In Part 1 of this Blog post, we discussed the basics toolbars and Menus for printed circuit board design in PCB Artist™ and began the design of a printed circuit board from the Schematic mode. In this second and final segment of our Blog post, we will learn to convert the PCB Schematic to PCB Artist™’s PCB layout environment. We will also discuss the following points:
- Converting the Schematic to PCB Layout
- Design Rule Check
- In-App PCB Ordering
PCB Artist™ makes it extremely easy to “translate” your PCB Schematic to your PCB layout. Simply click on PCB Artist™’s Tool Menu and select the Schematic <–> PCB option in the dropdown. Then, hover over to Translate To PCB. A shortcut to this would be to hit Ctrl+P. This will display the PCB Wizard; The wizard allows you to use a set of dialogs which you step through in sequence to define aspects of your design in the PCB design editor.
Once you have converted the Schematic to PCB have your components placed automatically, you are ready to begin the Routing process. The design can be routed manually or automatically. This is the process of converting the electrical point-to-point connections into physical copper tracks or traces. Choosing the Autoroute option can save many hours of work for printed circuit board designs that are dense and instead can be completed within minutes using the software’s automated features.
To use PCB Artist™’s Autorouter, simply go to the Tools Menu at the top go the screen and select Auto Route Nets and select All Nets. You may choose to leave the default settings as they are or adjust them to fit your PCB design needs; then, hit Route and a dialog box will display the results of the Autorouter data once completed. The PCB design can be Un-Routed and it can also be completely routed manually.
PCB Design Rule Check
It is very important to run a Design Rule Check before sending your PCB design files to the manufacturer for production. Doing so can save you headaches over production delays, PCB functionality issues, and of course, money. PCB Artist™ can make the necessary checks to ensure your PCB design is free of design rule errors.
To begin to check for possible errors, simply select the Design Rule Check from the Tools Menu. The tool will prompt you to select or unselect the different areas it can look for issues such as Spacing, Nets, Silkscreen Overlap, and Manufacturing Issues. You can leave the defaults or be as selective as you need before running the check. Once the check has been completed, you can locate the DRC error markers in the Interaction Bar where each error is displayed.
Manufacturing Your PCB Design
Sending your PCB design to Advanced Circuits can be done quickly and easily within the PCB Artist™ software. Making sure all necessary files and checks are ready to send over to the manufacturer can sometimes be a bit complicated, but when you use the PCB Artist™ design software, this final step is a simple one.
To package your PCB design and place the order with Advanced Circuits, click on the Submit Order button at the top of the screen or under the Output option. The Submit Order dialog will appear to indicate your PCB order information and manufacturing options. Click on the Place Order button at the bottom of the dialog box to be taken directly to our website where you can finish the order and payment process.
For more information about Advanced Circuits’ PCB artist, please contact the dedicated support line at 1-800-979-4722 x.1025. For more detailed tutorials, frequently asked questions, and guides, click here.