In today’s world, the size of mechanical housing for electrical products is constantly decreasing, making 3D integration more important than ever. Ensuring your board and components fit correctly in the mechanical housing creates its own set of difficulties. This is especially challenging for rigid-flex designs. With Real-Time Interactive 3D in OrCAD PCB Designer Professional, you can seamlessly transition between 2D and 3D during your design process, bend your rigid-flex designs and measure paths to fully visualize your completed design. This tutorial will show you how to flex your design, measure paths in the x, y and z directions, and perform collision detection in real-time without leaving your CAD environment. If you would like to follow along with this tutorial, you can download the design files here.
Step 1: Open your design in OrCAD PCB Designer Professional and select Display→ 3D Canvas from the menu.
Step 2: In the Symbols Tab, expand TOP and uncheck “STEP_3D_MECH_BASE”.
Step 3: Enable Flexible Circuit Bending. Select the Option Tab. Right click in the 3D Canvas and select Bend.
Set the following angle values:
- Bend_1: 90
- Bend_2: 90
- Bend_3: 90
Right click and select Done.
Step 4: Enable Measurements. Right click and select “Measure Path”.
Click on components to measure distances. Distances are displayed in the Options tab for the X, Y and/or Z axis.
Right click and select Done.
Step 5: Enable Flexible Circuit Bending. Still in the Option Tab, right click in the 3D Canvas and select Bend. Set the following angle values:
- Bend_1: 180
- Bend_2: 180
- Bend_3: 180
Step 6: Select the Collision Detection Tab and click Calculate.
A collision has been detected due to flexing the circuit between U5 and U24.
Step 7: Move the components. Back in OrCAD PCB Designer Professional, click on component U5. Move the component and use “R” on the keyboard to rotate. Click to place.
Click on component U24. Move the component and use “R” on the keyboard to rotate. Click to place.
Step 8: Back in the 3D Canvas, run the collision detection again by selecting Calculate.
The collision has been resolved and is no longer visible in the Collision Detection tab.
Visualizing the final result of your PCB Assembly and how the assembly interacts with mechanical housing can be difficult, especially for rigid-flex designs. Collisions within the PCB Assembly or with the mechanical housing can create delays or even respins. Ensure your assembly is completed successfully by detecting issues and collisions during your design process with Real-Time Interactive 3D in OrCAD PCB Designer Professional.
Appendix A: Creating a Bend for Rigid-Flex Designs in OrCAD PCB Designer Professional
This appendix will provide step-by-step instructions to set up your rigid-flex design to utilize Bend capabilities included in the 3D Canvas. Creating a bend will allow you to view the actual PCB Assembly in 3D, to ensure there are no collisions with the board or mechanical housing after assembly. If you would like to follow along with this tutorial, you can download the design files here.
Step 1: Open your design in OrCAD PCB Designer Professional and select Setup→ Bend→ Create from the menu.
Step 2: Add BEND_3 for the Bend Name.
Step 3: Define the Bend Line. The bend line is the center of the bend along the bend radius.
Click to start the bend line. Select coordinate (144.6244, 76.2110). The X and Y coordinates are automatically populated in the Create Bend Area Window. Or type the X and Y coordinates into the corresponding boxes in the Create Bend Area Window.
Click to finish the bend line. Select coordinate (144.6244, 96.2110). The X and Y coordinates are automatically populated. Or type the X and Y coordinates into the corresponding boxes in the Create Bend Area Window.
Step 4: Set the Bending Parameters. Set the following information:
- Inner Side: Top
- Inner Radius: 4
- Angle: 180
- Order: 0
Inner Side: Defines the inside surface of the bending area. Top indicates the bend is upwards. Bottom indicates the bend is downwards.
Inner Radius: Defines the bend radius on the inner surface of the bend area.
Angle: Defines the final angle of the bend.
Order: Defines the order sequence number of the bend when multiple bends exist in the design. In some assemblies the sequence of the bends may impact the final result of the design. This parameter is optional.
Step 5: Set the Bend Area Options. Check “Via Keepout” and set the following information:
- Oversize: 2
Check “Package Keepout” and set the following information:
- Oversize: 2
Step 6: Save the Bend. Click Create and Close.
Step 7: Set the 3D Anchor point. Select Setupà Anchor 3D View from the menu.