SOLIDWORKS 2019 What’s New – PCB Enhancements – #SW2019

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There are some exciting new features in SOLIDWORKS PCB 2019. The mechanical oriented workflow has several enhancements, including the ability to define placement and component size constraints. The Collaboration now features copper and silkscreen representation, along with some other enhancements such as supporting multi-contour holes and patterning.

Mechanical Workflow

  • Inside of SOLIDWORKS, you can define any required PCB constraints such as placement and height restrictions.
  • Also, the collaboration will communicate whether components can be moved. ‘Fixed’ components in SOLIDWORKS will become ‘locked’ footprints in the PCB layout. Engineers can unlock or float the components to move them if needed, but this will prevent any accidental movement from occurring.

Collaboration

ECAD-MCAD collaboration enhancements will improve the experience on the mechanical side of things, creating and interacting with the ECAD data.

  • Board thickness on the 3D board assembly is now accurate, matching whatever was set in the SOLIDWORKS PCB layer stack manager.
  • Copper traces, pads, and polygons can now be communicated to the MCAD assembly. This is all controlled from the MCAD interface: In the PCB add-in panel, select settings…

The settings now allow you to choose whether you want components fixed on the board, whether through-hole components should create holes, whether the holes move with said components, how components should be mated to the surface of the board, and whether to model the copper or leave it as just visual representation as a decal. The decals will allow much better documentation creation capability using SOLIDWORKS if you don’t want to use the document outputs in SOLIDWORKS PCB.

Here is side by side, last year’s assembly without the silkscreen and copper, and this year’s much more detailed model.

  • If you find that a component is on the wrong side of the board, it can now be flipped inside of MCAD instead of having to ask the ECAD designer to do it in SOLIDWORKS PCB. The orientation change will propagate over to the board layout. To flip the component to the opposite side, right click on it and select PCB Add-in > Flip PCB Component.

  • Need to create some mounting holes? Feel free to use the hole wizard, pattern command, mirror, etc, to create the holes. Previously each hole had to be it’s own feature, created using simple drawing tools. Now you should find that the collaboration tool understands the more complex hole features.

Miscellaneous Enhancements

  • The Project Open dialog box has gone through a UI update. Now you can sort and search your project list.
  • The PCB Layout can now be exported as a DWG/DXF rather than just limiting to gerber and pdf manufacturing drawings.

I hope this part of the What’s New series gives you a better understanding of the new features and functions of SOLIDWORKS 2019. Please check back to the CATI Blog as the CATI Application Engineers will continue to break down many of the new items in SOLIDWORKS 2019. All these articles will be stored in the category of “SOLIDWORKS What’s New.”

Brian Cooke
Application Engineer – Electrical Specialist
Computer Aided Technology, LLC

Design Innovation Month – October 2018
What is DI MONTH?

CATI is declaring October Design Innovation MONTH.  We’ve created a month-long series of events and activities around design innovation especially for our customers.  Attend a SOLIDWORKS 2019 event, enter our rendering contest, and learn about some cool tips and tricks at the daily online events. Plan your month at www.cati.com/design-innovation-month