How to export Altium Designer PCB Document with 3D Models to Ansys Electronics Desktop IcePak to Solve Thermal Problem

This article gives a good way to import a clean PCB layout to AEDT IcePak. This method may be used in another EDA software, such as PADs or Candence an so on.

  1. Step 1: Export Ansys EDB File From Altium Designer

    • Before you can do this, an externsion called "Ansys EDB Exporter" should have installed in altium designer. If you're not cleared, check if the directory "C:\ProgramData\Altium\Altium Designer {XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXX}\Extensions\Ansys EDB Exporter" exist.
    • This is a demo PCBA, a double layer PCB with 3D models.
    • Use menu "File -> Export -> Ansys EDB " to export edb file.
    • After exported , we get this dialoged message, and a file named with "edb.def" generated.

  2. Step 2: Export Parasolid X_T 3D Model from Altium Designer

    Use "File -> Export -> PARASOLID" menu.

    Select export without copper and export selected, so as to export 3D models without coppers and holes. Because we have exported full stack of PCB in previous step 1.

  3. Step 3: Clean PCB Layouted Coppers In Ansys SIWave and Export

    Improt EDB file to SIWave

    Before sanitize, you can see lots of tracks and polygon copper appeared in the same electric net, this will cause error in Ansys IcePak.

    Go to ribben “Tools" and use "Sanitize Layout" function to clean layout.

    Use "Check All Nets" to select all electric net, and click "Sanitize" to clean extra coppers.

    Export EDB file, so we will use it in the next step.

  4. Step 4: Merge PCB Layouts and 3D Models

    In Ansys SpaceClaim, use menu open to import edb file.

    After import, only layouted pcb.

    Open Altium Designer exported x_t file.

    Select intrested 3D component model, and use keyboard shortcuts "Ctrl + C" to copy.

    Switched to previous document with only copper, and use keyboard short "Ctrl + V" to paste. All selected 3D component will be mapped correcttly.

    Save documents.

  5. Step 5: Import PCBA to Ansys EDT IcePAK

    Open Ansys EDT, create an IcePak design.

    Use menu "Modeler -> SpaceClaim Link -> Connect to Active Session... ".

    In "Active SpaceClaim Sessions" dialog , click "Connect" to connect SpaceClaim model.

    After 3D model imported, you can see this following view.