Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions that we see. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for please don’t hesitate to contact us!
What data is required to quote?
What CAD tools do we support for PCB layout?
- Cadence Allegro: We have extensive experience with the Cadence Allegro tool suite; we currently support versions 15, 16, and 17. We are proud to be one of a handful of Early Adopter Program Members with Cadence.
- Siemens/Mentor Graphics Xpedition, PADS, and Board Station: We currently support the latest versions of these tools as well as most previous versions of the tools.
- Altium Designer: We support the latest versions of Altium Designer. Our dedicated Altium designers have the experience necessary to utilize the unique features of this tool including Altium’ s powerful query engine, the new xsignal and 3D modeling capabilities.
- Valor NPI: This is a cornerstone process tool for FREEDOMCAD to assure manufacturability and minimal delays in the fabrication process. We are a Valor Certified Design Partner.
- DalTools: The DalTools applications integrate directly and seamlessly into Cadence Allegro tools to improve all aspects of the PCB design process.
- Custom Programs: Over the past 20 years we have developed custom programs and scripts to gain efficiencies, improve quality and augment the current design tools.
Where are you located?
Our footprint has been expanding, and we also have employees located in North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Montana, Kentucky, Maryland in the US, and also in Ottawa and Vancouver Canada.
What do I need to get started with FCS and get a quote?
How do I exchange my data files?
I cannot access ShareFile to upload a file. Do you have an alternative process to Share File, such as an FTP site, to transfer data?
Your FTP user name includes your account’s subdomain to the left of your e-mail address. If you are unable to log in, or your FTP client does not allow you to enter the / and @ characters as part of your user name, you can use the shorter, alternate form to the right of your full user name.
FTP Server Information
Security: Implicit SSL/TLS (Port 990)
FTP Server: freedomcad.sharefileftp.com
User name: freedomcad/your email address here
Password: (your ShareFile password)
What if I need to make changes once the design has started?
Do you perform a Design for Manufacturability (DFM) check of your designs?
What does FREEDOMCAD provide as data output?
Does FREEDOMCAD Provide quick-turn layout support?
What Auto-routers does FREEDOMCAD use and how do you use them?
How secure is my information?
Customer data at FREEDOMCAD is backed up on a secure system. When the time comes to archive a project, not only does the customer receive a copy but we also archive a copy and lock it in an off-site fireproof safe for retrieval if necessary.
Our ShareFile system for transferring data uses bank-level security and above. All active transfers of data are encrypted using 256 bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer). Files are stored with 128-bit RC4 encryption on SSAE-16 compliant servers.
FREEDOMCAD also employs a Disaster Recovery Plan that covers us with a complete pro-active approach to any disaster, allowing us to be up-and-running in 24 hours with minimum impact to our customers’ schedules. Ask us about it.
What set of standards does FREEDOMCAD adhere to?
What are the other services that FREEDOMCAD offers?
What does FREEDOMCAD base design charges on?
Hourly quoting is usually done when the project is expected to have concurrent engineering edits or other changes as the design progresses. These quotes can be generated on a “Not-to-Exceed” basis or on a budgetary estimate basis, depending upon the completeness of the data supplied to us at the time of quotation.
What’s the benefit to outsourcing my PCB layout to FREEDOMCAD?
Without outsourcing, you take on the challenge of adding and balancing many liabilities/costs. During peaks, you hire, train, manage and outfit your in-house team with expensive tools. During valleys, you may need to lay-off designers and continue to pay for idle licenses and overhead.
By outsourcing with FREEDOMCAD, you save the tangible and intangible time and money required to sustain an extended full in-house design team, all the while getting fast, professional results from an outstanding team that acts as an extension of your engineering department.
What differentiates FREEDOMCAD from the competition?
The scale of our operation allows us to take on large, multi-board projects with ease and keep them on-time, even when extensive changes occur. Our strategy is to be an extension of your engineering team and seamlessly augment your in-house design team.
We take a teamwork approach toward projects, making sure that we align the right designer with the correct technology to meet your needs. We create teams for complex projects and match 1st and 2nd shifts to expedite work when you request faster turnaround. When 1st and 2nd shift is not enough to meet your time line, we have the ability to run 24 x 7 for as long as it takes to complete your project. This is not out of the ordinary at FREEDOMCAD; on average we have several requests per month and execute this process fluidly.
Our designers participate in training and information sharing on a weekly basis, keeping them up to date on the latest technologies, techniques and software. This allows us to efficiently execute your design. As a general rule, in-house design teams do not have the luxury of this kind of training investment.
We are committed to operating on advanced software suites and leading-edge hardware that take advantage of automation and fast processing speeds so we can efficiently complete your designs in minimal time. Again, because design is all we do, we take added steps that most in-house teams cannot.
What does it mean to be a Cadence early adopter program member?
I don’t own a license for the design tool. How can I audit the layout to make sure it’s meeting my expectations?
Cadence’s The Allegro Physical Viewer is a database viewer for Allegro PCB Editor, Allegro PCB SI, and Allegro IC package solutions. Allegro Physical Viewer includes all of the features of Allegro FREE Physical Viewer plus property and element query, measure distance, find, reports, and more.
Still have questions?
Give us a call and we will give you our expert opinion.