ECAD is widely used for designing printed circuit boards, integrated circuits, and any design involving logic-driven electronics.
MCAD incorporates information about products, including materials, product design processes, dimensions, and tolerances.
Integrating MCAD and ECAD allows engineers to run both electronic and mechanical design processes simultaneously.
The co-design platform offered through MCAD/ECAD collaboration supports an efficient product design cycle
Electronic developments always face the constraints of form factor. The challenge is to achieve optimum design within a compact size and meet reliability, quality, and performance indices.
To design such an electronics product, you need a domain where MCAD/ECAD collaboration is available. The co-design platform offered through MCAD/ECAD collaboration helps in the product design cycle, as it allows electrical and mechanical engineers to interact and synchronize throughout the design process.
ECAD and MCAD
The purpose of electronic computer-aided design, or ECAD, lies in modeling the functional design of electrical and electronic systems. Electrical systems can be electrical plants or control units in the ECAD platform. ECAD is widely used for designing printed circuit boards, integrated circuits, and any design involving logic-driven electronics.
Drawings are significant in mechanical engineering. Engineers create 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional models when designing products to get accurate depictions of them. These drawings detail the specifications, which are required for product engineering and manufacturing.
Mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) is a software-based design tool that helps engineers model their products. MCAD incorporates information such as materials, product design processes, dimensions, and tolerances. It is utilized in every step of the product development cycle in mechanical engineering.
Product Development With MCAD
- MCAD helps in creating detailed models of 2D or 3D mechanical structures and helps engineers visualize the design.
- The communication between electronic and mechanical teams is clearer with MCAD designs.
- MCAD allows engineers to simulate the thermal and structural behavior of the electronic product under various physical conditions.
- The testing of the electronic product, such as vibration testing or drop testing, can be performed with MCAD.
Product Development With ECAD
- ECAD permits engineers to create and modify circuit designs at a faster pace.
- Electrical analysis is possible with ECAD software applications in electronic product design.
- With ECAD, engineers can develop schematics, layouts, and other documents required for electronic circuit design.
ECAD and MCAD software both support electronic product design in their unique ways. However, the existence of MCAD and ECAD as two separate platforms in product design presents some challenges.
ECAD fails to visualize the mechanical details of circuit design and cannot be depended on for structural and thermal analysis. MCAD fails to include the functionalities and tools required for electronic design and cannot be depended on for electronic behavior analysis.
Generally, ECAD is utilized during the initial stages of the electronic product development cycle and MCAD is used in the later stage when designing physical components. It is difficult to switch between ECAD and MCAD frequently, and there are a lot more chances to miss out on details when both software exist independently. Integrating MCAD and ECAD allows designers to use both electronic and mechanical design processes simultaneously.
Features of MCAD/ECAD Collaboration
Collaboration between mechanical engineers and electrical engineers is necessary for developing an electronic product; a common platform is convenient to facilitate this process.
Some features of MCAD/ECAD collaboration are:
Smooth communication and data exchange between ECAD and MCAD.
Allows engineers to work in their comfort zone, as there is no need to learn new tools for collaborative work.
Optimization of electronic circuits, enclosures, etc. is possible by considering the mechanical and manufacturing constraints directly perceived from 3D visuals.
Synchronized terms from mechanical and engineering domains.
Improves predictability in the product cycle schedule, as the design is synchronized and it is easy to trace the modification from any domain.
Cloud-based MCAD/ECAD integration continues to support the engineering community to synchronize and collaborate. Cadence offers ECAD/ MCAD co-design platforms for collaboration between electronic and mechanical domains, enabling reduced electronic iterations, 3D viewing, and incremental design updates for improved design clarity.
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