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    How to duplicate a PCB design?

    Hi,
    Please help if any Altium expert know how to make this happen.

    PCB Design:
    4 Layers board design.
    Components placed on both sides of the board. (top and bottom)
    Main pcb board divided into 2 portions. (LEFT and RIGHT)

    Process Done:
    Placed all components (top and bottom) on the LEFT portion of the pcb board.
    Auto routed all the connections.

    Question:
    How to 100% duplicate the full completed pcb design has done in the LEFT side to the RIGHT side of pcb board?

    My purpose is to make 2 set of same design, both sets place in same PCB main board (LEFT and RIGHT) but without any connection between this two sets of design.

    Thanks for kindly share your expert.

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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    What you talking about is creating a panel. Why don't you tell the board manufacturer that you want to have two pcb's in a panel?????


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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Thanks to senilicus but user not accept for for second suggestion.

    May I know how to build a panel, then copy all entire design and paste on the rest of the empty space panel?

    Actually in Altium PCB editor, is there a way to duplicate entire design into a same panel become 2 same design in same panel?

    Thanks.



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    This is usualy done with the gerber, excellon or ODB++ data



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Hi marce,

    Is that mean in Altium no way to do it?



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Quote Originally Posted by senilicus View Post
    ...Why don't you tell the board manufacturer that you want to have two pcb's in a panel?...
    Its already performed by PCB manufacturer even if you dont ask him. Could not be concerned to user.
    It make sense due Board manufacturer may optimize spacing in order to dont waste matherial.

    +++



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Of course you can do this:
    1. Create you left or right side
    2. Save the routed PCB area as a snippet
    3. Load the snippet in PCB - you'll get now 2 absolutely identical copies
    4. You can modify the schematic as well by doubling the existing one and renaming the components on the new one. Then you need manually to change the names in the PCB to match

    In short - what you need is called "snippet". It's a good technique if you want to reuse your PCB design - like ready power supply module, RS232 module, etc. - instead of routing again and again the same schematic you can simply place it



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Hi,
    I have always panelised my designs in a front end system such as CAM350 using either Gerber or ODB++ data. I tend to use a set of standard panel borders, that I load my design into then step to get the required number of images. These days most PCBs are bought in panel format and panelising the data gives me greater control of my data. I found this esential when going directly overseas for my PCB supplies. I have a range of standard panel sizes that I use, these have been optimised with my PCB fabricaqtors to get the best yield from their working sheet size. An example is a 219mm x 304mm panel that gives me optimun yield for manufacturers using 12 x 18 base laminate. I also step the screen data at the same time, thus avoiding stepping errors between PCB and screen manufacturer.
    I would not duplicate designs in the CAD package.



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Hi Marce,
    there are some cases which require duplication - imagine a PCB with multiple identical channels. Also the initial request from sgaltium was the duplication to be made inside the PCB editor. Once you have the knowledge and you can duplicate the design inside the PCB editor or inside Camtastic you can decide which way to use.



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    If it is part of the same PCB you duplicate circuitry within the PCB design package, if you are panelising one PCB design you do it in a front end system. You do not duplicate circuitry within the same board in a front end system ever.
    A front end system (Cam350, Camtastic GCprevue) is for panelising a complete PCB design transfering data via Gerber and Excellon or ODB++ format. (also DFM checks etc)
    Are we talking panelising or circuitry duplication within one design



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Hi Marce,
    I think that everything is crystal clear:
    >> Question:
    >> How to 100% duplicate the full completed pcb design has done in the LEFT side to the RIGHT side of pcb board?

    panelization requires also additional information about the PCB manufacturing - how big should be the gap between panels, the size of the whole panel, etc.



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Once you have finished patronising me you may read some of the other replies, quite often with questions my people new to the world of PCB design there are ambiguity, so its always best to get confirmation of the request.



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Hi Marce,
    I absolutely agree with you - probably the question was about panelizing but was wrongly posted as duplication of PCB area. I'm sorry if I offended you in any way! In all cases it's good to know the technique of the snippets, probably sgaltium will come to the conclusion of panelization.
    Regards
    Luben



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    First day back at work and fealing grumpy, my appologies also, as it dont hel provide answers if we argue. Re-reading I belive you are correct and it is ONE PCB with two channels. In my system I would just use cut and paste for both the schematic and PCB (Cadstar), in Altium no idea.



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Hi Marce,
    Yes, these bank holydays only break our natural biorithms, I feel the same like you.
    I'm afraid that at the end the guy will stick probably to the idea of panelizing the PCB instead of duplicating - duplicating requires much more efforts to change the schematic and the names of the duplicated components. Even if he requested duplication the fastest way is simply to panelise the PCB. In Altium copy/paste of PCB area is not working like in Cadstar. Some questions which look stupid in Cadstar have quite complex answer in Altium and visa versa (for example importing DXF into polygones in Altium is nightmare).



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Yes, but with snippet it sounds like Altium has a usfule design re-use feature. Cadstars is still developing, and with cut and paste you have to update each section seperatly if there are updates. For info one of the best design re-use add ons I have seen was for Allegro, but that was a 16k add on!!!



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    yes, snippets could be used to boost the PCB design productivity - very often we need to reuse exactly the same schematic and PCB layout. In this case in Altium you need simply to save the PCB area as a snippet and later you can place it everywhere you want. Well, Altium need to improve further the software to make the snippets to mate with the schematic - for now this is manual process, but still it saves tonnes of work.
    If you produce PCB designs on large scale such cost doesn't matter, if this add on can double your productivity it will be paid out in less than half year (until you have these 16K in your pocket to buy the add on). I remember when our company bought PCB milling machine for fast prototyping for 28K - it was paid out straight in several months and we got the luxury to have 6 mils double sided PCB in couple of hours. You know, the good investment doesn't hurt.



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    If it's 2 different channels on the same PCB, what you want to do is make the channel design a single lower-level sheet (it can have subsheets). Then on the top level of your schematic, place the lower-level sheet with a REPEAT(LOWER_SHEET_NAME,1,2) designator. This will instantiate 2 copies of the lower-level sheet; the component reference designators can be set to match (R3A,R3B, C5A,C5B, etc). The 2 copies will be placed in separate "rooms" in the PCB layout. You layout 1 of the rooms, then you "copy room format" and the layout will copy to the second channel. This works great, keeps the reference designators matched, and lets you make schematic changes in 1 place, or PCB changes in 1 place and then copy to the other. I should warn you that if you start making changes to ones of the room's layouts after you copy the format (i.e. you run traces in and out differently in each room), then later on if you make a change and want to copy the room format again it might not work as well because of the differences.
    Last edited by kevin54; 3rd May 2011 at 17:50.



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Hi Kevin,
    It seems that your solution is better for duplication because you get natively schematic and PCB bonded together. If using snippets it's your duty (and burden) to manually change the schematic and the PCB component names.

    So, can you confirm that "copy room format" in Altium is copying all wires, component position, vias, text and properties from one area to the other?



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    Re: Duplicate PCB design

    Yes, "Copy Room Format" copies everything. Before you copy, you have to manually make the second room the same size as the first.

    ---------- Post added at 09:50 ---------- Previous post was at 09:32 ----------

    You should also be aware how signals are handled which go off the sheet. For example, power ports are global names, so any power power ports used on the subsheet will have the same net name (i.e. be connected together on both channels). With I/O signals, you get to choose. A normal Sheet Entry symbol on your top-level sheet symbol will connect that signal to both channels. If that's not what you want, you can use a "REPEAT(SIGNAL_NAME) designator, which will make the sheet entry a bus so you access the signals individually.


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