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Board Outline

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  • Board Outline

    Hello everybody,

    I have an issue about creating my Gerber files: The problem: There is NO Board Outline in my project!
    Here is what I did:

    I selected the board shape placing a 3D Body (.STEP model) in the PCB. Why? Because when I tried to import a .DWG/.DXF file, Altium created an error and I couldn´t do it this way.

    Doing this, Altium did not generated the Board Outline for the PCB with the shape of the 3D Body and I need the board shape to be the 3D Body model. So, does anyone has any clue how to do this?

    I will appreciate your comments.


  • #2
    You should use a mechanical layer and draw the board outline on it (you can still have the 3D body if you need it - it can help you to draw the outline as well). After you have the outline just select it (only the lines in the outline, nothing else) and use Design -> Board shape -> Define from selected objects.


    • #3
      Thanks mariomaster for your reply,

      The problem is that my 3D body is a complex design and Altium does not allow me to draw the outline as you mentioned.
      The Altium error that does not allow me to import the .DWG/.DXF is ADVPCB.DLL... Any suggestion to fix it?



      • #4
        I am not sure if you can create board outline from 3D object (I have never done this). However, you should be able to import DXF file. If import doesn't work, try to save DXF file in different versions or in different software. I know, that many people use DXF import and it should work.

        What kind of error are you getting?


        • eugarte
          eugarte commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for your answer Robert,

          DXF importer used to work just fine until this last project. This is the error:

          Not registered Class at 2C36B9DF.
          ADVPCB.DLL, Base Address: 2AFD0000.

          Exception Occurred In

          I also tried to uninstall Altium and install it again but I can't. When the uninstaller starts it says: Please close Altium and try again... and Altium is closed!

          I also tried to fix de Advpcb.dll file without success... any suggestion?

      • #5
        I guess you tried, but just in case I would reboot your computer. "Please close Altium and try again... and Altium is closed!", that doesnt look right, it looks like it is still running in background - maybe an Altium process is stuck somewhere.


        • eugarte
          eugarte commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks again Robert, I did it 3 times and still saying the same thing. I believe the Advpcb.dll file is damaged. I will try to uninstall Altium in other way.

      • #6
        Please, let me know when you solve it. Thanks.


        • #7
          Hello again Robert!

          After so much effort, I finally got to do this. The problem is that Advpcb.dll file is somehow damaged, so I have no chance uninstall Altium or import DXF/DWG files unless I Format my HDD. But not everything is lost. You can create the board shape using STEP file. For that you should do this: (under the title "Define From 3D Body"

          Then, for the Outline, draw the ouline in a mechanical layer manually and for the curve lines in your design you can use "Ctrl+Space" keys. Now you have your board outline but it will not appear in the Gerber files. To do so, you have to select the mechanical layer you used to draw the outline, select all the lines you draw and then go to "Design->Board Shape->Create Primitives from Board Shape". Create the primitives in a mechanical layer, and make sure nothing else is in that layer.
          Then, You should be using an OutJob to create the Gerbers. Right click the "Gerbers" line, select config, go to the "layers" tab, and check the mechanical layer containing your outline.

          And that's it. You have your PCB shape the way you need and the outline printed in the gerber files.

          I hope this can solve a lot of questions out there.


          • #8
            Thank you so much! Very helpful!