Customisation of design templates in Altium Designer

Altium Designer is the main CAD (Computer Aided Design) software tool utilized at ESO for the design of electronic boards (or PCB -Printed Circuit Board-). The tool offers quite a number of options which require configuration and customisation in order to facilitate a proper formalization over the design and ulterior manufacturing processes.

During the board design process, schematics do require standardized design rules and guidelines and symbol libraries. During the layouting phase, standardized component footprint libraries need to be available, and design rules need to be configured and tailored to each PCB manufacturing company which will produce the electronic boards according to their own specific technical capabilities. Altium Designer allows customization to allow the designer work within a preconfigured and controlled environment depending on the manufacturer the board is intended for.

Altium Designer also allows the generation of all the necessary information required by the manufacturer of the PCB and its population, which usually consists of schematics, GERBER files, NC drill files, pick&place files, bill of materials, and fabrication instructions (with board stack-ups, impedance control instructions, realistic board views, etc).   

The design and manufacturing process can thus be formalized, made easier for the designer, and tailored to one specific EMS company in order to provide with high quality information to it.

The work will therefore consist on the customisation of Altium Designer to add further features on top of the already integrated ones, to aid the designer to produce high quality boards and to provide the best possible fabrication information to the EMS companies. A board will be designed and fabricated as a proof of the work done in Altium Designer. The work requires some prior familiarity with the usage of any other PCB design CAD tool, similar to Altium Designer.


Supervisor:  I. Molina Conde