Altium Designer Documentation

Manufacturing Package Viewer

Modified by Jason Howie on Apr 29, 2021

Parent page: Altium 365 Viewers

The Manufacturing Package Viewer - an element of the Altium 365 platform's Global Sharing support - allows invited stakeholders to view a manufacturing package from any web browser - anywhere in the world - but outside of your Workspace, so that your designs themselves and other valuable IP are kept off limits.

The Viewer opens in its own browser tab and provides a summary overview of the design, with key board data, along with the ability to browse the structure of the shared data (and to download any individual file thereof as needed). You can also download the full package from this view. Fabrication, Assembly and Bill of Materials data sub-pages of the viewer are also provided, with the Fabrication and Assembly views ultilizing the Web Viewer interface, providing a powerful interactive experience and allowing for comments to be added by all users to which the package has been shared. The Fabrication view presents the Gerber data for the release.

The Altium 365 Platform's Manufacturing Package Viewer provides an interactive means with which your manufacturer can browse and comment on a specific manufacturing package that has been shared with them. Shown here is the Viewer's Overview page - hover over the image to see the Fabrication page, with its Gerber Viewer.

Ultimately, the manufacturing personnel can download a Build Package of the release they have viewed - and from any page of the Viewer - with which to get that revision of the board physically realized.

Creating a Manufacturing Package - a Quick Recap

Related pages: Managed Projects, Managing a Specific Project

As its name suggests, the Manufacturing Package Viewer is used to open and view a Manufacturing Package. The latter is essentially a Build Package, created from a specified release of a managed project. You can nominate which release of a project to send, configure its data content and then send that package - then referred to as a Manufacturing Package - to the required manufacturer. In essence, the package is shared with that manufacturer, who then receives an email invite to view the package directly through the Altium 365 Platform Interface (https://365.altium.com), courtesy of the Manufacturing Package Viewer.

A manufacturing package is created from within the Manufacture view of the Projects Management page (command central for managing a specific project) - accessed by selecting the required project on the Projects page of your Workspace's browser interface, clicking the  control above the listing of projects, and choosing the Open entry on the associated menu. Alternatively, double-click directly on the required project entry in the list. The page will open in a new browser tab.

You can send a specific release of the project to your manufacturer - as a Manufacturing Package - by clicking the  button associated with that release's entry.

The Sending to Manufacturer window will be presented, in which to configure the content of the package, and to whom it will be sent.

You can send (share) a specific release of a project directly with your manufacturer - a Manufacturing Package.

With the package defined, click the  button. The package will be shared with you (as the author of the package) and the specified manufacturer(s) and an entry for it will appear in the Sent region of the Manufacture view. The package will be named in the format Name.Revision.

After sending a manufacturing package an entry will appear for it back on the Manufacture view, in the Sent region.

Viewer Access

Access to view a manufacturing package in the Manufacturing Package Viewer can be made in the following ways:

  • The manufacturer to whom you sent the package will receive an email invite to access that package through Altium 365. Once they click the  button in the email they will be taken to the Altium 365 Sign In page (unless already signed in to the platform, or their AltiumLive account). Upon signing in, they will be taken to the Manufacturing Package Viewer, with the shared package loaded.
If the manufacturer does not have an AltiumLive account, they will need to register for one first - a link is provided on the Altium 365 Sign In page.

Accessing the shared manufacturing package from the email invite that is received by the manufacturer.

  • Any manufacturing package that has been sent to you will be available from the Shared with Me page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface. A manufacturing package is denoted by the  icon within its tile. To open the package in the Manufacturing Package Viewer, select the package of interest, click the  button within its tile, then choose the Open command from the associated menu. Alternatively, double-click directly on the tile (or click on the name of the package).

Accessing the manufacturing package from the Shared with Me page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface.

  • Any manufacturing packages that you have created and sent for a specific project will be listed in the Sent region of the Manufacture view, when accessing the Projects Management page for that project. To open a package in the Manufacturing Package Viewer, select the package of interest, click the  button within its tile, then choose the Open command from the associated menu.

Accessing the manufacturing package from the Manufacture view, when managing a specific project through the Projects Management page.

Viewer Features

The Manufacturing Package Viewer interface offers a range of integrated capabilities that allow detailed access to the release data contained within the shared manufacturing package. The following sections take a look at the various constituent elements of the interface.

The top-left corner of the interface reflects the name of the manufacturing package being viewed. Clicking on the Shared with Me entry above this will take you back to the Shared with Me page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface.

Overview

This page of the Viewer presents a summary overview of the design in terms of key board data and any user-defined parameters that have been defined for the project (on the server side). 2D and 3D previews of the board are also provided. The full release package can be downloaded from this view by clicking the  button. This downloads a single Zip archive containing a folder for each data set included in the package.

The Overview page, providing a high-level summary of the design.

Fabrication

This page of the Viewer provides an embedded Gerber Viewer that uses the Web Viewer interface. Standard review features include layer visibility selection and comment markup.

Comments made within the Viewer are not shared with Altium Designer. They are only seen by stakeholders with whom the manufacturing package has been shared, and whom are using the Viewer to inspect that package. In addition, comments made by different parties to the manufacturing package are not updated in real-time. You will need to click on another page of the Manufacturing Package Viewer, then back to the Fabrication page, to manually update comment threads with any changes.
For information on the entire Web Viewer interface and all its supported features, see Web Viewer Features. For detailed information specifically on using comments, see Comments.

The Fabrication page with its embedded Gerber Viewer. Shown here is all Gerber layers enabled - hover over the image to see just the top Gerber layer (.gtl).

Assembly

While labeled 'Assembly' this page actually provides both 2D fabrication (PCB data view) and assembly (3D data view) views of the board. These data views use the Web Viewer interface. This interface offers a range of capabilities that allow detailed access to the design's data and layout. You'll be able to search, select, cross-probe, and inspect components and nets across the two sub-views as applicable. And when viewing the board in 2D, you can take measurements and leave comments.

Comments made within the Viewer are not shared with Altium Designer. They are only seen by stakeholders with whom the manufacturing package has been shared, and whom are using the Viewer to inspect that package. In addition, comments made by different parties to the manufacturing package are not updated in real-time. You will need to click on another page of the Manufacturing Package Viewer, then back to the Fabrication page, to manually update comment threads with any changes.
For information on the entire Web Viewer interface and all its supported features, see Web Viewer Features. For detailed information specifically on using comments, see Comments.

The Assembly page of the Viewer. Shown here is the PCB data view - hover over the image to see the 3D data view.

Bill of Materials

This page of the Viewer presents a simple BOM listing for parts used in this specific release of the design. The main grid lists all unique BOM parts () in terms of the following information:

  • Item ID
  • Designator
  • Qty
  • Name
  • Description

The Bill of Materials page of the Viewer presents a listing of unique parts used in this release of the design.

Use the Search field at the top-left of the grid to quickly find an entry of interest. You can search by any of the data columns for the BOM parts. Search is dynamic, with the grid filtered as you type.

Structure

The Structure area of the Viewer presents a structured listing of all files available in the data sets included with the manufacturing package being viewed. This will typically include generated data for fabrication and assembly data sets, but could also include the snapshot of the design from which the release package was made (if the source has been included in the package). Each file can be independently downloaded. To do so, click on a file entry within the structure, then within the main viewing area click the  button.

Browse the structure of the files included in the released data sets and download individual files as required.

Sharing a Manufacturing Package with Others

In any of the pages within the Manufacturing Package Viewer, click the  button to access a window with which to share the package with others, by email invite.

The manufacturing package currently being viewed can be shared with others as required.

A manufacturing package can also be shared from within the Shared with Me page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface. Selecting a manufacturing package tile will present various controls and commands. Click the  control and choose the Share command, or click the  button (at the top-right of the page), to access the Sharing window.

Downloading the Build Package

The full release package can be downloaded from any of the pages within the Manufacturing Package Viewer (except the Structure area, where downloads are 'single file'):

  • Overview page - click the  button at the top-left.
  • Fabrication and Assembly page data views - click the  button, located in the top-right control cluster.
  • Bill of Materials page - click the  button at the top-right.

This downloads a single Zip archive containing a folder for each data set included in the package, which can then be passed to manufacturing to fabricate and assemble the board.

A build package can also be downloaded from within the Shared with Me page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface. Selecting a manufacturing package tile will present various controls and commands. Click the  control and choose the Download command, or click the  button (at the top-right of the page), to download the package as a Zip archive.

Deleting a Shared Manufacturing Package

You can delete any manufacturing package that has been shared with you, and is currently presented on the Shared with Me page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface. To do so, select the manufacturing package tile, click the  control, and then choose the Delete command. A warning window will appear alerting you to the fact that you will lose access to the package, but other collaborators will continue to have access to it. Click the  button to effect the deletion.

Any manufacturing package that has been shared with you can be deleted. This affects your access to it only - other collaborators retain their access to it.

 

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