We’ve all heard “A picture is worth a thousand words” – the idea that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly.
One of the biggest issues facing many manufacturers today is how to efficiently share the large volume of digital product content created throughout the product development process to all those involved, at the right time, right place, and right way. And in today’s world, that digital product content is a myriad of mechanical, electrical, electronic, MS Office documents, 2D and 3D forms.
Be it for communication, collaboration, inspection, or approval, providing visualization tools to all those involved in product development maximizes productivity, increases the opportunity to fix problems early, and leads to better products.
And with Creo 1.0, we’re providing a broad range of viewing apps, including Creo View MCAD and Creo View ECAD, together with range of extensions to meet the broadest set of needs.
Now as a Mechanical Engineer (or spanner as we’d be called by the sparks), I’d normally focus on the MCAD viewing apps first, but Mark Caradonna, Product Manager at PTC, insisted we discuss Creo View ECAD. [Ed-We’ll describe Creo View MCAD in a later article.]
GH: What is Creo View ECAD?
Caradonna: Creo View ECAD is a standalone viewing app for those who want to view, interrogate, and mark up ECAD data. It works out-of-the-box with the other Creo apps, but can also complement non-Creo environments as it can handle all common ECAD formats. For example, users can directly load Cadence .brd files or Mentor DxDesigner project files directly.
GH: Who would typically use Creo View ECAD?
Caradonna: As most products now include electronics, manufacturers see ECAD design just as critical as the mechanical design. But more than 50% of today’s electronic designs must be changed after prototype testing due to problems that were not identified and communicated, adding costly design spins. Companies want to ensure effective design reviews and achieve fewer design spins. Creo View ECAD allows users within engineering, design, fabrication, test and assembly to quickly verify electronic design content that was developed in the ECAD tools.
GH: Does each user have different needs?
Caradonna: Yes, but they’re served by one app. For example, for Electrical Engineers, Creo View ECAD can support design reviews for placement and routing, for Mechanical Engineers, it can provide a more accurate view of the ECAD design, for Manufacturing Engineers it provides a way to check designs earlier to make sure they can be manufactured. For those in testing, it can be used to view and identify faults much quicker without needing to use paper plots.
GH: What are the highlights of Creo View ECAD?
Caradonna: Here’s what I’d say are the five highlights of Creo View ECAD:
- Consistent improved UI and user experience across all the Creo apps, so it’s much easier to learn and use.
- Browse locally or via Windchill for schematic or physical PCB CAD databases, without using ECAD design tools, for library, schematic, PCB and BOM data
- Query one or many intelligent design data objects including component, pin and net attributes
- Follow net connectivity across the schematic to PCB by pin function, to identify bad signal sources
- Communicate changes, comments, or red-line data in multiple languages to the EDA tool user
- Cross-select components, keep in/out regions, and holes to and from the PCB Layout and the 3D mechanical view of the product (this requires Creo View MCAD or Creo Parametric)– so that you can view the areas of interest in both representations simultaneously.
Visit creo.ptc.com to find out more about the Creo 1.0 apps over the coming weeks and months.