Altium Designer Documentation

Design Rules Available for PCB Layout in Altium Designer

Created: November 20, 2017 | Updated: December 13, 2018
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Your Altium Design Software's PCB Editor uses the concept of Design Rules to define the requirements of a design. These rules collectively form an 'instruction set' for the PCB Editor to follow. They cover every aspect of the design - from routing widths, clearances, plane connection styles, routing via styles, and so on - and many of the rules can be monitored in real-time by the online Design Rule Checker (DRC).

Design rules target specific objects and are applied in a hierarchical fashion. Multiple rules of the same type can be set up. It may arise that a design object is covered by more than one rule with the same scope. In this instance, a contention exists. All contentions are resolved by a priority setting. The system goes through the rules from highest to lowest priority and picks the first one whose scope(s) match the object(s) being checked.

With a well-defined set of design rules, you can successfully complete board designs with varying and often stringent design requirements. And as the PCB Editor is rules-driven, taking the time to set up the rules at the outset of the design will enable you to effectively get on with the job of designing, safe in the knowledge that the rules system is working hard to ensure that success.

Define your rules in the PCB Rules And Constraints Editor dialog, accessed by choosing the Design » Rules command, from the main menus.
For a detailed overview of the rules system in Altium Designer, see Constraining the Design - Design Rules. For an overview of the system used to verify adherence to defined rules, see Design Rule Checking.

The Design Rules Reference is comprised of the following categories:

 

 

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