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Understanding general OrCAD capabilities prior to purchasing

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  • Understanding general OrCAD capabilities prior to purchasing

    We are close to purchasing OrCAD at my company, after I have evaluated the trial version now for almost 30 days. I am used to Cadence and Mentor Graphics in the past, and know of some of their capabilities, and would like to know if OrCAD has the same feature.
    Will you please answer some questions?
    1.) Can you import a mechanical drawing into
    OrCAD
    , i.e. the board and all of the cut-outs in it?
    2) Can the board and cut-outs also be generated in
    OrCAD
    instead?
    3) Do you use Ultra Librarian? If so, do you like it? Is it free?
    4) You created your own resistor and capacitor symbols in the video. Was that necessary? Can you start with the resistor and capacitor symbols that are available in
    OrCAD
    and add pad-stacks to them, size of component (i.e. 0402, 0603, etc.)?
    Thanks for your response.
    Regards,
    John

  • #2
    I have both altium and cadence licenses. As a designer, I highly recommend you to purchase ALTIUM rather than cadence (I did not work with other software so I can only compare these two). both software have the same results, but designing by cadence is really bothersome.
    For me, the most important features of ALtium rather than cadences are:
    1-use the shortcut keys to accelerate you to design better.
    2- have a lot of sources to learn.
    3-more stable software (sometime I have a lot of crashs during one day when I am working with cadence 16.3 on windows 10).
    4-the schematic, library and pcb design are compact in one project.

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    • #3
      Robert creates in both software packages his own symbols and footprints. Its part of the course to show you how to do it. Of course you can use in both the provided symbols and footprints from the included library.

      You can import a mechanical drawing (dxf) in OrCAD/Allegro. Have a look with google for a technical note describing this. Cadences provides a lot tecnotes for various aspects of the software. (http://www.parallel-systems.co.uk/matrix/)

      Some shortcuts keys are in OrCAD/Allegro/Capture already defined. Others are defined during Robert's course. See also a post in the beginners section from me, how to define shortcuts and funckeys. The design process is way faster this way and it is not just a feature of Altium.
      The possibility to define your own shortcuts by yourself is the chance to define them in a way you want: some people love placing vias with the space bar, some people with the "." dot. If you still know some shortcuts from another software, you can use them. This way you don't have to re-learn some keys.

      The Altium gui is more Windows style, the OrCAD/Allego UI design is more Unix style. The separation in several programs is - in my opinion - a benefit not to clutter the main interface and helps a lot to orient oneself. Other people love the way Altium is covering everything in one program. It depends on you what is more convenient to you.
      At the end its just a tool to do the job.

      The money is another aspect: OrCAD Professional + CIS is on par (and in some aspects beyond: length matching, SI, Simulation) with Altium, but cheaper! Allegro with the possible add-on options is way ahead of the capabilities of Altium, but more expensive. But does this matter for you? Whats your main focus of work, which features are needed?
      (I bought OrCAD Pro + CIS half a year ago and it was half the price of Altium.)

      BTW the current version of OrCAD/Allegro is 17.2.39 (SPB17.20.039) and it runs really smooth and fast with Windows 10 build 1803.

      ParsysEDA is doing a great job recording a lot of youtube videos for OrCAD. One of these videos is for board cutouts: https://youtu.be/xApXb3Fld5Y

      EDIT:
      Two more links related for mechanical drawing

      Import Export DXF
      MCAD/ECAD Incremental design data exchange (IDX)
      Last edited by joe_ls; 05-20-2018, 08:28 AM.

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      • JohnCe
        JohnCe commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for your inputs. I appreciate you taking the time to help me.
        John

    • #4
      1.) Can you import a mechanical drawing into OrCAD, i.e. the board and all of the cut-outs in it?
      - I have never done that (I do not have any dxf files), but you should be able to import DXF into Allegro Click image for larger version

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      2) Can the board and cut-outs also be generated in OrCAD instead?
      - I am not sure what you mean, but if you mean to create a board drawing in Allegro, than yes, you can specify board outline (including cutouts) in Allegro and you can also add dimensions. You should be also able to export it into DXF (again, I have not done this, as I do not use DXF) Click image for larger version

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      3) Do you use Ultra Librarian? If so, do you like it? Is it free?
      - I do not use Ultra Librarian. We create all symbols and footprint by ourselves. Is it free? That is an interesting question. When I tried some time ago to use Ultra Librarian through Digikey, I have seen message, that I only could download limited number of parts. It looks like, the message is now gone ... If you mean Ultra Librarian inside OrCAD - I do not have any experience with that. Click image for larger version

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      4) You created your own resistor and capacitor symbols in the video. Was that necessary? Can you start with the resistor and capacitor symbols that are available in OrCAD and add pad-stacks to them, size of component (i.e. 0402, 0603, etc.)?
      - You can do that. The point in the course was to show, that it is not difficult to create symbols and also the point in the course is teach you how to do it by yourself. You can absolutely use already created symbols (I very often re-use symbols from reference designs and just adjust them to my needs)

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      • #5
        Robert,
        Thanks for your inputs. I appreciate you taking the time to help me.
        John

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