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Converting Schematic Diagrams to PCB Layouts With OrCAD X

Key Takeaways

  • OrCAD X features a user-friendly interface that enhances the flow from schematic creation to PCB layout, making it accessible and efficient for designers at all levels.

  •  The software includes extensive component libraries and integrates seamlessly with various software tools.

  • Real-time Design Rule Checking (DRC) and automatic routing capabilities ensure accurate and efficient PCB designs.

OrCAD X is a powerful schematic diagram to pcb layout software

OrCAD X is a powerful software that helps engineers convert schematic diagrams to PCB layouts

Converting a schematic diagram to a PCB layout is so much easier when you use a software that creates the electrical schematic design, ensures its correct setup, and translates it to an error-free PCB layout. Here are the key features to look for in a software that helps you convert your schematic diagram to a PCB layout. 

Converting Schematic Diagrams to PCB Layouts: What Software Features You Need



Intuitive User Interface

A user-friendly interface will facilitate efficient design flow from the schematic diagram to the PCB layout.

Extensive Component Libraries

A wide range of pre-existing component footprints and symbols will help you speed up the design process.

Interactive Routing Capabilities

Interactive routing will automatically suggest optimal trace paths and display space available in any dense areas, saving time in the design process.

Real-Time Design Rule Checking (DRC)

DRC continuously checks for errors during the design process to prevent issues before manufacturing.

Integration Capabilities

Seamless integration with other software tools, such as simulation software or mechanical CAD, means a smooth design process and less headaches for the designer.

Output Flexibility

Various output formats can accommodate different manufacturing processes and standards.

Creating a Schematic Diagram With OrCAD X 

Below is a table that outlines the key steps in the schematic creation process, along with the unique features of OrCAD X that support these steps.

Step Description

OrCAD X Features

Create a New Schematic

OrCAD X offers an optimized interface with powerful schematic entry, enhancing the setup process for new projects.

Add Libraries, Search, and Place Parts

Integration with an extensive component database and an integrated part search dashboard streamline library setup in OrCAD X.

Name Nets, Connect Parts

OrCAD X facilitates net naming with powerful schematic entry, helping to manage nets and buses effectively during layout.

Assign Part Information

The OrCAD X integrated part search dashboard allows streamlined management of component properties and values.

Perform a Schematic DRC

OrCAD X provides powerful error checking with immediate feedback on design rule violations, enhancing the schematic DRC process.

Generate BOM (Bill of Materials)

OrCAD X Live BOM provides real-time supply chain insights and comprehensive component information, improving BOM management and reducing risks.

PCB Layout Software Capabilities and OrCAD X Additions

In OrCAD X Capture, given a schematic, convert it to a PCB layout by selecting: PCB > New Layout
In OrCAD X Capture, given a schematic, convert it to a PCB layout by selecting: PCB > New Layout

Step  Description

OrCAD X Feature Details

Assign footprints from libraries or find pre-built footprints to attach to components in the design.

The Footprint Editor allows for direct editing and updating of footprints within the tool, streamlining updates.

Create a netlist from the schematic and generate a new board file for the PCB layout.

Quick access to settings and commands speeds up the netlist creation and board file generation process.

Manually or automatically place components on the board while cross-probing with the schematic.

Enhanced snapping and grid settings facilitate precise placement and alignment of components.

Add mechanical symbols like mounting holes to the board, which do not interact with the electrical nets.

An updated 3D engine improves the visualization of mechanical components.

Design and implement copper planes and shapes, adding dynamic features like healing and voids.

OrCAD X simplifies the process of adding and editing shapes, making it as intuitive as editing in common desktop software.

Set up and manage differential pairs with associated constraints for routing.

The Constraint Manager allows efficient management of electrical and physical constraints for differential pairs.

Route the board including power, ground, and signal traces, and perform post-routing inspections.

Add Connect offers both manual and assisted routing options to optimize trace placement and avoid DRC issues.

Perform design rule checks and prepare the board for manufacturing.

The search panel  facilitates rapid identification and resolution of DRC errors, enhancing the design validation.

Set up the design for fabrication with detailed drawings and specifications.

For specific documentation needs, OrCAD X Live DOC can be used.

Use 3D modeling to check for part fit and detect any potential collisions.

OrCAD X provides 3D tools and collision detection to visualize and refine product design before production.

Export necessary manufacturing data and documentation.

Single output manufacturing streamlines the export process, supporting multiple data formats to ensure compatibility with manufacturing standards.

As outlined above, OrCAD X aids both in schematic diagram creation and PCB layout. Enabling a streamlined workflow, it can convert your schematic diagram to a PCB layout and ensure an error-free design. If you're interested in experiencing these features firsthand, sign up now for a free trial of OrCAD X.

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