Skip to main content

Design in Harmony: Seamless ECAD and MCAD Collaboration FAQ

Here are some comprehensive answers to all the questions that were asked in our recent webinar with Autodesk.

Co-Design | General


What happens if I lose internet connection in the middle of a transaction to or from Autodesk Fusion? Does the interface remember what objects have been passed and what is left to transfer?

When you lose internet connection you won't be able to transfer data, and unfortunately, any in-progress uploads or downloads will be lost. You can continue working offline, but users will have to resume the upload or download once an internet connection is re-established.

What objects can be transferred between MCAD and ECAD?

From Cadence Allegro X or OrCAD X to Autodesk Fusion, we can send the board outline, board thickness, cutouts, keep-ins/keep-outs, holes, and most importantly the components, their location and orientation. From Autodesk Fusion to Cadence tools, they can send us the board outline, cut outs, any modifications to the thickness, the holes, and components location and orientation. Page three on our ECAD MCAD datasheet has a matrix with information on what objects are transferred between the two tools.

How are libraries synchronized between Cadence and

Cadence can upload 3D models in STEP format to, and in turn will send back a unique identifier for each model that is uploaded. Therefore, when design data from Cadence tools is shared with Autodesk Fusion, it knows which model to grab from and include within the design on the Fusion side.

Are there any limitations based on PCB design size, shape, layer, or object count?

No limitations at all, but like anything else regarding the web – the more information you are trying to download or upload, it could take a little longer.

Does this MCAD collaboration support Rigid Flex design?

Cadence has full support for Rigid-Flex designs, so if you’ve mapped a component with your tools in Cadence and passed it to Autodesk Fusion it will show up correctly.

Are objects parametrically associated? For example, if I were to move a through hole component, do the holes move as well as the component in MCAD?

When you move a through hole component in Fusion, you will see the component move, but not the holes. The holes will only move once you do a synchronization with Cadence tools. So once the data comes back to Fusion, you’ll see the holes location update.

Is it possible to get a history of transactions and who made them?

Yes, it is. The design is saved each time you do a push, that way if you need to you can go back to a previous saved version.


Can you detect 3D DRCs within OrCAD X?

Yes, you can. Currently the 3DX canvas within OrCAD X allows for model-to-model and model-to-board detection for 3D DRCs, and more will be added in the future.

Is the MCAD collaboration available to PTC Creo users?

Yes, our MCAD collaboration supports Autodesk Fusion, Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS and CATIA, PTC Creo, and Siemens NX.

Will this replace the IDF/IDX function?

The Autodesk Fusion interface uses IDF as the data exchange medium.

Does the Creo interface use IDF as the exchange medium?

No, with PTC Creo we use IDX as the data exchange medium.

Is the MCAD workflow that was demonstrated the same for OrCAD X?

Yes, both Allegro X and OrCAD X support the same workflow for ECAD/MCAD collaboration.

Who manages the exchange connector between Cadence and Autodesk?

The administration of who can collaborate on a co-design is handled by the Fusion Teams administrator.