The Pro and Cons Of 3D PCB Design Software

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A 3D PCB design software’s are not new they have been in the market quite a while. But their capabilities have evolved quite a lot with the passage of time. So, the software that was just a nicety is now an integral part of the PCB design work environment. As it offers views for both mechanical and electrical 3D models. Thus, 3D models basically display a virtual prototype of a finished assembly that a 2D layout environment is unable. So, now 3D PCB design software has allowed both electrical and mechanical engineers to sort out the problem before manufacturing in a time and cost-efficient manner. Here some pros and cons of 3D PCB design software are listed below to facilitate you in order to make an informed decision;

Pros of 3D PCB design software

It gives a better view:

As the technology advances the design space available also decreases. Whether you are planning IoT or any other design type. Also, the printed circuit boards are getting squeezed and getting denser and denser so, the designers are unable to check the size and fit so, in order ensure that there is no error after manufacturing 3D PCB software provides a better view.

Reference designators can be placed more accurately:

The 3D software ensures that all component bodies don’t overlap reference designators and also discovers when they are overlapping solder mask clearance. So, 3D view gives a photo-realistic image and allows the designer team to review keenly the PCB artwork.

Faster design time:

These software’s enable engineers to complete their task as quickly as possible, so they provide a time-efficient solution and allows them to work without any hindrance.

Less overhead cost:

The plus point of using software’s is that it just charges an hourly fee and do not charge overhead fees. So, as a whole package, it is a con as a whole lot of tools are present so, it does not cause that much.

Outstanding component Management:

If you want to work on multiple variances like different voltage rating, memory size, temperature rating, etc. so a lot of components with 3D design software you don’t have to start a new project for each variance.

Cons of 3D PCB design software

Some considered it as a pro but in some cases, it is viewed as a con as most of the work is done by a system so, as result, you may face problem in the end. Also, there is the problem of the costs as it is very expensive, and, in some cases, you have to pay extra in order to avail full services. Thirdly there are also chances of system errors so, such issues or problems should be kept in mind before jumping spontaneously upon using it.

  • System Errors
  • Lacks manual changes
  • Some charges extra for full services

Moving forward

So, as it is discussed above it have both pros and cons, but users just have to find a way around it. Although in the past the PCB designers have been forced to work within a 2D environment. But in the past years this standard has worked but today the software’s have evolved. So, don’t be afraid and be daring and explore the endless services and tools of this software as everything have its pros and cons and no doubt the pros overthrow the cons of 3D PCB design software’s. And Altium is the best way to move forward.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.