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PCB Design and Thermal analysis Help

5-Regular Member

PCB Design and Thermal analysis Help

Hi all,


I am very new CREO and have been exploring how to design PCBs in CREO. The Company that I work for requires to some work to be done in thermal analysis (Steady State and Transient Analysis) of PCB on CREO. I have tried to import files from KICAD. But when I try to import the .emp or .emn files all I get to see the PCB rectangle board. I have also tried creating a PCB on CREO but it doesnt come out correctly.


So I require further assistance/tutorial/reading material:

1) How design a PCB on creo?

2) How to open files from other ECAD Software?

3) How to go about performing a thermal analysis. Especially for the Material and Boundary Conditions. What are the limitations of CREO and how to deal with error while importing the files? 


License Details: Basic.


I understand my questions could be quite broad and would require more details, but it would great if I can find something to start of with as it more like a learning curve.


Thank you so much for time and help in advance.


Kind Regards




21-Topaz II

Can you verify that KICAD has full support for the IDF V2 or V3 specification? I am not sure that it complies with the requirements for MCAD/ECAD data exchange vis IDF. If does not fully support IDF V2 or V3 then it is the first problem.


Can you post the .emn and .emp files for review? I can tell by looking at them if there are obvious problems with the export from KICAD.


Creo Parametric can be used to define PCB outline and keep-in/out regions etc. This can then be exported to ECAD applications to use for PCB layout.

ECAD/MCAD data exchange and process needs to be considered and planned to be leveraged effectively. Deployment of component libraries and standards for both ECAD and MCAD design tools and processes should be established to support the required workflows.


This is a topic that requires a deep and broad understanding of both ECAD and MCAD to get it set up and standardized such that it is useful.


Start here for reference material (it is not comprehensive): 

Involute Development, LLC
Consulting Engineers
Specialists in Creo Parametric
5-Regular Member



Thank you so much for your response. I have attached the files that I have been using. 

I am sure @tbraxton can elaborate on the files, but they don't look right to me with my limited knowledge.

A significant Creo limitation for thermal is that you have to know the convection coefficient(s). CFD methods have an advantage here. (I don't know anything about Creo CFD, so maybe someone else can elaborate for that tool)

We use Altium for schematic capture and board design and it is easy to generate 3D step files.

For simulation generally you will want to substitute simple blocks/cubes for any more detailed 3D chip models.

For a very simple board I have manually created circuit traces or traced over a .dxf file or image of the board as reference.

The trick with actually modelling the traces is that the element size for the thickness is tiny. I have scaled the thickness up and then reduced the material thermal properties proportionately. As far as the convection coefficient problem, we use full cfd analysis and preferably Ansys Icepak, because Icepack can estimate PCB board thermal conductivity variables based on an imported ECAD and the actual traces, without having to model all those tiny details. Of course if the previous standard is some hand calculations, then any additional level of analysis, like what Creo can do would be a step in the right direction. Anyway, I may be able to give tips for your thermal studies as you go along on this broad subject.

5-Regular Member

Hi SweetPeasHub,


Thank you so much for your reply. I am actually also trying to explore the limitations of the software.

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