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Migrating Data From Other Version Control Systems
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Migrating Data From Other Version Control Systems

The development of electronic devices always involves the release of many different types of files. And these files are not static - they change as the project progresses. When filling a project with data, a user creates new files, modifies outdated files that have become irrelevant. Managing project data is a separate task, especially for large developments where several participants with different specializations are involved in the process.

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Impedance calculation
Impedance Calculation Single-Ended Transmission Lines

Transmission lines help preserve signal integrity and reduce EMI in high speed designs. We’ll show you you to define your single ended transmission lines in Altium Designer and automatically calculate impedance on a two layer and multi-layer board.

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How to Work with Draftsman
Working with Dimensions: Draftsman Documents

Draftsman Documents provide dimensioning tools to capture and display the physical features of the product for fabrication and documentation. 

Properties Panel Tuning
Blog
Properties Panel Tuning

High-speed PCBs often require tuning groups of tracks, both single and differential. Altium Designer includes powerful tools that allow you to solve such tasks quickly and with high quality. Study this document and achieve the desired result even faster.

Three Methods for Building MCAD Ready Components
On-Demand Webinar
Three Methods for Building MCAD Ready Components

One of the most difficult and frustrating things to arise when traveling to a foreign country is the language barrier. Communicating a simple greeting can sometimes seem like a big hassle. The same thing is true for different CAD tools. When your tools aren’t speaking the same language, you’re going to run into problems. Bridge this gap by building out your component libraries with everything it takes to truly define a component, including 3D models that seamlessly propagate into the PCB editor and beyond.

Reflectionless Matching vs. Conjugate Matching: An Apparent Contradiction
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Reflectionless Matching vs. Conjugate Matching: An Apparent Contradiction

There is one confusion related to impedance matching that comes up again and again, and it appears to be a fundamental confusion between reflection and power delivery. This leads to an apparent contradiction that arises when we try to generalize power delivery to wave reflection, despite the fact that the two were not meant to be related.

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Impedance calculation
Impedance Calculations: Differential Pairs

Altium designer makes it easy to calculate geometry when you need to calculate impedance for differential pairs. We’ll go over how differential pairs can help with a two layer and multi layer board, as well as what types you can create such as differential co-planar, and how to configure them for your specific design.

Properties Panel Routing
Blog
Properties Panel Routing

Routing is one of the most time-consuming stages of PCB design. Altium Designer has a large set of tools that allow you to do it as accurately and quickly as possible. This document will help you to learn how to manage your routing effectively and use it to its fullest extent.

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How to Work with Draftsman
Creating and using templates

Draftsman Templates are a quick way of laying out your Draftsman Document in Altium Designer. We’ll show you how to utilize them and the differences between sheet and document templates.

Quarter-Wave Transformer Design For Real and Reactive Loads
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Quarter-Wave Transformer Design For Real and Reactive Loads

RF systems operate with specific impedance values across entire interconnects, including on PCBs. Not all RF components are packaged in integrated circuits with defined impedances, so impedance matching circuits and line sections are needed to ensure signal transmission between different sections of an interconnect. One of these impedance matching techniques is the quarter-wave impedance transformer, which can be implemented as a printed trace with specific impedance.

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How to work with Multiboard
Adding 3D Assemblies to a Multi-Board Project

The next step in the multiboard design process is adding 3D PCB Assemblies. We’ll show you how to add them to your design and how to work with the Assembly Editor.

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Getting Started with A365
Altium 365 - Design Collaboration | Tasks

The Tasks feature brings lightweight task tracking to further enhance design collaboration in Altium 365. With Tasks, you will never lose an important action item and easily gain a high-level view of the state of your project, all without leaving your design environment. 

Schematic
Blog
Altium Designer 22.10 Update

We are happy to announce that the Altium Designer 22.10 update is now available. Altium Designer 22.10 continues to focus on improving the user experience, as well as performance and stability of the software, based on feedback from our users. Check out the key new features in the What's New section on the left side of this window!

Component Warpage Causes in a PCB
Blog
Component Warpage Causes in a PCB

A staff member at a PCB manufacturer once explained to me that they thought we were having an issue with a package warping. Unfortunately, component warping can occur both in a PCB and in components. In this article, we'll give an overview of warpage in a PCB, specifically in the circuit board and in the components.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
8 Reasons to Store Your Components in Altium 365

Working with local libraries seems like a simple solution, but we often don’t take into account the added time spent maintaining libraries and sharing them between team members. There is no good way to avoid duplicate efforts with component creation and no standardization to ensure consistent naming. Worst of all, there is no way to identify the latest component revision, and library files can be easily corrupted or misplaced. This webinar showcases the advantages of component storage in Аltium 365 to resolve the issues of local libraries and component management.

Link Budget Calculator
Blog
RF Signal Chain and Link Budget Basics

If you're designing a wireless IoT device, and you know how to calculate the link budget, you can reasonably estimate whether your signal will reach its destination and be read by the receiver. To calculate the link budget, the designer needs to know something about all other sources of gain and loss in the system. Once link budget is determined, the designer can judge whether some modification is needed in their RF signal chain. 

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How to Work with Draftsman
Adding Additional Views in a Draftsman Document

If you need additional views in your documentation, Altium Designer’s Draftsman Document editor can help. We’ll show you how to add and configure different views including the component view, the section view, the detail view, the isometric view, variants, the legend for the layer stack, the board region view, and the board realistic view.

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How to Work with Draftsman
Draftsman Document Views - Fabrication and Drill Drawings

The Draftsman Document Editor allows you to add a fabrication view and a drill drawing view to your outjob files. We’ll show you how to get them set up and details you can control from the properties panel.

How to Calculate SMD Pad Sizes?
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Best Methods for Calculating SMD Pad Size in PCB Design

SMD components require precisely sized pads for soldering during assembly. The designer is responsible for ensuring pad sizes are correct, either by calculating them and comparing with footprint data, looking through datasheets, or by memorizing SMD pad size standards. If you have a component and you don't have access to the footprint, and you decide to biuld the footprint yourself, what resources are available to ensure you have the correct pad size?

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Getting Started with A365
Altium 365 - Version Control | Project History

Project History in a Nutshell: - Presents events in a chronological timeline (Creation, Commits, Releases, Clones, and MCAD Exchanges) - Auto-generates Differences Summary to view the differing entities (e.g., replaced components) - Even a non-expert can act on a revision (Download, View, Revert)

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How to Calculate SMD Pad Sizes?
Blog
Best Methods for Calculating SMD Pad Size in PCB Design

SMD components require precisely sized pads for soldering during assembly. The designer is responsible for ensuring pad sizes are correct, either by calculating them and comparing with footprint data, looking through datasheets, or by memorizing SMD pad size standards. If you have a component and you don't have access to the footprint, and you decide to biuld the footprint yourself, what resources are available to ensure you have the correct pad size?

Can You Fix a Warped PCB?
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Can You Fix a Warped PCB?

Before we get too deep into this article, I’ll give you the simple answer. You probably can’t fix warping in your PCB after it’s already been fabricated. You can prevent an unwarped board from becoming warped during assembly, but only as long as materials were selected properly and the board is put into reflow correctly. We’ll run over some of these points in this article, and I’ll examine some points that might help you recover a warped board.

What is an Eye Diagram?
Blog
What is an Eye Diagram?

The eye diagram is a useful measurement or simulation as part of channel compliance. The measurement shows many different factors that can affect signal behavior simultaneously, ultimately allowing for qualification of errors and losses in a channel. In this article, I’ll run over some of the fundamental measurements that you could manually extract from an eye diagram and how they reveal some strategies for improving channel designs.

Skills for Today's PCB Designers
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What Skills Are Needed to be a PCB Layout Designer?

To readers who have been working in the PCB industry for most of your career, you have probably seen a very diverse group of professionals with varied skill sets and backgrounds. Designers might get started as engineers or as technicians, and some designers learn how to create beautiful PCB layouts in university. No matter how you got into PCB design, there are some important skills to know that will take you a long way towards advancing your career.

How to Fix the Top PCB Design Mistakes
Blog
Beginner PCB Design Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

When starting out with PCB design, it’s common to treat the process as simply ‘connecting the dots’: as long as connections are made, it’s not particularly important how these connections are made. Having reviewed quite a number of PCBs of other PCB design engineers over the last few years, there are common, unfortunately erroneous, occurrences between a lot of them. This article aims to illustrate the top five beginner PCB design mistakes and what we can do to avoid making them. Let’s get started!

Top 5 Questions Regarding Stack Up
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SAP (Semi-Additive PCB Process) – Top 5 Questions Regarding Stack Up

As the PCB design community embraces the benefits of this new printed circuit board fabrication technique, there are of course many questions to be answered.  Today’s blog will address some of the most commonly asked questions related to circuit layer stack up as people are introduced to this new technology.

Design Reuse Blocks Update
Blog
Altium Designer 22.9 Update

We are happy to announce that the Altium Designer 22.9 update is now available. Altium Designer 22.9 continues to focus on improving the user experience, as well as performance and stability of the software, based on feedback from our users. Check out the key new features in the What's New section on the left side of this window!

Dual Rail Voltage Supply
Blog
Dual Rail Voltage Supply

The highest performing operational amplifiers often need a split supply with positive and negative voltages connected to the op amps supply rails. In this project, we’re going to be building a positive/negative dual rail power supply for a differential oscilloscope probe I’m designing. I’m making the power supply a separate project, as a dual rail supply is quite useful to have, and I’m sure I’ll find multiple uses for it in the future.

Library Importer Interface
Blog
Library Importer Improvements (former Library Migrator)

Importing file-based libraries from your local computer or network drive to your Altium 365 workspace can be done using the Library Importer. Altium’s Library Migrator was renamed Library Importer—the feature’s name was changed to conform more closely to the tool’s purpose. Not only is its name new, but our team has also made several user experience improvements. We have updated the documentation to reflect this change.

Blog
How to Select Copper Foil for High-Frequency PCB Design

The PCB materials industry has spent significant amounts of time developing materials that provide lowest possible signal loss for products with RF applications. For high speed and high frequency designs, losses will limit signal propagation distance and distort signals, and it will create an impedance deviation that can be seen in TDR measurements. In this article, we'll look at the balance between copper foil losses and other types of losses in a PCB, as well as some strategies that are commonly used to overcome roughness.

Blog
Altium Designer 22.8 Update

We are happy to announce that the Altium Designer 22.8 update is now available. Altium Designer 22.8 continues to focus on improving the user experience, as well as performance and stability of the software, based on feedback from our users. Check out the key new features in the What's New section on the left side of this window!

What is Hybrid Beamforming?
Blog
What is Hybrid Beamforming?

In this article, we’ll look at beamforming implementation in an advanced method combining analog and digital techniques, known as hybrid beamforming. This method blends both digital and analog techniques to create multiple beams and thus reach multiple users with varying intensities. In the case of an RF imaging system or a radar system, hybrid beamforming in a MIMO technique also allows tracking of multiple targets with adjustable resolution.

Is your via impedance calculator accurate?
Blog
Why Most Via Impedance Calculators Are Inaccurate

The problem with every via impedance calculator that I have seen is simple: they are incomplete or totally wrong. The “incomplete” part refers to a lack of context; these calculators can roughly reproduce a well-known estimate from a legend like Howard Johnson in his Digital Design textbooks. However, these calculators never provide insight into what they are actually calculating, or where the calculated via impedance is accurate. Keep reading to see why these calculators get it so wrong, as well as the context surrounding via impedance.

Blog
Buck Converter Simulation in Altium Designer

When designing high power circuits (usually very high voltage and/or current), you’ll need to create a regulator from scratch and place it in your PCB layout. It's also the case that you may want to model a real component using discretes in a simulation in order to qualify the system's expected operating regime. As part of buck converter design, you can easily run a buck converter simulation directly in Altium Designer’s schematic editor. Here’s how you can access these features in the newest version of Altium Designer. 

PCIe 6.0 Overview
Blog
Overview of the PCIe 6.0 Standard

Just as you get used to PCIe 5.0, they decide to release another standard! The newest iteration of PCIe is Gen6, or PCIe 6.0. PCIe 6.0 brings a doubling of channel bandwidth through introduction of PAM-4 as the signaling method in high-speed differential channels. This signaling method is a first for PCIe, and it’s an important enabler of the doubled data rate we see in the current standard. In this article, I’ll run over the important points in the standard and what PCB designers can expect when designing these channels.

SPI vs. I2C For Memory Access
Blog
SPI vs. I2C: How to Choose the Best Protocol for Your Memory Chips

One of the common implementations of SPI and I2C in a PCB layout is as a protocol for reading and writing to an external Flash memory. Flash chips are a very common component in embedded systems and can offer high capacities of non-volatile memory up to Gb values. When choosing a memory chip, you'll want to match the application requirements and functionality with the bus speed you need for read and write operations in your memory chip. There is also the matter of the type of Flash memory you'll need to access (NOR vs. NAND).

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Embedded thumbnail for Altium 365 - Design Collaboration | Tasks
Getting Started with A365
Altium 365 - Design Collaboration | Tasks

The Tasks feature brings lightweight task tracking to further enhance design collaboration in Altium 365. With Tasks, you will never lose an important action item and easily gain a high-level view of the state of your project, all without leaving your design environment. 

Embedded thumbnail for Adding Additional Views in a Draftsman Document
How to Work with Draftsman
Adding Additional Views in a Draftsman Document

If you need additional views in your documentation, Altium Designer’s Draftsman Document editor can help. We’ll show you how to add and configure different views including the component view, the section view, the detail view, the isometric view, variants, the legend for the layer stack, the board region view, and the board realistic view.

Embedded thumbnail for Draftsman Document Views - Fabrication and Drill Drawings
How to Work with Draftsman
Draftsman Document Views - Fabrication and Drill Drawings

The Draftsman Document Editor allows you to add a fabrication view and a drill drawing view to your outjob files. We’ll show you how to get them set up and details you can control from the properties panel.

Embedded thumbnail for Altium 365 - Version Control | Project History
Getting Started with A365
Altium 365 - Version Control | Project History

Project History in a Nutshell: - Presents events in a chronological timeline (Creation, Commits, Releases, Clones, and MCAD Exchanges) - Auto-generates Differences Summary to view the differing entities (e.g., replaced components) - Even a non-expert can act on a revision (Download, View, Revert)

Embedded thumbnail for A365 Getting Started: Gerber Compare
Getting Started with A365
A365 Getting Started: Gerber Compare

The task of comparing different versions of manufacturing files usually arises when the electrical engineer needs to check and confirm the manufacturer's edits or clarify details of changes before starting production. In Altium 365 you can perform an automatic comparison of Gerber files. 

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How to work with Multiboard
Resolving Conflicts in Multi-board Schematics

When mismatched pin names in your multi-board schematic cause disconnects and conflicts you can use Altium Designer’s tools to resolve these conflicts. We’ll show you the Connection Manager and the various solutions to solve your connection issues.

Embedded thumbnail for A365 Getting Started: Schematic Compare
Getting Started with A365
A365 Getting Started: Schematic Compare

The schematic sheets in a project are subject to change over time, and sometimes it may be necessary to compare several different versions and detect differences between them. In Altium Designer you can easily perform an automatic comparison of any revisions of schematic documents. 

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How to Work with Draftsman
Draftsman Document Board Assembly View

The Draftsman Document can include a Board Assembly View. We’ll show you how to add it and the properties you can change to create the exact view or views you need.

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Getting Started with A365
A365 Getting Started: Migrate to Altium 365 from other VCS

The development of electronic devices always involves the release of many different types of files. And these files are not static - they change as the project progresses. Traditionally, one way to manage data is to use a version control system such as Git or SVN. Unlike other VCSs, Altium 365 is the system designed specifically for managing project data.

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How to Work with Classes
How to work with Component Classes?

Modern printed circuit boards can contain a large number of components, which makes them difficult to work with. In this video we will show what component classes can be on a PCB, how to create custom component classes and how they can be useful for us. 

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How to work with Multiboard
Placing Connections Between Boards

A multi-board design requires relationships between several board designs referred to as interboard connections. We’ll show you the different types of connections and how to connect your boards using the proper connection type.

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How-To's
Show the Net Connections Between Select Components

This video demonstrates how to show net-specific component connections. This is helpful when routing as you’re able to reduce clutter and focus on the connections on which you are working.

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How to Work with Draftsman
Draftsman Editor Settings

In this video we’ll go over the Draftsman editor settings and properties so you know how to set up the editor to be exactly what you need.

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How-To's
Assuring Your Board Is Large Enough to House All Components

This video covers how to make sure your board is big enough to house all your components.

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How-To's
How to Create an Interactive PDF of a Schematic Diagram

This video shows how to create an interactive PDF using the Smart PDF Wizard.

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How to Work with Draftsman
What is the Draftsman Document?

Once your PCB layout is finished it’s time for review. This is where the Draftsman Document and Altium Designer’s Draftsman Editor comes in.

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Webinar Preview
On-Demand Webinar
CoDesigner and MCAD Component Placement On-Demand Webinar

We design products not just PCBs requiring effective collaboration between MCAD and ECAD engineers. We need to consider how we can reduce the likelihood of errors when placing critical design components. Component placement in the context of enclosures can be easily handled in an MCAD environment while it is more difficult to achieve in the ECAD domain. Learn how to place components from the MCAD side and synchronize them with Altium Designer ECAD models, designators, and sourcing data to simplify your design process.

On-Demand Webinar
Intelligent Supply Chain Webinar

Many factors can affect your supply chain. Currently, supply disruptions are being felt due to the effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic. In this webinar, learn how Concord Pro on Altium 365 can mitigate disruptions in your supply chain and help you stay on schedule and budget for your designs.

Altium Designer interface
On-Demand Webinar
Preparing your files for Fabrication Release

When you’re done creating a new board, it’s time to send your design data to the manufacturer. Before releasing your designs, you’ll want to make sure that everything is ready and works as intended. In this informative webinar, we’ll review some of the must-have checks before sending your output data for fabrication.

Stackup Manager in Altium
On-Demand Webinar
Mastering The Layer Stack Manager

What most people don’t seem to grasp is that every aspect of the PCB is critical. It all plays a significant part in the operation of the final product. The layer stack is no different. We need to keep in mind materials and the intricacies therein, including thickness, weave, dielectric constants, and more. A proper layer stack is needed for each and every design, so it's important to know how to navigate the layer stack manager and all of its features.

Part Search in Altium Designer
On-Demand Webinar
How to Overcome PCB Component Availability Problems

Supply shortages have become and continue to be a common problem, especially when it comes to the world of electronics. It's hard to get all the different components for our boards. Heck! It's even tough to get the board themselves too! When electronic components become obsolete or out of stock, design and production can suffer lengthy delays. With current supply chain delays and with an average of 15 end-of-life notices issued every day, obtaining the parts you need is a challenge.

Preparing your files for Fabrication Release
On-Demand Webinar
Preparing your files for Fabrication Release

When you’re done creating a new board, it’s time to send your design data to the manufacturer. Before releasing your designs, you’ll want to make sure that everything is ready and works as intended. In this informative video, we’ll review some of the must-have checks before sending your output data for fabrication.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
Efficient PCB Routing Using Gloss and Retrace Tools

The primary goal of your traces is to carry signals throughout your board without losses. To do this properly, you must familiarize yourself with the requirements for signals on the printed circuit board and how to optimize the topology of the board in terms of signal integrity. We will analyze the most popular routing cases applicable for using the Gloss and Retrace tools in Altium Designer to optimize your signal integrity.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
Length Matching in High Speed Buses

With ever increasing speeds in high-speed data systems comes a couple of PCB layout challenges. High-speed busses like DDR, VME, PCIe just to mention a few can all reach data transfer speeds that require strict timing with very tight tolerances, thereby leaving very little slack in the PCB layout. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn why it's imperative to match track lengths in high-speed data systems and differential signals. You’ll see how to properly define PCB length matching and time delay constraints, and how to effectively route high-speed signals in Altium Designer®.

Simple Simulation in Altium Designer
On-Demand Webinar
SPICE Simulation Made Simple

SPICE simulation saves you critical time in the prototyping phase. Understanding your simulation interface makes it simple to analyze how your circuits work in different scenarios. Altium Designer provides an intuitive, dedicated interface to support your simulation verification, setup, and analysis directly in your schematic environment. You also benefit from growing support for popular model formats, as well as generic models, simplifying circuit definition and simulation.

Altium Designer Signal Integrity
On-Demand Webinar
What is High-Speed Design?

The primary source of high-speed problems is not due to high clock frequency but rather the fast rise and fall times of component signals. With fast edge rates, reflections may occur at the receiver side, and when the board routing is dense, crosstalk may become a problem. During this webinar, you'll sharpen your knowledge and develop new skills that you can use to design High-Speed PCB's more efficiently and effectively.

Altium Designer Interface
On-Demand Webinar
What is High-Speed Design?

The primary source of high-speed problems is not due to high clock frequency but rather the fast rise and fall times of component signals. With fast edge rates, reflections may occur at the receiver side, and when the board routing is dense, crosstalk may become a problem. During this webinar, you'll sharpen your knowledge and develop new skills that you can use to design High-Speed PCB's more efficiently and effectively. 

Webinar slides
On-Demand Webinar
Designing PCBs 5x Faster Despite the Pandemic | Customer Success | Kinetic Vision

Kinetic Vision, a Cincinnati-based design, engineering, and development firm, is an innovator’s one-stop shop for transforming even the wildest ideas into real products. The company’s design approach keeps everything in-house, including industrial design, mechanical, and electrical design, as well as, engineering, hardware/software development, machine learning, and sometimes even short-run production. Watch this webinar to learn how Kinetic Vision uses the Altium 365 platform to enable a connected and frictionless PCB design experience, increasing their productivity 5 times even in the mid

Altium Designer interface
On-Demand Webinar
One-Stop Design Team Configuration

A heavy focus is usually put on managing your design data, but what about managing your design team? A mismanaged design team can lead to a disorganized and inaccurate design library and data. Watch this webinar to see how Altium 365 can help you to organize users into access restricted groups, manage design and designer access rights, avoid design conflicts when multiple members are working on the same design, and standardize your entire project using templates

SolidWorks interface
On-Demand Webinar
ECAD MCAD Capabilities For Today’s Most Demanding Designs

Working between the Electronic and Mechanical design domains brings unique challenges. ECAD and MCAD tools have different design objectives and have evolved down different paths, and so have the way they store and manage their design and project data. To successfully design these products, the designers must fluidly pass design changes back and forth between the ECAD and MCAD domains beyond outdated file exchanges.

Altium Designer Constraints Editor
On-Demand Webinar
Getting Started with Design Rules and Constraints

Getting started with design rules can sometimes be a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. Altium Designer has added a new design rules user interface along with a new way to define rules, while not compromising past methods. Now, rules and constraints have a design-centric view rather than a rules-centric view which allows for easier visualization and is less prone to error. Watch this video to learn how you can best utilize the improved Rules 2.0 design rule interface.

Altium Designer interface
On-Demand Webinar
ECAD-MCAD Collaboration for Improved Product Development

Working between the Electronic and Mechanical design domains brings unique challenges. ECAD and MCAD tools have different design objectives and have evolved down different paths, and so has the way they store and manage their design and project data. Watch this video to learn about seamless ECAD/MCAD Collaboration on the project, how to comments for other design teams and how to review, Approve or Reject design changes from your mechanical engineer.