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How to add a nonround hole in Designspark PCB?

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9 comments

  • Official comment
    DesignSpark PCB

    We have just recreated the document based on the original kindly posted by MasterFX. Please see:

    https://designspark.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/213487549-How-to-create-slotted-holes-in-pads-

     

  • Brad Levy

    I found this cached answer from the old forums using google, but it doesn't include the images. It might still help you get started, though. One example is also in the chipKIT Max32 example project included when you install DesignSpark PCB. I'd suggest you also go to this post in the forum and vote ^ on the first message, to let the powers that be know that you, too, would like the old forum content to be made available again.

    -Brad (just another user)

    Content from the old forums:
    We have had a number of requests from our members asking "how do I create a void/cutout/slot in my PCB design"? for example this one where a shape was imported via DXF from AutoCAD. Of course using slots in your PCB is likely to up the cost of manufacture, but it is often necessary.

    In DesignSpark PCB the simplest way to create a slot is by using another board outline within your PCB design. 

    In DesignSpark PCB any shape will have a type - either a board outline or a generic shape.  This is useful when adding cutouts.  Due to the ability to import DXF files, an intricate board outline or shape can be created in a mechanical CAD package and then imported to DesignSpark.  These items can be imported as either shapes or board outlines and used as required.  The editor within the software can be used to create complex shapes but it can still be desirable to use a mechanical CAD package or use a shape that has already been created before you commence work on the pcb design.

    There are any number of circumstances where a hole is required for mounting or clearance and with DesignSpark PCB it is very easy to accomplish this by simply using a board outline within the PCB.  The added advantage of this method is that the autorouter will recognise this as a cutout boundary and will not attempt to route across the empty space. 

    Board outlines are not layer biased in DesignSpark PCB so they appear on all layers of the design.  Ensure you include the board outline on your plots (the software will always warn you if you do not) - and by using the method above for slots the cutouts will appear on all layers where you include a board outline in the plot. 

    Below are a couple of simple examples where a cutout has been specified by using a board outline to define the slot.

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  • Boss .

    One of my (very) old posts that I saved. I find the 3D view a useful tool to check cutouts.

    ____________________________________________________

    Yes simply use the "Board Outline" from the options on the left.
    Used internal to a board outline it produces a cutout. I have attached the PCB image and 3D image for clarification.

    Remember manufacturers charge extra for a cutout as it is milled, it is also cut with a reamer of around 3mm so you will have a radius on internal corners.

    Board cutout.PNG
    2
  • Boss .

    Just a tip, the above was a simple copy and paste of the text and pictures all in one go! So you don't have to fiddle around loading images like the old forum, a very useful improvement!

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  • Jacob Rosén

    Thank you for your input!

     

    If I understood this correctly, both of these suggestions is to manually edit the outline in the PCB editor. Is there anyway to instead do this cutout in the component footprint? 

     

     

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  • Boss .

    No I am not aware of any way, I haven't tried anything but you could possibly add the cutout to silkscreen and replace that later with a change to the PCB? At least the position of the cutout will be defined.

    Or perhaps you could add it to the documentation layer but at the moment can't recall if components have a documentation layer.

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  • Jayx .

    If you want to use the method Brad & Boss described, you'll need to manually add the cutouts every time you require them as I can't see a way to add PCB outline layer to the component library, nor change other layer (e.g. silkscreen) to PCB outline.

    The only way to do it in the component library is to create additional layer for such things, but it's not going to show up as a cutout on the 3D view. Not a big deal as long as you have a PCB made correctly.

    Anyway I'm wondering if all the answers are about what you actually want to achieve. Going by the link to the connector you may actually want slotted and plated hole for boardlocks?

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  • Jacob Rosén

    Yes, this is the case for me as a plated hole will increase the stability of the DSUB.

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  • Jayx .

    That's what I thought. So all the comments so far were about rather large and definitely not platted cutouts in the PCB. For slotted holes where you solder component termination normally you need to use additional layer to define these slots. But it's kind of non standard thing and you need to check with the PCB manufacturer how they expect it to be defined.

    We used to have detailed post about it on the old forum which was unfortunately switched off. Maybe someone have it saved and can copy it here, or better if DS guys create help article about that.

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