CAM system bridges PCB design to manufacture gap

An Altium product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Mar 13, 2003

CAMtastic DXP is the latest version of Altium's complete CAM verification and editing system that bridges the gap between PCB design and manufacturing.

CAMtastic DXP is the latest version of Altium's complete CAM verification and editing system that bridges the gap between PCB design and manufacturing and facilitates communication between board designers, fabrication engineers, and their clients.

"Time-to-market constraints dictate that the transfer from design to manufacturing be as smooth as possible", says Phil Loughhead, Product Manager, Altium.

"CAMtastic DXP has been specifically developed to facilitate this data transfer with extensive import and export formats, strengthened data verification, and Altium's unique Design Explorer platform - which ensures tight tool integration and superior ease-of-use.

CAMtastic DXP will save time by ensuring designs are error free and completely ready for efficient fabrication and assembly".

CAMtastic DXP's new features include bi-directional ODB++ support, advanced panelisation, additional DRCs for strengthened data verification, and extensive numerically controlled (NC) drill and rout features.

CAMtastic DXP comes with a complete range of import/export options, a host of PCB design check/fix analyses and all the graphical and geometrical tools necessary to edit and modify any design for fabrication and assembly.

With a single mouse click CAMtastic DXP will search the entire design, locating and automatically repairing 18 of the most common manufacturing design flaws such as solder bridging, power/ground shorts, netlist shorts, and silkscreen over soldermask.

CAMtastic DXP now imports and exports ODB++ files, the format that is emerging as the de facto standard for data exchange between design and manufacturing throughout the electronics industry.

CAMtastic DXP also supports IPC-D356 netlists and introduces an enhanced QuickLoad feature that allows all supported file types to be loaded simultaneously.

The full support for fabrication design rule checking ensures that manufacturing issues can be detected early so that the accuracy of designs can be confirmed before production.

Combined with powerful commands that support rotating and flipping of steps, the advanced panelisation features in CAMtastic DXP allow panels to be optimised for both cost and assembly techniques.

A straightforward process allows a single board to fill a panel according to border and spacing information provided.

Additional data such as drill coupons and tooling holes can be defined as individual steps and inserted into the panel alongside the array of board data.

CAM data from different boards can be loaded as steps into the same panel allowing a panel to be filled with any grouping of boards.

Data verification has been strengthened in CAMtastic DXP with additional design rule checks (DRCs) and increased netlist extraction capabilities.

CAMtastic DXP includes an extensive range of data verification checks for potential fabrication problems such as silkscreen over mask, solder bridging, net antennas or starved thermals.

Its netlist extraction supports any board configuration including blind and buried vias, as well as split power planes using both thermal relief and direct power plane connections.

Core to any effective CAD/CAM software is the ability to create both regular (drilled) and irregular (routed) holes in the PCB panel.

CAMtastic DXP includes a broad range of NC rout capabilities, including auto routing, rout tabs and automatic mill path definition.

NC rout paths can be defined manually or automatically (by edge tracing existing objects), with full control over tool parameters, plunge/retraction points and rout direction.

The CAMtastic DXP viewer is the only free viewer to support the import of intelligent ODB++ data.

The viewer includes all the power of CAMtastic DXP's extensive import, print, and inspection functions, including the ability to view ODB++ data.

The viewer enables board designers, fabricators, and assemblers to readily collaborate on critical manufacturing issues and share design data without being tied to proprietary data formats.

CAMtastic DXP is now available for purchase and is priced at US $1495 for new licences and at US $495 for upgrades of all previous versions.

Also in a special introductory cross-grade offer (until 30th June 2003), CAMtastic is available at US $995 for users of eligible CAM tools.

The free ODB++ capable viewer can be downloaded directly from

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