PCB Design at Altium Designer

As you know, in our previous articles we have learned what schematic and PCB libraries will be like in Altium Designer in general. Afterwards, we learned what steps to follow in the schematic design first. Now we can start to learn the information that we should also pay attention to in pcb design. In this way, we can start to make projects from scratch.

Then let's start with a title that is also at the beginning of our schematic design writing. That way, we'll get off to a better start. Then we will take a look at the settings of our PCB design page.

Creating a Project File

PCB Design

The first thing we need to do before we start designing will be to create a new project from the Menu » Create Project section as usual or to switch projects to our existing project. As you know, we use individual pages in our designs for both schematics and PCB design. Since we will work on PCB design in this article, let's continue from there.

At this point, the first thing we should actually do is import the schematic that we have designed to the PCB page. For this, Altium Designer will provide us with great convenience. With only a small interface, we will both perform the import process and if there is an incorrect, missing connection, it will indicate them to us in advance.

Let's take a closer look at that page with the visuals.

PCB Design
Schematic to PCB

In the schematic design section, we click on the import tab from the PCB tab above. Then we'll see this page anyway. In fact, everything is clearly visible in the image anyway. The R1, Q1 designators you see here represent the components we have placed. Just below it, the section specified in NET symbolizes the connections we have made.

The advantage to this part is that it predetermins incomplete or incorrect nets as mentioned above. This gives us speed during the construction of the project.

Let's also examine how this control process is done in the image below.

PCB Design

All we're going to do here is press the Execute Changes button. Then Altium will take care of all the necessary procedures for us on its own. After you complete the operation, the PCB Screen will automatically turn on. That's where we can start PCB Design from a slow pace. At this point, the footprints of the components we have placed in front of us and the default version of our PCB Card will appear. Let's see this with an image.

PCB Design
PCB Design

Now we can drag our components into our card with this red room that we have seen. Immediately afterwards, we can arrange it if we specifically want a card size. We already have an article about this part of the process. There we explained in detail how to adjust the size of your card as you wish. From there, you can get all the information you want about this topic.

PCB Design
Adjusting PCB Size

Immediately afterwards, we can move from slow to component layout and road drawing. At this point, we can now focus on the road drawing part from slowly.

Drawing paths in PCB Design (Routing)

In fact, we will talk about this in detail in another article. Therefore, if you would like to learn in detail if we share a general information about this topic here, we recommend that you review our article.

Then let's see how to do it briefly.

AutoRoute

This command is accessed from the PCB Editor by selecting the Route » Auto Route » All command. But remember, each manufacturer has certain PCB parameter ranges. When you exceed these limits or want to produce at lower values, you will encounter major problems. Therefore, if you first set the limits that your manufacturer can produce from PCB Rules, you eliminate such problems from the beginning. This point is really critical.

ManualRouting

PCB Design
PCB Routing

At this point, Altium already tells us which path to draw where. A really important point in this case is the optimal placement of components. If you line up interconnected components completely independently and irregularly, you will have real problems with the road drawing. For this, you must plan your layout very well. In fact, this part of the job will get better as your experience increases.

The shortest way to draw a post-settlement path would be to use the SHORTCUT CTRL-W. Then you can easily draw your way to the point where it is shown by tapping on a desired pine. Just make sure your path doesn't overlap with other pads, pins. Anyway Altium Designer will help you again by showing you warning at this point.

In addition, avoid keeping your path long unless it's necessary when drawing your bus. There's a lot of things we should be paying attention to here. Differential paths, etc. We're not going into that right now. So we're going to write a direct specific article for him. Because those issues in themselves consist of many important points. Moreover, Altium also provides us with great convenience in this regard.

Interlayer

It's actually very simple. One of the shortest ways I can give you is to use the + and keys on your keyboard. As you know, some PCBs can consist of multiple layers. These PCBs consist of multiple layers of copper. It is usually used for complex electronic circuits that require a lot of components.

Advantages of Multilayer PCB

  • It increases the functionality and capabilities of the card.
  • It can be made hard or flexible.
  • It can usually be produced in smaller sizes.
  • Lightness

can give you an advantage in many points such as. But keep in mind that everything has its pros and cons. The choice of this will be shaped according to your wishes.

In short, you can draw the paths you want with the shortcut we show you, using or without the interlayer. It depends on your imagination now. Remember that PCB design is a matter that really requires experience. Day by day, you will see your progress with your own eyes.