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Altium pissing me off


#1

Does anybody know how to use Altium designer software? If so, how do you make a hole in a pcb footprint?

On another note, on Altium’s website they misspelled Trinidad and Tobago
(as Tabago). Who still does that? Don’t they have any QA?


#2

What type of hole do you want to make?

There is a PAD in the tools menu. Just choose the PAD tool, hit TAB to edit the properties and place it where you want.

OR do you want to make a larger hole as a cutout region?

For mounting holes with VIA’s around the hole, you need to create a library part.


#3

As Dave said…

I do find the term a little odd using a pad to make a hole…


#4

It’s 2 mounting holes for a through hole component. Do these have to be specified on the multilayer?


#5

If you want a hole then yes it needs to be specified on multi layer


#6

Wow, alright. Correct my logic if I’m wrong: A hole is on the multi layer, a pad can have a hole but doesn’t have to and a via must have a hole but since they can be blind they don’t necessarily go through every layer.


#7


#8

You’re talking about buried via’s…

As my boards are max 4 layer I’v never dealt with buried vias and I don’t think I want to either. :slight_smile:

Correct. I hole is placed on the multi-layer as it has to go through them all.

For mounting holes I generally have them as a library part which I can place on the schematic but they don’t appear in the BOM. I then have these nice holes with via’s around the lands. :slight_smile: Mind you, not all project use them, usually just commercial designs where I need a good strong mounting point.


#9

@ Dave, I thought all projects required mounting holes, if not then how do you put them in enclosures? Just a thought.

@ Justing, how do you make these graphics so quickly :slight_smile:


#10

Once you transfer your design to the board you simply use the PAD tool to place your holes.

Using absolute position means you can get them in accurate positions.

Actually, for about 99% of my projects I use the MCAD integration where I design the PCB in 3D CAD software (I use Alibre Designer) and put the holes exactly where I need them. If I have a 3D model of the enclosure, I can check hole alignment this way

I then export this as a STEP file and put it in the MODELS directory within the Altium project. You then place a 3D model using the LINKED option and then select which surface is your PCB. Voila, you have a ready designed PCB with correctly placed holes. You only need to change the overall diameter for the land on each one. Simple.

I sometimes import the complete model, including the enclosure and this allows me to check that the parts line up with holes I put in it. The Gadgeteer LCD attached is from Altium and it included the LCD panel and the ribbon cable. I created these in the 3D CAD and then import to Altium.

If you have not used the MCAD integration, check out the how to videos on the website. Once you get used to using 3D models it really does mean that 1 or small off projects mechanically work every time (at least 99.99% for me anyway)

This video shows how to do this with Solid Works but applies to any 3D CAD that can do STEP format files. (Design Spark is a nice free 3D one if you don’t have any CAD tools)

http://altiumvideos.live.altium.com/#Detail/01325-w09

PS… Here’s a video on how to do holes :slight_smile:

http://altiumvideos.live.altium.com/#Detail/1011


#11

Ok I got the holes. The only thing left to do is print out the top and bottom layers so I can do toner transfer.


#12

That should be easy.

You can print at 1:1 scale but make sure you choose MONO as the colour option or the holes will be coloured and make it more difficult to align the drill bit.


#13

I’ll take that advice Dave. I spent the entire night fiddling with the output jobs for smart pdf. It seems that Illustrator can grab those vectors out of the pdf and allow me to create the print outs. So far my work flow is working. Won’t know until I finish the board.


#14

I have not done home made boards for many years now.

The low cost from the likes DFRobot and Seeed Studio means I can get professional through hole plated boards and not have to do any messing around with chemicals, tiny drill bits and little wire links etc.

Granted they take a few days to arrive but it times nicely with the parts order anyway.


#15

Nah, for me such services will take at least a week and a half, and cost 2x as much once my freight forwarder adds shipping, vat and duty.


#16

Here, anything over $50 is duty (varies), VAT (10%) and Income Tax (7.5%) applied but for DFRobot and SeeedS Studio I have never paid anything even on $200+ orders :slight_smile:

In fact, UPS as the only ones who charge a $5 handling fee. DHL charge nothing.

I guess is depends on the country you are located. :frowning:


#17

I pay $10 dollars just to have the van show up at my house. Vat (15%) always comes up but duty is here and there. I normally pay $20 shipping for stuff like that. The crux is waiting that 11 days to get a board that isn’t going to be correct the first time, because I’ve made a mistake somewhere.