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Design to Your PCB Board Thickness Requirements

Zachariah Peterson
|  Created: March 24, 2020

To quickly set up and work with the different PCB board thickness requirements that are before you every day, you need the best PCB Design tools available; you need Altium Designer.


The most powerful, modern and easy-to-use PCB design tool for professional printed circuit board fabrication use.

Incorporating the design with the fabrication process was never worth the effort as old and rigid PCB layout design tools offered little in the way of help in this area. Those days are long gone, and the multitude of design technologies available to the PCB designer of today offer advanced functionality in layout tools. From a standard two-layer board to a multi-layer HDI with microvias or a rigid-flex design, you need Printed Circuit Board design tools that are up to the task of all of these different technologies. We’ve invested over 30 years of research and development into creating a powerful rules-driven platform that can be expertly set up for your different board types, layers, and thicknesses. Altium Designer is the PCB design tool with leading edge routing, 3D placement checking, and multi-board assembly features. These are all designed to work together with Altium’s powerful hierarchical schematic editor, BOM parts editor with cloud connections to your part vendors, and automated drawing creation capabilities. Altium Designer is the full-feature set of design tools that you need for your PCB designs today.

Tools that Set the Standard for PCB Assembly Thickness Design Requirements

In order to design all of the leading-edge design technologies that are out there, you first need to start with the most powerful design platform available. Altium Designer, with its 64-bit multi-threading system’s architecture, is the platform that you need. Altium Designer is also governed by a fully comprehensive set of design rules under your control that will guide your design from schematic capture all the way through board layout. Once in layout, you will then enjoy the full capabilities of Altium Designer to set up and control your printed circuit board manufacturing design technology. You will be able to configure and fully define the layer stack, which may include copper foil, dielectric, surface finish and mask layers. Each layer can also specify the material to be used, the thickness, the dielectric constant, and more. Altium Designer will then calculate the total thickness of the board from the thickness of each specified layer. No matter what technology you need to design, Altium Designer is the best choice for your success.

Tools that Design to Your PCB Copper Foil Thickness Requirements

Today’s design technologies include many different combinations of layer stackup requirements that Altium Designer is equipped to help you with.

Screenshot of PCB board thickness in AD18 layer stack manager

The layer stack manager in Altium Designer

Powerful Tools for the Next Step Beyond Standard Circuit Board Thickness Requirements

Once you’ve got your design technology set up it’s time to really put the power of Altium Designer to work for you, and you won’t be disappointed. Altium Designer features capabilities such as Active Route, the user-guided auto routing tool that will give you precise manual-routed looking results at the speed of an auto-router. Altium Designer will also pull in your design team’s mechanical CAD data giving you the ability to fully check your component placement for mechanical obstructions using its native 3D engine. And for those of you who are working with multiple system designs, Altium has you covered as well. Altium Designer will allow you to work with multiple printed circuit board designs in a single session. This will give you the ability to verify board to board connectivity and check form and fit in full 3D. With Altium Designer in your corner, you will be able to handle any design challenge that comes your way.

The Best Tools for Routing and PCB Stack-Up Verification are Ready When You Are

Altium Designer’s advanced routing and verification technologies will help you to complete the layout of your rigid-flex PCB manufacturing.

Screenshot of PCB board thickness in AD18 Draftsman

Auto-generated manufacturing drawings in Altium Designer’s Draftsman

A Complete Set of Design Tools from Start to Finish

Powerful layout capabilities are only part of the total picture of your complete PCB layout design system. You still have many other aspects of the design, such as schematic capture and manufacturing drawings that require the best tools as well. Starting with schematic capture, Altium Designer provides you with the tools that you need whether you are drawing a single sheet schematic or a multi-sheet hierarchical design with varying dialectic constants or copper foil thickness. Altium Designer also gives you another portal into your design data with Active BOM. This will allow you to work directly with the components in your design as well as giving you an online connection with your part vendors for real-time component information. Finally, when the design is ready to be completed, Altium gives you the ability to easily create your manufacturing drawings with Draftsman, the auto-generated drawing tool in Altium Designer. From start to finish, Altium Designer is the tool you need for success with your PCB designs.

Control Your Design from Start to Finish with the Most Powerful Design Tools

There’s more to designing printed circuit boards than just layout, and Altium Designer is prepared with its complete suite of PCB layout design tools.

There are a lot of different design technologies now that will demand your best. Don’t let your efforts get derailed by software that isn’t up to the challenge, take a look at what Altium Designer can do for you instead.

About Author

About Author

Zachariah Peterson has an extensive technical background in academia and industry. He currently provides research, design, and marketing services to companies in the electronics industry. Prior to working in the PCB industry, he taught at Portland State University and conducted research on random laser theory, materials, and stability. His background in scientific research spans topics in nanoparticle lasers, electronic and optoelectronic semiconductor devices, environmental sensors, and stochastics. His work has been published in over a dozen peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and he has written 2500+ technical articles on PCB design for a number of companies. He is a member of IEEE Photonics Society, IEEE Electronics Packaging Society, American Physical Society, and the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA). He previously served as a voting member on the INCITS Quantum Computing Technical Advisory Committee working on technical standards for quantum electronics, and he currently serves on the IEEE P3186 Working Group focused on Port Interface Representing Photonic Signals Using SPICE-class Circuit Simulators.

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