Mentor’s Xpedition toolset is a market leader in the ECAD software domain. ExactCAD software makes it even better by allowing PCB designers to focus their skills on the creative aspects of the design process and allowing computers to do everything else – all the boring, tedious, and error prone tasks designers hate to do.

Humans are very good at creative tasks, and not very good at repetitive ones. We are also happier at work when we don’t have to do things which put us to sleep, when we can keep our minds active overcoming challenges and solving complex problems. Sometimes we make mistakes, especially when we are tired or bored.

Conversely, computers are not good at being creative, but excel at doing repetitive, discrete tasks very quickly and accurately. When given correct instructions and input, they don’t make mistakes.

ExactCAD leverages the strengths of designers and their computers to produce better, more consistent design output, and to do it faster. This is a win for everyone – designers are happier, companies save money, design cycles are shorter, and computers get to make use of a lot more of their trillions of wasted CPU cycles.

Youtube channel here. Also check out the   Mentor Graphics PCB Systems Automation and Scripting user forum. I am there a lot and participate as much as I can./rZI7HHKHyJI” class=”customize-unpreviewable”>Here’s a video that covers some highlights of the ExactCAD tools:

Basic Package

The ExactCad Basic Package combines six of the most commonly used and useful functions that we have developed for PCB Layout.

Shapester – Creates and edits dynamic plane shapes and draw objects.

Netline Optimizer – Calculates pin swaps to unscramble netlines quickly.

Component Groups – Stores sets of components for easy selection later.

Align – Simplifies placement and fanout by aligning parts, pins, and more.

Move with Basepoint – Snaps objects to a precise location with ease.

Move to Next – Moves components to minimum clearance with next nearest component in the diagonal directions, 45°, 135°, 225°, and 315° using CTRL + 9, 7, 1, and 3 on the number keypad.

Place Components – Automates and simplifies common placement tasks.

Short Vias – Adds net shorts to many vias on many layers at once. 

Advanced Package

RF/Power Pin Exit – Creates a fanout for wide traces exiting narrow pins.

Add Ground Vias – Adds stitching vias along a trace.

Add Shield Walls – Creates complex shield wall shapes from draw objects.

Post Processor – A mult-function utility that aids file creation, panellization, and more.

Drawing Notes – Automates customization and creation of fab and assembly notes.

Place Designators – Automates placement of silkscreen or assembly Ref Des for all parts.

Additional Tools:

ExactCAD Licensing – Applies license codes, enabling use of ExactCAD software tools.

ExactCAD MultiVerse – Enables using all the ExactCAD tools with any of the Mentor VX releases, without the need to use the Release Switcher. 

See videos of many of the ExactCAD tools in action on my   Youtube channel here. Also check out the   Mentor Graphics PCB Systems Automation and Scripting user forum. I am there a lot and participate as much as I can.

To get started, download the software from our downloads page, then check out the install instructions. If you have any questions about how we can help you, how the software works, please reach out by email at, or by phone at 1+520-850-4994.

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