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Does Building PCB CAD Libraries Suck Up your Time?

Have you ever stopped to calculate how much time your team spends on building and maintaining CAD libraries?


Building and maintaining libraries is a necessary part of a PCB designer’s life, taking hours of time away from other necessary tasks you must do to complete a project. It should come as no surprise to you that part libraries are constantly growing, evolving, and changing based on technological advancements. The number chips out in the market are not only multiplying at an exponential rate but there has also been an increase in the size and complexity of these parts, making it more time consuming to build libraries to represent them.


It is possible to find pre-built CAD libraries on the internet, but how accurate will they be? Parts built “close enough” to the part specifications will not suffice when you go to production and could cause you a major headache trying to match uneven dimensions. A lot goes into designing a PCB and the last thing you want to worry about is the accuracy of the parts you are using in your design, especially if you plan to reuse these parts in other projects. So, how do you keep up with the constant changing and evolving part libraries out on the market today?


We have developed several solutions to help create, manage, and maintain part libraries for any size company. Whether you are creating libraries or simply looking for a good source for CAD libraries, below are two options PCB designers have found very helpful in solving their part creation and maintenance problems.


Create Symbols and Footprints in Minutes with OrCAD Library Builder

Eliminate errors caused by manual entry with the advanced library building technology in OrCAD Library Builder (OLB). Create schematic symbols and PCB footprints in minutes providing more time to focus on all the other elements that go into PCB design. OrCAD Library Builder ensures correct by construction library creation through automated cross-checking of symbols and footprints in your development process. 

OrCAD Library Builder

This process allows you to build symbols and footprints quicker while maintaining a level of standardization. OLB also offers the most advanced PCB library tools on the market today including PDF data sheet extraction, generation of 3D STEP models, and comprehensive checking and verification tools. 

  • PDF datasheet extraction: Extract data from pin tables and diagrams and quickly build complex symbols with thousands of pins. Automatically build your footprints to IPC-7351 specifications straight from the vendors datasheet or define custom requirements
  • Generation of 3D STEP Models: Generate STEP models from footprint data
  • Comprehensive Verification Tools: Eliminate human error in part creation process with our comprehensive checking and verification tool


These automated tools can help reduce PCB library development time and improve the quality of overall designs. Interested in what an 80% reduction in library creation time can do for you? Get started by trying the OrCAD Library Builder ROI Calculator. 


Access millions of verified pre-built parts with Ultra Librarian for OrCAD


 Ultra Librarian for OrCAD


It is estimated engineers spend on average of 8-16 hours to build one high pin count symbol and footprint. Don’t want to worry about building libraries anymore? Ultra Librarian for OrCAD provides access to a cloud-based database of over 9 million pre-built schematic symbols, PCB footprints, and 3D models. Parts have been built based on IPC and ANSI standards, and are automatically linked unifying the elements of the part as a single component with multiple views for logical, physical, and 3D.


Search, preview, and place parts directly inside Capture without ever having to leave the OrCAD environment. You can now move from schematic capture to PCB layout seamlessly without having to worry the parts you use will not line up in the end. Interested in trying it out for free? Register for your free 90 day trial of Ultra Librarian for OrCAD today.


There are many options for those who are stuck with managing CAD libraries. Don’t feel trapped or constrained with the mundane task of building and maintaining your PCB CAD libraries any longer, work smarter not harder with our library solutions including OrCAD Library Builder and/or Ultra Librarian for OrCAD



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