Enhanced Documentation Options in Altium Designer 15.1

April 12, 2016 David Marrakchi

 

We all know the importance of accurate and detailed documentation in the design process. Has your fabricator ever called with questions about design intent or missing documentation? The newest features being added in Altium Designer 15.1 are going to make your design to fabrication process even simpler and clearer with expanded documentation output and editing options.

New Documentation Features in Altium Designer 15.1

3D PDF Outputs

3D views of your PCB design are no longer accessible to only the designer. Now fabricators and project managers have insight into your full design intent with 3D PDFs of your PCB, without the need for additional Altium Designer licenses. Keep everyone on the same page, and avoid errors in your manufacturing process with more detailed documentation data in your PDF outputs. Board views in a 3D PDF can be interactively rotated and zoomed, and components can be individually selected for a more detailed perspective of your design.

 

New 3D PDF output documentation

 

Bikini Coverlay Support

Your rigid-flex designs will now support the addition of a coverlay, protecting the flexible sections of your circuit with your specific material needs. Coverlays can be added and managed in the layer stack manager, and are fully visible and modeled in 3D. What’s even better? All coverlay information will be automatically added to your documentation outputs for easy translation to your fabricator.

 

3D rendering of coverlay support and layer stack management

 

Live Drill Drawing

We're so used to generating fabrication outputs before we can see drill drawing placements, but what if you want to see your drill drawing data without having to create output documentation? This is now possible with a new Live Drill Drawing feature in Altium Designer 15.1. You can now see exactly where your drill placement and symbols are without ever having to generate documentation outputs. Get your drill placement right before sending documentation off to your fabricator.

 

Easily see drill drawings and symbols without generating fabrication outputs.

(Image credit: iMX6 Rex design by Robert Feranec)

 

Multiline Text and Polygon Naming

Documentation accuracy is all about the details. We’ve made adding text comments even easier with multi-line text support. Multi-line reference notes can now be easily added to your designs without having to create individual text lines for each new line. We’ve also automated the process of polygon naming by allowing you to define your own naming templates that can then be automatically assigned to polygons as they are created on your board.

 

Automated polygon naming with defined templates.

(Image credit: iMX6 Rex design by Robert Feranec)

Stay Tuned

We hope you’re excited about all of these new documentation features being added in Altium Designer 15.1. Check out the Altium Designer What’s New Page to see the features in action.

 

About the Author

David Marrakchi

David currently serves as a Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer at Altium and is responsible for managing the development of technical marketing materials for all Altium products. He also works closely with our marketing, sales, and customer support teams to define product strategies including branding, positioning, and messaging. David brings over 15 years of experience in the EDA industry to our team, and he holds an MBA from Colorado State University and a B.S. in Electronics Engineering from Devry Technical Institute.

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