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Altium Designer - Iindicating that a component is placed at some height from the PCB

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eballiri

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I´m designing a board with a display on it, this display will be separated from the board about 20mm with plastic separators. I want to be able to indicate this to Altium since I want to use the space underneath the display to place several components without getting component placement clearance errors. Any Idea on how to achieve this?
 

androm

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If you want to control 3rd dimension clearance the best way is to assign a 3d model for the display at given height from PCB surface (even an extruded rectangular will help). I just tried that and it's working. You can specify a minimum vertical clearance for comps below the part in design rules.
 

kj.singh

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Yes this is correct but creating/finding 3d models is time consuming.
Under design menu go to "Rules" and follow to the Placement -> Component clearance and you can find there Min Vertical clearance for setting this constraint.
The tool should give error for components with defined height which is more than allowed height set on constraint.
 

eballiri

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Androm, I think your sollution is a good approach if Altium has no other "correct" way of dealing with components placed at different height than 0 from the board. Even in this case I agree with Kj.singh on the time consuming issue (Though I think that the more complete a component is, the better for the design). What I find worst than consuming time in creating a [useful] 3D model is that the model will have a fixed heigh, so when I get another design with the same display I will have to create another 3D model with another Height, or modify the first 3D model height to meet the new height needed, so in the long run I´ll end up having different components just to have different heights. Maybe if the height of the extruded rectangular surface you mention can be set as a component [modifiable] parameter, then your sollution would be much more than acceptable, any Idea on how to do this?

---------- Post added at 11:17 ---------- Previous post was at 11:06 ----------

Kj.singh, I don´t understand how I can modify the height clearance rule to make my case work, since the problem (at least what I think the problem is) is that both my display and the components beneath it appear to Altium as being placed at height 0 (since I was not able to find a way to state that the displace was placed at 20mm height), so no matter how small or big I set the height clearence, they will be always overlapping each other, hence causing errors. Even if I got to override the height clearence rule, I would be getting errors due to the fact that components are overlapping in the horizontal plane. I think that Altium MUST have a way of specifying the height at wich a component is placed since many designs must present issues like mine.

---------- Post added at 11:18 ---------- Previous post was at 11:17 ----------

By the way, thanks a lot to both of you for helping me with this issue, it´s kind of driving me crazy!
 

androm

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What I find worst than consuming time in creating a [useful] 3D model is that the model will have a fixed heigh, so when I get another design with the same display I will have to create another 3D model with another Height, or modify the first 3D model height to meet the new height needed, so in the long run I´ll end up having different components just to have different heights. Maybe if the height of the extruded rectangular surface you mention can be set as a component [modifiable] parameter, then your sollution would be much more than acceptable, any Idea on how to do this?
As far as I know the vertical clearance rule between two components can be checked only if 3d models are present. Besides adding 3d models to PCB design gives you another look and ability literally to create not just a board but an assembly with all respective DRC.

If you need to change the offset of 3d model double-click the footprint while in PCB editor session and disable primitives lock. Then double-click the 3d model (mind the layer you set the model on) and check its properties - everything you need is there. When the height is adjusted don't forget to lock primitives. I believe it's not that complicated as you might think :)
 

eballiri

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As far as I know the vertical clearance rule between two components can be checked only if 3d models are present. Besides adding 3d models to PCB design gives you another look and ability literally to create not just a board but an assembly with all respective DRC.

If you need to change the offset of 3d model double-click the footprint while in PCB editor session and disable primitives lock. Then double-click the 3d model (mind the layer you set the model on) and check its properties - everything you need is there. When the height is adjusted don't forget to lock primitives. I believe it's not that complicated as you might think :)
It seems quite logical that 3D models are mandatory to apply vertical clearance and the procedure to adjust the 3D model height doesn´t seem too complicated, so I´ll try it and post the results, thanks a lot!!!

---------- Post added at 12:55 ---------- Previous post was at 12:48 ----------

Creating a 3D body is the best way to go.

Read section 16.2 of this document:

http://www.altium.com/files/training/Module 16 - PCB Library Editor.pdf
Thanks a lot, travulous, that´s just what I was needing to start making the 3D models.
 

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