Free Trials

Download a free trial to find out which Altium software best suits your needs

How to Buy

Contact your local sales office to get started on improving your design environment

Downloads

Download the latest in PCB design and EDA software

  • PCB DESIGN SOFTWARE
  • Altium Designer

    Complete Environment for Schematic + Layout

  • CircuitStudio

    Entry Level, Professional PCB Design Tool

  • CircuitMaker

    Community Based PCB Design Tool

  • NEXUS

    Agile PCB Design For Teams

  • CLOUD PLATFORM
  • Altium 365

    Connecting PCB Design to the Manufacturing Floor

  • COMPONENT MANAGEMENT
  • Altium Concord Pro

    Complete Solution for Library Management

  • Octopart

    Extensive, Easy-to-Use Component Database

  • PRODUCT EXTENSIONS
  • PDN Analyzer

    Natural and Effortless Power Distribution Network Analysis

  • See All Extensions
  • EMBEDDED
  • TASKING

    World-Renowned Technology for Embedded Systems Development

  • TRAININGS
  • Live Courses

    Learn best practices with instructional training available worldwide

  • On-Demand Courses

    Gain comprehensive knowledge without leaving your home or office

  • ONLINE VIEWER
  • Altium 365 Viewer

    View & Share electronic designs in your browser

  • Altium Designer 20

    The most powerful, modern and easy-to-use PCB design tool for professional use

    ALTIUMLIVE

    Annual PCB Design Summit

    • Forum

      Where Altium users and enthusiasts can interact with each other

    • Blog

      Our blog about things that interest us and hopefully you too

    • Ideas

      Submit ideas and vote for new features you want in Altium tools

    • Bug Crunch

      Help make the software better by submitting bugs and voting on what's important

    • Wall

      A stream of events on AltiumLive you follow by participating in or subscribing to

    • Beta Program

      Information about participating in our Beta program and getting early access to Altium tools

    All Resources

    Explore the latest content from blog posts to social media and technical white papers gathered together for your convenience

    Downloads

    Take a look at what download options are available to best suit your needs

    How to Buy

    Contact your local sales office to get started improving your design environment

    • Documentation

      The documentation area is where you can find extensive, versioned information about our software online, for free.

    • Training & Events

      View the schedule and register for training events all around the world and online

    • Design Content

      Browse our vast library of free design content including components, templates and reference designs

    • Webinars

      Attend a live webinar online or get instant access to our on demand series of webinars

    • Support

      Get your questions answered with our variety of direct support and self-service options

    • Technical Papers

      Stay up to date with the latest technology and industry trends with our complete collection of technical white papers.

    • Video Library

      Quick and to-the-point video tutorials to get you started with Altium Designer

    Using Project Templates for PCB Design Development

    Altium Designer
    |  June 29, 2018

    Pioneers

    If you've ever had the opportunity to use a bush ax to clear out an overgrown plot of land, then you have glimpsed the hardship and difficulties that early pioneers experienced as they carved paths across North America. The efforts of these pioneers were an exhibition of the best aspects of the human spirit. Although being a member of that group is no longer possible, you do have the means to be a trailblazer for your fellow PCB designers.

    When designing a PCB layout, you have many opportunities to reinvent the wheel. Although the module or circuit you’re creating may have been previously designed by someone else, you are unable to incorporate their schematic into your work. Therefore, you have to invest time in the PCB layout selecting components, drawing traces, determining and setting board parameters, and sometimes writing script and debugging code.

    This investment, which amounts to an unnecessary waste of resources, equates to lost productivity and costs for your circuit board, team, or organization. With Altium Designer®, you can recoup these losses, while being a trailblazer for your team. Let’s take a look at how you can access and use project templates for PCB design development in Altium Designer, thereby minimizing the waste of valuable resources like time and funding.

    Accessing Project Templates for PCB Design

    Before a project template can be used, it must exist and be accessible. In Altium Designer, creating project templates is simple and direct, and PCB templates can be created for the original component, sheets (sub-circuits) and full designs. Project templates, just like design files, may be maintained anywhere (locally, on a network server, etc.) and accessed directly, as shown in Fig. 1.  

    Direct Access

    Direct project template access

    Fig. 1 Project template direct access

    Server Access

    The flexibility of storing and accessing design files from virtually any location is great; however, when accessing project templates for PCB design, utilizing a structured server is a better option. Servers are typically equipped with security protocols and administrative control, which are necessary to limit data and information access. Additionally, servers can provide a known directory and file format architecture for uniformity and consistency and server software can usually be upgraded without disturbing the architecture of data and information it houses. An excellent server for hosting your PCB templates for PCB design development is the Altium Vault® , shown in Fig. 2.

    Server project template access

    Fig. 2 Project template server access from panels tab

    The PCB templates on the server can be accessed by pressing the Panels tab in the bottom right of the main window, then clicking on Explorer, as shown above. From here, a right click on the row of the revision (in the upper pane) you want to access will allow you to View, Download All Files or Download Design Snapshot. As with most capabilities in Altium , you have a great deal of flexibility in terms of utilizing the functionality. This is also true for structuring your project templates on the server. For example, you may want to organize your project templates by Components and Design Content, with Managed Sheets and Template Designs under the design content folder, as shown in Fig. 3.

    Accessing project template elements

    Fig. 3 Project template directory structure

    Accessing History of Project Templates for PCB Design

    With a listing of project template revisions in the upper pane of the Explorer window, the history of each project template component, sheet or design is available from the row of tabs (encircled) along the lower left corner of the lower pane, as shown in Fig. 4.

    Project template history access

    Fig. 4 Project template history access

    You can also quickly get the status of each project template item under the Revision State column in the top pane.

    Using Project Templates for PCB Design Development

    In Altium 18, you can create the initial design item, save it as project template and release it for your colleagues to use later or access a previously created project template that has been released. Let’s take a deeper look at the latter. In the previous section, accessing electronic component, sheets (or sub-sections of a design) and complete design project templates were discussed. As long as a project template Revision State is set to Released (indicated by a ), the item can be accessed for your PCB design development. This can be done by direct editing or by downloading a revision of the project template item.

    Direct Editing

    From Altium

    When you create or open your project, all project templates available (released) to you are accessible through the New Project dialog window. If no edits are performed, simply release the project template item for future use when done. If the project template item is edited, then the revision must be released with the changes added.  

    From Managed Server

    If you are logged into your managed server, then you can simply edit the desired project template item. When you’re done, the project template revision will be updated with the file renamed and the item released. You can also access the project template item from the server’s browser-based interface (if this capability is set up).

    Downloading

    You can also download project template files and add them to your project. In this case, if edits are made, the revised item must be uploaded and released. Creating circuits in your PCB layout editor can be as easy as updating electronic components.

    By using project templates for PCB design development, you can help your team or organization avoid costly productivity losses. Project templates are easy to create, can be hosted in various locations, and access can be controlled. This functionality, along with the ability to make revisions available in real-time, is integrated into Altium ’s unified design environment

    Ready to get your feet wet? Then get your free trial to start exploring the advanced functionality and capabilities of Altium. Or If you want more information on using project templates for PCB design development, talk with an Altium PCB design expert.

    About Author

    About Author

    PCB Design Tools for Electronics Design and DFM. Information for EDA Leaders.

    most recent articles

    Back to Home