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How can I create a board outline?

If you require a custom board size and shape, without using the pre-defined shapes of rectangle or circle, this can be created easily.

Deleting an existing board outline

DesignSpark PCB only allows one board outline so you need to delete any previous one first. You can edit an existing board outline as well. If you do need to delete it, simply select the outline and click the Delete button on your keyboard.

Adding a new board outline

Board outlines can be created easily in DesignSpark PCB by adding board shapes (including circles). The Add Board option on the Add menu allows you to interactively create a board outline by drawing it into the design. Four shape styles are provided: Rectangle, ShapeCircle and Square. There is also a shortcut on the PCB Design toolbar to add a Board Polygon.

Board outlines are created as a Closed shape so during addition, you’ll see the ‘trailing’ board segment trail back to the start point. Click to add corners. After adding the last corner double click the mouse to finish. If during the insert you wish to cancel click the <Esc> key on the keyboard. This will create you a board outline as a continuous shape starting and finishing at the start point.

Once the board has been added, it can be modified afterwards, extra segments can be added and the corners can be mitred or made curved.

If you require cut-out shapes in your board, add these using the Add Board Shape option. DesignSpark PCB understands that board outlines inside the main board outline will act as cut-outs.

Importing a new board outline using a DXF file

Instead of drawing a board outline, you can also import a DXF file previously created in your mechanical CAD system, such as AutoCAD.

If you wish to import a DXF file, use the Import option on the File menu. You are presented with a dialog to map shapes and text in the DXF file into your DesignSpark PCB layers. You can also change the import Units to adjust the import scale. More information about this option is available in the Online Help.



See Also

How can I place components on a PCB?


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