Electronics > PCB/EDA/CAD

OrCAD Automatic Footprint and Symbol Download Feature

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Hi Everyone,
I just wondering if anyone here uses OrCAD for PCB design and if so would you find it beneficial if Cadence or someone else made a feature that would automatically download component CAD files like symbols and footprints and insert them into you library instead of you automatically downloading and importing the CAD file from Ultralibrarian or Octopart?

I'm planning on building out this software, if there is not enough interest

Is this an alternative to ultra-librarian? I'm not impressed by the footprints from ultralibrarian. I rather design footprints from scratch than fixing the ones from ultralibrarian.

It would be a faster way to import CAD file from ultralibrarian or other sites with CAD files. True but that is not always an option if speed is required

Speaking a non-Cadence user (despite owning a copy), I tried using Ultralibrarian and similar and realised they are a waste of time. There were various reasons, but the primary one was consistency. Things like layer references would need changing and that's if the same layers were used for the same thing across models and sources. Then there is the preferred house style, and just as you wouldn't want your parts numbering scheme tied to match that used by, for instance, RS I don't think a house style should be dictated to by a third party library source.

Some of those things aren't a surprise and the providers try to cover all bases, but in the end I realised the main reason I went looking for library parts was because I didn't have the creative vision to imagine them. That is, I'm not an artist and how should some reasonably complex part look? Finding someone elses idea is generally why we seek them out. Once over that hurdle, which involves making up your own house rules (all inputs on the left, etc) you can generally draw the schematic symbol in the time it takes to go and find one. The PCB package I would want to verify is correct too, which means figuring it out from the datasheet, and it's just quicker to do that from scratch than it is to get one and then try to measure it.

Now, the only thing I go looking for is 3D models, 'cos those are pretty tricky. A reasonable excuse for doing that is to verify that the PCB package is correct - sure, the 3D model might be wrong, but a false negative is cheaper than a false positive (or just trusting to fortune).

The idea of a took such as yours might be attractive to new users, I think, but once they're enmeshed in the ECAD product and doing professional work it's probably not going to save much effort. To be of real benefit it would need to take those files from diverse sources and change them to be like the (definable) house style as well as importing them.

You've raised some good points. I do think that I should highlight that it would not necessarily remove the common problems with PCB CAD files and while I do agree that it would mainly be more appealing to new users. It would be a useful tool to have in the scenario where you do find a good component file you can in import it in just one click.

Getting the CAD file from multiples sources (Ultralibrarian was just an example of one source) would be something that could be done to make the tool more useful and I will definitely consider it. With regards to providing different CAD package I think this could definitely be useful but difficult to implement in a smart way in software.


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