Using Customizable Grids to Save Time on Your PCB Layout Process

November 9, 2016 John Magyar

 

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Relying on one grid size can require frequent step size changes, as well as a unit of measure change, and possibly even board origin location changes, in order to achieve all required grids. Read to understand how customizable grids can help to resolve this complicated and manual process.

It’s possible to rely exclusively on your default grid for all aspects of component placement, trace routing, and mechanical or special object placement. However, reliance on one grid size requires frequent step size changes, as well as a unit of measure change, and possibly even board origin location changes, in order to achieve all required grids. This is where customizable grids come in to resolve this complicated and manual process.

Using Grids to Speed Up Your Design Process

Placing components of a specific grid can help speed up the component placement and alignment process. It can also help achieve optimal component density. As most component footprints are defined in millimeters, one or more dedicated, user-defined metric grids can be defined to accommodate component placement. Such grids can be specified to be active only when in component placement mode, and to remain disabled and invisible while routing traces.

 

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Components and Arcs placed precise on a 15 degree angular step and 0.5 mm radial step

 

Want to learn how to save time on your PCB layout process? Download our free whitepaper about Defining and Using Multiple Grids in Altium Designer.

About the Author

With an emphasis on microprocessor systems design, John earned his Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Polytechnic Institute. He initially worked as a design engineer in the Defense industry developing diagnostic test programs for complex PCBs. Subsequently, John has worked as a senior application engineer in the EDA industry supporting a wide range of ASIC, FPGA, and PCB design and verification solutions.

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