Altium Designer Tutorial: Schematic capture and PCB layout (2of2)

Altium Designer Tutorial: Schematic capture and PCB layout (2of2)

July 12, 2019 36 By Bernardo Ryan



hi again welcome back this is part two and in this part I'll make a PCB layout for this schematic the last thing I did in the previous video was to make sure all the components had unique reference designators you'll have to do that to go to PCB layout and I'll continue now by adding a PCB to this project I'll right click add a new PCB this brings up the PCB and before I can synchronize the schematic with this PCB I'll have to save the PCB file and I'll also have to save the project that I'm working in because I haven't saved this before so I'm going to save this as somewhere in my project directory so both of them are saved now I can synchronize them and I'll go up here on design and import the changes this gives me a list of changes that has to be made to the PCB PC and I'll execute those I'll see that they all wear successful so I'll close this dialog and now I'll move around just like you would in the schematic drag with the right mouse button to pan drag with the middle mouse button to zoom in and out and we see here we have a collection of components and this red rectangle which is a room and we see that this room as the name square wave circuit that corresponds to the schematic sheets named Square vase wave circuit and this should tell you that rooms are automatically generated for each schematic in your in your project if you don't like this maybe you just have one schematic in your project and then the room becomes a bit annoying maybe then you can turn it off by going here to project options and turning off room generation for each of the schematics where you don't want the room for your components I don't care right now oh I use the room just to move the components down here in the corner it doesn't matter where really but I'll now resize the room to something like the board size I want I'll have to resize the board because right now the entire black area here is the board size and to do that I go up here on design board shape redefine board shape and I can start placing the corners of my board place one right here and right now you see the edge mode is in 45-degree angle mode so to toggle between different edge modes or corner mulch I should say you use shift space just do that a couple of times and you'll get a 90-degree corner I'll finish off this board shape like that and when I'm done I can either press escape or right-click and my board shape is now reduced to the same area as this red reddish room so a few more things I want to do before handling components I'll go up here and edit origin and I'll set my origin somewhere smart like a corner of your board and I will also make sure that the number of players I've set up is correct so if you need more than two layers which is the default you'll go here and lay your stack manager here you can add layers as you wish or Plains but I'm not going to bother with that I only need one layer for this design and two is the actual minimum so I'll leave it at two because that's what the minimum Altium Designer allows to work with so my board is set up now I want to make sure my design rules are set up I go apparel design can either use the rule wizard or I can set the rules manually I'm just going to do the manual thing just to show the different rules because the real wizard is self-explanatory really if you're really lazy you'll only set the clearance here and the trace width but I suggest that you look through all of these check them with the specifications that your manufacturer gives you and yeah the illustrations for each of these rules should tell you how they how they how they work so make sure that's set up correctly before you start doing anything so because I've done this I can now move components around placing them in the arrangement that seems good for routing and I've done this before for this layout so I have a good idea for the children local art look like you just drag components to remove them use space while you're dragging to rotate and I'll just finish this making things look decent and neat okay so this is a placement that I'm happy with I can now I'll just say first I can now start writing the board so there are a few things you may want to know about this and I'll just click it to start at Rice right now you see that the edge mode is a 45 G is a 90 degree angle and to change that to a 45 degree angle you can go through the a corner modes by pressing shift space a few times that's the 45 degree angle which I like and you just place to play to place segments on the way now you will see that by default you see these two segments here one is gray and hatched the other one is not and that means that when I click to place now only the gray and hatch segment will be placed so if I click you see that only this the first red segment was placed I I'll just undo by pressing backspace and how this behaves can be changed by pressing the one key I can choose between placing both or just the first segment I like to place both of them because that means less clicking and less work if you combine that with a decent routing mode then you can get things done much quicker so once you're done with the trace you cancel by pressing the right mouse button or escape and that lets you choose another connection to make if you want to cancel that again you can either press escape right click and that brings you back to selection mode okay so what I was saying about routing modes was that pressing tab gives you a list of a collection of settings that you can specify maybe the most important one is the trace width but you can also specify how Altium Designer behaves during routing you can choose different modes here I can recommend turning on push obstacles and turning on follow miles trail and also try a strong routing close you might like that but you should try different things see how they work I'll just show how push obstacles and follow miles trail work for this for this board so I'll just continue placing some tracks here bear with me so again when I'm done with the track press right click to finish it okay and now you'll see the effect of the hug mode that lets you go very close to component and this combined with the follow master mode lets you sneak around things and place a check very quickly instead of having to guide it all the way around somewhere and the push mode allows the auto tracks to be moved around like this and that also speeds up things and helps you along so I'll right click the cancel and I've got my board wire it now and let's say I want to send this to a board house they will probably accept Gerber files and drill files they will require that to manufacture my board and to create those I'll go up here on file fabrication outputs or choose Gerber files here I can specify my resolution read the text here it explains it and I can choose the layers that I want to include because this is just a one layer board I'm just going to include the top layer copper the top solder mask and the top silkscreen text not going to bother with the pasted mask but you turn on what you what you want to include so once you click okay all the Gerber's are generated and they are shown in this cam viewer that's just the Gerber's though I want to make some drill files too so I'm going to go to my PCB again go here on the fabrication outputs and choose NC drill files again we the text setup these as you wish or as in the way that your manufacturer requires I'm going to leave these on default and we see that we get a view of the drill files that have been generated right here I can overlay these holes on to the Gerber's just to check that they fit by going up here on the file import and drill note that this is the this is the cam view not the actual piece view of the PCB this is a different document so to import the Dell files I would navigate to the project directory and to the project outputs directory and these are the drill files that you can select and if you click OK you get your report which I don't need right now and you'll see that lets see cam testing you'll see that the holes here are included overlaid over the group of files and they look look the way they should be so I can close these documents because the Gerber's and the drill files are not inside these files and just find the Gerber's for this project they are located in the project outputs directory and here I have these three files which are Gerber's depending on the number of layers you have you will have more and also drip the drill files which are these three right here and that should be enough to get you started should also read the documentation and check with your manufacturer when it comes to what they will accept when it comes to file formats for your gurus or you drill files and stuff like that so there's no single way to do it okay so I am finished with this tutorial if you have comments suggestions stuff like that put it in the comment box and I hope this was helpful for someone so thanks for watching