either way, you’ll find something to help you with our top three tips and tricks on collision checking.

1. Communicate

Foster good communications with mechanical engineers whether you are doing the collision checking yourself or they are doing it for you. You can help improve this process by:

  • Setting up rules and standards in advance
  • Keeping the communication flow open at all times.

If mechanical engineers are doing the bulk of your collision checking, then fluid communication is critical. Even if you’re using software like CADSTAR Board Modeler Lite, you still need to be good at working together and sharing information.

2. 3D Models

Detailed highlight after running a collision check on the 3D model within Board Modeler Lite

If you are working on high-density boards; this is a must. One option is the 3D Wizard in Board Modeler Lite – which I should add, was recently updated to offer more detail. With it, your placements will be more accurate, allowing you to place components closer together, creating more space on the board.

Mechanical designers can use the Parametric 3D Model Generator for PCB components within Board Modeler Lite to analyze 3D models of key components. So no more searching the web for the right model, now it’s a few clicks away.

3. Oversized Outlines

Use oversized component placement outlines during placement to avoid assembly and manufacturing violations down the road. However, if you want a perfect fit (particularly in small form-fitting enclosures and housings) you will need to use true 3D models within an integrated electromechanical solution.

An integrated electromechanical solution for electronic design reduces the back and forth iterations with mechanical design and generally optimizes floorplanning. It allows you to highlight collision violations accurately within enclosures, which means you can easily study individual collision errors.


So whether it’s the PCB designers or the mechanical engineers who do the collision checking on your designs, there are ways to improve that process and smooth out the bumps in the road.

For more information about collision checking in CADSTAR’s integrated electromechanical solution for electronic design, check out Board Modeler Lite or contact your local CADSTAR distributor. You can also request an evaluation version of the software here.

You can also view the Board Modeler Lite YouTube movie to accompany this post.

Written by

Jeroen Leinders, born on 16th June 1965 is worldwide CADSTAR Distribution Manager of Zuken. He has been working for Zuken since 1999, first being in charge of the CADSTAR Sales in Belgium and the Netherlands, before being appointed as worldwide Distribution Manager in June 2001. Since then he has been involved in product planning and product marketing of Zuken's PCB Design solution CADSTAR. He has a diploma in electronics and been involved in electronic product design and manufacturing since 1985 and has gathered over 20 years of experience in several positions at various high-tech companies such as Zuken, ACS and Philips.

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