An Overview of MCAD 3D Printing

Key Takeaways

  • MCAD 3D printing technology offers solutions for complex design and manufacturing challenges.  

  • By using MCAD software, the user gets the opportunity to iterate designs with different form factors or physical placements.

  • In the electronic enclosure design process, integrating electrical and mechanical CAD software reduces data transfer errors and communication barriers. 

 Electronic enclosure

MCAD 3D printing technology helps engineers create well-fitted electronic enclosures

Designing enclosures for electronics has become a tedious process. The downsizing of components and miniaturization of circuit boards has introduced mechanical constraints in enclosure manufacturing. Mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) 3D printing is a time-saving technology that can be used for creating complex 3D geometry. With MCAD 3D printing, it is possible to print new products with intricate details. We will discuss MCAD 3D printing and its advantages further in this article.  

MCAD 3D Printing

In this era of automation, knowledge-based engineering is incorporated into product design to ensure the highest quality outcome with fast and efficient design and manufacturing processes. The innovative technology of 3D printing helps in fabricating products with complex geometry in the shortest time period and at the lowest cost. The electronic enclosure is an example of such a complex product design; designers employ MCAD 3D printing technology to create the best fitting electronic enclosure.

MCAD 3D printing technology is a solution for complex design and manufacturing challenges. Complex designs can be modeled using MCAD software. The models developed in MCAD software can be 3D printed, and any complex structure or geometry can be realized without much manual effort or time. 

MCAD Software

MCAD software takes into account every mechanical design consideration and eases the design and development process. MCAD software streamlines and simplifies the manufacturing process and introduces a greater level of clarity in every detail of the structure. With MCAD software, the user can explore different alternatives available for a single design task. By using MCAD software, the user gets the opportunity to iterate designs with different form factors or physical placements. Exploring different iterations of a design helps the user to settle for the best.

In mechanical designs, structural integrity plays a vital role in approving the various design iterations under consideration. The feature of three-dimensional visualization offered by MCAD software helps in testing the structural integrity of design iterations.

Consider the traditional manufacturing of an enclosure for an electronic circuit; you may need to build the prototype multiple times to achieve the correct fit and form. MCAD software helps in assessing the form and fit of design without physically manufacturing the product. MCAD design software can also measure the weight of the design and recognize any structural interferences in the design in advance. Only a design that meets all constraints and fits perfectly is 3D printed, reducing material waste and prototyping costs.

Documentation

Documentation is an important part of engineering processes, and with new technology such as 3D printing, it is even more significant. MCAD software releases engineering documents specifying sourcing, fabrication, and production details. These documents are released to the manufacturing team for production and can be used as a reference, especially when reproducing the same design with or without revisions.

Integrating MCAD and ECAD Software

When the electrical and mechanical design of a circuit and enclosure are separately carried out in ECAD and MCAD, the risk of human communication errors and data transfer errors are high. In the electronic enclosure design process, integrating the electrical and mechanical CAD software reduces data transfer errors and communication barriers.

For the efficient and well-defined design of an electronic enclosure, integration of the MCAD and ECAD software being used is critical. Integrating ECAD and MCAD software onto one platform can optimize the enclosure design in electrical as well as mechanical aspects. The physical rules of the design, obtained from the ECAD software, should be shared with the MCAD software and aid in generating the 3D model.

Excellent 3D electronic designs can be developed by introducing the bidirectional workflow between ECAD and MCAD. The collaboration of ECAD and MCAD improves flexibility during the design and prototyping stages, fixes errors, and supports any changes by reflecting revisions automatically in electrical and mechanical designs. The integration of ECAD and MCAD software enhances product safety as well as quality.

Advanced electronic enclosure designs can be realized using MCAD 3D printing technology. However, the best possible electronic enclosure designs are realized by integrating both ECAD and MCAD software.

Cadence OrCAD offers seamless integration of ECAD and MCAD packages, bridging the gap between ECAD and MCAD design and assisting in bringing excellent interdisciplinary product designs to market. Leading electronics providers rely on Cadence products to optimize power, space, and energy needs for a wide variety of market applications. If you’re looking to learn more about our innovative solutions, talk to our team of experts or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

About the Author

Cadence PCB solutions is a complete front to back design tool to enable fast and efficient product creation. Cadence enables users accurately shorten design cycles to hand off to manufacturing through modern, IPC-2581 industry standard.

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