Panelization module improvements
In many cases, it may be desirable to put several different boards together into a panel. For example, by putting the different boards in a system together into a panel, it would be possible to order one panel per system. Often, the price of a multi-product panel will be substantially lower than the price of the same quantity of boards ordered individually.
Select a board in the product browser and open the panelization module. Press Ctrl+R to open the product chooser, which lists all board products that match the stackup (or number of layers) and finish/colors (if selected) of the first product. Drag a product from the product list into the panel to add the board to the panel. Move the board to the desired location and click to place the board.
All boards should be placed on the panel before adding tabs, fiducials, drill holes, etc. If no tabs are added to the panel, then the boards will be delivered as individual boards.
Move and rotate boards within a panel
Any board in a panel may be moved or rotated as desired. Draw a selection rectangle over part of a board's contour to select the board. The board will move with the mouse, but will automatically snap to align with the edges of neighboring boards. Press Ctrl to disable snap. Press the space bar to rotate 90 degrees. Click to place the board into the panel.
Add assembly masks to a panel
Add data for peel-off mask (blue mask), paste mask, glue mask, carbon or hard gold to a panel.
Often, the necessary data for assembly masks is missing from the Gerber files created by the board designer. Especially in cases where assembly is being done by an EMS provider, this missing data can be a problem. It is the EMS provider who knows the processes and needs to specify the masks, but getting this information to the board designer early enough to be included in the design is usually not possible. With this feature, the mask areas may be specified by the production engineer while creating the assembly panel.
Masks are specified by drawing rectangles on the panel. The user selects whether the mask will be applied to the entire rectangle or to all soldermask openings within the rectangle. This is repeated at the same location on all instances of the same board. The following assembly masks (top or bottom side) may be defined:
Import module improvements
Define custom stackups
Specify custom layer buildups as a "free build" or a "constrained build" .
Dielectric layers may be specified by thickness or by prepreg glass style. Combinationions of prepregs (such as 1x1080+2x7628) are permitted.
The thickness tolerance may be specified. However, one should only choose a tolerance different from the default value of 10% if required by the design, due to the potential for substantial increases in production costs and lead time.
Commonly used dielectric materials may be selected from the drop-down box, or the material may be specified as a text string.
Right-click on the word "Metal" to add plating above or below an inner layer, for use with buried vias or sequential buildup.
Fiducial marks at specified coordinates.
Fiducials may be added to a board at specified coordinates by pressing Ctrl+Alt and then clicking on the board.
Stencil module improvements
Split large stencil openings into an array of smaller openings
Often it is desirable to split a large stencil opening into an array of smaller openings. This can give better control over the total amount of solder paste deposited on a large pad. The number of columns and rows in the array may be specified, as well as the size of the split openings. By default, the split openings are reduced 10% relative to the un-split opening size. The viewer allows the user to see how the opening will be split prior to applying changes to the stencil.
View pad size adjustments
All of the pad size adjustments are listed in a table on the Shape Manipulation tab. Clicking on a row in the list causes the pads with that adjustment to be highlighted. This feature makes it easy to see what adjustments have been made to which pads.
Product browser improvements
Add assembly masks to existing products
Available only with pro license
Add data for peel-off mask (blue mask), paste mask, glue mask, carbon or hard gold to an existing product by selecting the product and clicking the Add masks button. Assembly mask data is added in the same manner as for panels (described above).
Four new standard folders have been added to the product browser.
It is now possible to choose between "begins with", "ends with", "equals" and "contains" when searching for a product.
A new progress indicator shows the status of active orders.