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Editing components taken from Altium Vault possible?

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  • Editing components taken from Altium Vault possible?


    I used SMD capacitors from Altium Vault since those are really well specified (voltage rating, tolerance, dimensions in metric and imperial....) to save some time, BUT in my design I'm now adding designators to mechanical layer 29 and 30 (as in your tutorial) and I'm wondering if there is a way to somehow add layer 29 and 30 to all those capacitors I took from Altium Vault, OR to get all those components taken from Valut to user library which I can edit then.(or do you suggest some other way to do this?)

    (I don't have Vault license, I have single license of Altium)

    Best regards, Darko

  • #2
    In what format did you download the components from the Altium Vault? If you have them as an integrated library, you can "export" the symbol/footprint and edit them as you need. You can also directly download only the footprint from the Altium Vault.


    • #3
      I just used 'place' command inside Vault browser, so I most likely don't have those as integrated library.

      If I download and edit footprint then I must create my own component and save it to my library any way, and that is exactly what I'm trying to avoid, because there are thousants of different capacitors in that vault and doing that for each component...
      If I could download them all with some batch command. That would be a really good start. All Vault capacitors in a single integrated library with schlib and pcblib.


      • #4
        I don't think you can do that. You can download multiple components in a component library, but that library is still linked to the Altium vault and I don't think you can edit it. Let us know if you find a way to do it.

        I would really recommend relying on the Altium components though. I know that it seems convenient at first, but there are some drawbacks that need to be considered. First you will often find some things that don't quite work for you - like the unavailability of designators on mechanical layers. Second I don't think the Altium footprints are super reliable. I've seen resistor/capacitor footprints with too small copper clearance and too big component courtyards. Apart from that you can't always trust Altium that they will keep their libraries up to date.

        If you know what sort of stuff you will need to be doing in the near future, it is worth investing some time in creating your own library in my opinion. It doesn't need to have 10 000 components at first - only the most used ones and you can continue adding more and more as the time goes.


        • #5
          I agree with mairomaster. Sometimes I think, I may be too old when I am still using our own library, because I think there must be a better way to do it, but I keep receiving a lot of questions about library and component management and I can see that there is a lot of people who can not come up with the best solution - neither I. There are advantages and disadvantages of all the library management systems.

          Initially, creating your own library may look difficult, but once you have the basic components, it is not so bad. And to create your basic library, feel free to use components from our open source projects:

          You can always create libraries from existing projects: Altium – How to Create Library from Existing Project


          • #6
            Thank you both for your replies.

            I'll make my own library as I did in the past, but it was bothering me if there is a better way to do things. I did many library transforms over years, like having same schematic symbol/component for all ceramic capacitors with footprints for all sizes,single schematic symbol for electrolyte capacitors with all possible footprints included etc,.. Then I started to create single schematic component which is linked with only single footprint (3 actually for low mid hi density design, but only for same case size). And as PCB requirements become tighter and PCB size shrunk I was changing things again and actually my only problem now is clear assembly drawing. Thats why I'm trying to approach library components from different angle again.

            In the last year I was using 'draftsman' for assembly drawing with PDF export and small fonts. It mostly fits my needs. If component is really small it is still possible to enlarge PDF to read designator eventually.


            • #7
              I had a look at draftsman. I like the idea and it is almost an useful tool, but ... it is soooooooooooooo slooooooooooooooooooooooow. Also, there are two things what I would like to have improved before moving to draftsman:

              - they should add margin around the text inside components. Now the text is touching component outline and it is sometimes hard to read
              - When using variants, showing the unfitted components is not as good as if I use a job file. In the pdf generated from job file the unfitted component outline is a little bit thinner and the red crossing is filling up the whole component. Draftsman doesn't do it so nicely.

              Otherwise I like Drafstman, especially the details (zoom), different views, drawings, etc.

              But, this is what I currently use:
              - Altium Designer Tutorial – How to Print assembly drawing
              - Altium Designer – How to Create Assembly Drawing Layers