Parent article: PCBWorks Documentation
To collaborate between PCBWorks and SOLIDWORKS® you need the following installed:
- SOLIDWORKS Collaboration extension. This is a standard PCBWorks extension (DXP » Extensions and Updates), adding the SOLIDWORKS Collaboration panel into PCBWorks.
- A valid PCBWorks license.
- ECAD-MCAD Project Collaboration Server - validly licensed and installed on a computer accessible by both PCBWorks and SOLIDWORKS installations.
- SOLIDWORKS from Dassault Systèmes. Both SOLIDWORKS 2014 and SOLIDWORKS 2015 are supported. NOTE: SOLIDWORKS 2015 service pack 3 has a critical bug fix that addresses a problem with intermittent crashes during initial import of board from Altium Designer to SOLIDWORKS.
- PCBWorks-SOLIDWORKS Collaboration Add-in from Altium, installed on the same PC as SOLIDWORKS. This adds the collaboration capabilities and PCBWorks Collaboration panel into SOLIDWORKS.
This page provides a summary of the installations involved (with the exception of SOLIDWORKS itself), with links to more detailed information in each case.
Installation - PCBWorks
Main article: Installing PCBWorks
Initial installation of PCBWorks is performed using the PCBWorks Installer. This wizard-based installer is accessed by running a small (approx. 9MB) executable –
PCBWorksSetup.exe. This executable is included in a zip file of requisite installables, acquired after purchase of PCBWorks, and can be saved anywhere on your hard disk.
Streamlined installation courtesy of the PCBWorks Installer.
There are two key elements to installation, definable across the various pages of the installation wizard, allowing you to control what gets installed, and where:
- Design Functionality – allowing you to specify which features are installed initially. The
PCB Design option provides the base software and core technologies required to perform PCB design. It is always installed and cannot be deselected. Use the remaining options to tailor the install to suit your needs. This will also have an impact on the initial installation time too!
- Install Location – allowing you to specify the destination folders for the install, in terms of both the Program Files and Shared Documents install locations. These locations become especially important when installing multiple instances of PCBWorks.
The installation itself is streamlined and fast. This allows you to get installed, and up-and-running in the quickest time possible. Once installed, you can further refine your installation, in terms of available features and functionality.
Installation - ECAD-MCAD Project Collaboration Server
Main article: Installing the ECAD-MCAD Project Collaboration Server
Installation of the ECAD-MCAD Project Collaboration Server is performed using the Altium Vault Setup wizard. This installer is accessed by running an executable –
Altium Vault <VersionNumber>.exe. This executable is included in a zip file of requisite installables, acquired after purchase of PCBWorks, and can be saved anywhere on your hard disk.
Streamlined installation courtesy of the Altium Vault Setup wizard.
Installation - PCBWorks-SOLIDWORKS Collaboration Add-in
Main article: Installing the PCBWorks-SOLIDWORKS Collaboration Add-in
Installation of the collaboration functionality into SOLIDWORKS is performed using the PCBWorks - SOLIDWORKS Collaboration Setup wizard. This installer is accessed by running an executable –
PCBWorks - SOLIDWORKS Collaboration <VersionNumber>.exe. This executable is included in a zip file of requisite installables, acquired after purchase of PCBWorks, and can be saved anywhere on your hard disk.
Streamlined installation courtesy of the PCBWorks - SOLIDWORKS Collaboration Setup wizard.
The wizard also provides the ability - post installation - to optionally initialize your Collaboration Server/Altium Vault for collaboration purposes. This involves:
- Creating ecad and mcad users in the Collaboration Server/Altium Vault, to cater for server/vault access (to 'get at' the collaborative projects) by the two sides.
- Adding example designs (managed design projects), to a default Examples repository, created for the server/vault.
Connect to the Collaboration Server
With all the requisite elements installed, both PCBWorks and SOLIDWORKS must now sign into the ECAD-MCAD Project Collaboration Server (or Altium Vault). This is the last step before collaboration between the two parties can begin in earnest.
Sign into the Collaboration Server/Altium Vault as follows, ensuring that you connect SOLIDWORKS to the server/vault first, followed by PCBWorks:
- In SOLIDWORKS, if you are not logged in then you will be prompted to log into the Server/Vault whenever you perform an action that affects data being collaborated on, such as when you click one of the New Board Assembly or Pull Board From Vault buttons in the PCBWorks Collaboration panel. The Altium Vault Login dialog will appear, enter the Vault address in the form
<ServerName>:<PortNumber>, then enter a valid user name into Login, and the associated Password. If you need to log into a different Server/Vault, click the button on the top right of the PCBWorks Collaboration panel and select Log Out, then click one of the New Board Assembly or Pull Board From Vault buttons to log into the other Server/Vault.
- In PCBWorks select Sign in Altium Vault from the File menu. In the Connecting to Altium Vault dialog enter the Server address in the form
<ServerName>:<PortNumber>, and a valid Vault User name and Password.
That's it. Everything is now installed, and the two sides - PCBWorks and SOLIDWORKS - can now start collaborating. For more information on how this is done, see Collaborating between PCBWorks and SOLIDWORKS.