A long-time customer approached xLM Solutions with a problem. The manual process for converting 2D DXF files from their electrical computer-aided design (ECAD) system into 3D printed circuit board (PCB) models in SOLIDWORKS was time-consuming, complicated and resulted in inefficiencies. 

This disconnect between ECAD and mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) is a well-known issue in our industry. While it’s possible for mechanical engineers to manually convert 2D DXF ECAD files into 3D models – and the status quo for a long time – the process is repetitive and at odds with digital transformation initiatives. 

xLM Solutions has developed a new tool to automate the process. Our solution isn’t the only option available on the commercial market, but it is highly effective and cost effective, and we welcomed the opportunity to provide comprehensive support to one of our customers. 

Accelerating the Creation of 3D PCB models in SOLIDWORKS

The Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Creator from xLM Solutions automates the creation of 3D PCB models in SOLIDWORKS based on 2D DXF files from your ECAD system, eliminating the time-consuming and repetitive task of building a representation of the board manually.

The solution can also create full PCB assemblies based on the designed boards and components (i.e. resistors, capacitors, diodes, etc.) that are placed on the board. The tool will read the coordinate file and will pick and place each component in the correct position on the board, resulting in a full assembly with every piece in the right place.

Key features:

  • Created 3D PCB board with multiple layers based on DXF files
  • Ability to perform pick and place of components on board based on components
  • Board creation wizard for complex boards

Interested in seeing our tool in action? Click here to watch a demo on YouTube. 

xLM Helps Unlock Efficiencies with PCB Creator Tool

The PCB Creator tool has been transformational for our customer, driving a significant improvement in efficiency, enforcing standardization and resulting in an increase in collaboration and innovation. It has also given valuable time back to their mechanical engineers, allowing them to focus on skilled tasks instead of repetitive, manual processes.

This project was the first of its kind for our experts, but one we welcomed having ample expertise with SOLIDWORKS. Our team is always working on new tools and solutions that help our customers accelerate innovation and advance their business objectives. Some other SOLIDWORKS tools we’ve developed include:

Get SOLIDWORKS and Digital Transformation Support from xLM

An amazing 89% of companies are working on digital transformation strategies today, and this customer is no different. PLM and PDM software is an essential part of any digital-first strategy, but our experts understand that the right solution must result in more than cost savings. It also needs to align with your organization’s business objectives and support other aspects of your digital transformation journey. 

Working on the PCB Creator tool was really fun because it allowed our team to support our customer in a new and exciting way involving SOLIDWORKS, but it also provided an opportunity for us to help them automate a process in line with their digital transformation goals.

We are grateful for the opportunity to work on this custom solution and look forward to more projects like this one. If you’re interested in taking advantage of our PCB Creator tool or have questions about other aspects of SOLIDWORKS, please get in touch. Thank you.


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