Multisim and Ultiboard

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Importing ECAD component libraries into Multisim/Ultiboard

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I'm evaluating Ultiboard for the faster creation of PCB layouts (we currently use DesignSpark but it has reliability issues). Using Multisim I can quickly design a circuit, then in Ultiboard create the layout and export Gerber files. Nice.


However, the built in database of master components is lacking most of the parts we purchase from RS Components. The RS Component Search site offers downloadable ECAD libraries of their components which includes the component footprint, 3D model, pin arrangement/labelling etc., which is fundamental to the creation of a PCB layout. ECAD can be imported into packages like DesignSpark, Allegro, Altium, CADSTAR, CircuitStudio, EAGLE, eCADSTAR, KiCAD, OrCAD, PADS, Proteus, Pulsonix, xDC Deisgner or XPedition to make the component immediately available.


For Multisim/Ultiboard all I can find are knowledgebase articles for creating components, not importing them, which appears to be a lot of effort, especially if you don't have a similar component to copy from. I don't want to create new components, I want to import the manufacturer's ECAD file and know confidently that the information is correct.


Is there a way to import these ECAD files into Multisim/Ultiboard? I couldn't figure out how to create this component in Multisim correctly, nor can I see how to import the files to do it automatically. As example ECAD for the SFH618A-4 is attached.

Thoric (CLA, CLED, CTD and LabVIEW Champion)

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Accepted by topic author Thoric

Held a phone conversation with NI, according to the Multisim Product Marketer there is no way of importing ECAD files into Multisim/Ultiboard.

Thoric (CLA, CLED, CTD and LabVIEW Champion)

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Sad. Mouser uses ECAD also. I also note that the component library is getting old. I have never received or been notified of any additions/updates. 😞

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That is one of the main reasons we switched to KiCAD.  Multisim and cosimulation are still great tools, but ultiboard has fallen by the wayside and if you are not a legacy user with your own built up database of footprints you are going to waste a lot of time fussing with Ultiboard before you realize you should have started down another path.


KiCAD is free, but is well supported with a huge user group.  Its worth looking into for people just getting into PCB design.


I really think NI should just make it clear that new users should not be picking up ultiboard unless there is a secret NI plan to catch up in the future.


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