Altium Designer Documentation

Polygon Pour Manager

Modified by Susan Riege on Apr 14, 2020


The Polygon Pour Manager dialog

Summary

The Polygon Pour Manager dialog provides a high-level view of all polygons on the PCB design. The dialog can also be used to rename polygons, set their pour order, perform re-pouring or disable pouring on selected polygons, add/scope the polygon connection style and clearance design rules, and add polygon classes for selected polygons.

Access

The dialog is accessed from the PCB editor by selecting Tools » Polygon Pours » Polygon Manager from the main menus.

Options/Controls

View/Edit

This is a list of all existing polygons in the PCB document. The Pour Order list groups polygon outs by layer, which presents only those polygon pours on the same layer as the currently selected polygon pour (or first selected if multiple pours are selected across different layers). Click a column heading to sort by that column. Polygon names may be edited. Once named, they can be used to scope polygon rules or create queries. You may select one or more polygons in the grid (Ctrl+click) then perform the grid functions described below.

Grid

  • Name - the name of the polygon.
  • Area - the area that the given polygon encapsulates, listed in square millimeters.
  • Net - the assigned net.
  • Shelved - enable to shelve the polygon.
  • IsModified - shows if the polygon has been modified.
  • Locked - toggle to lock/unlock the polygon.
  • Ignore On-Line DRC Violations - enable to ignore violations.

Buttons

  • Repour - use the sub-menus to select which polygon(s) to repour: Modified Polygons, Selected Polygons, Violating Polygons, or Force Repour All Polygons. The number listed in parentheses after the first three choices is the total number of polygons affected with that specific action.
  • Shelving - use the sub-menus to select which polygon(s) to Shelve or Unshelve: All Polygons or Selected Polygons. To commit the action, click Apply or OK.
  • Locking - use the sub-menus to select which polygon(s) to Lock or Unlock: All Polygons or Selected Polygons. To commit the action, click Apply or OK.
 If you try to graphically move or edit a locked polygon, you will be prompted with a warning message before proceeding.
  • Violations - use the sub-menus to selectively Ignore Violations or Keep Violations of online DRC violations for All Polygons or Selected Polygons. To commit the action, click Apply or OK.
Do not forget to check and resolve the violations of all polygons before submitting the PCB for manufacturing.
  • New Clearance Rule - click to open the Edit PCB Rule dialog to create a clearance rule with a new query for the selected polygons. This rule specifies the minimum clearance between any two primitives on a copper layer.
  • New Connect Style Rule - click to open the Edit PCB Rule dialog to create a polygon connection style rule with a new query for the selected polygons. This rule specifies the style of the connection from a component pin to a polygon plane. 
  • New Polygon Class - click to create a polygon class for the selected polygons. You will be required to provide a name for the new polygon class in the Object Class Name dialog. An object class is a set of objects treated as a group used by the design rules for example.
  • New Polygon from - click to create a new polygon then choose:
    • Selected Polygon - click to create a new polygon in which the settings are cloned from the selected polygon by default. The new polygon pour is automatically added to the list of existing pours in the View/Edit and Pour Order region of the Polygon Pour Manager dialog.
To see the preview of the new selected polygon pour, you will need to first click the Apply button, which commits and adds the cloned polygon to the board.
  • Board Outline - click to create a new polygon from the board outline. The new polygon pour is automatically added to the list of existing pours in the View/Edit and Pour Order region of the Polygon Pour Manager dialog. 
To see the preview of the new board outline-based polygon pour, you will need to first click the Apply button, which commits and adds the polygon to the board.

The new polygon is inserted into the repour order according to the following logic:

Source Polygon

Other Polygon

New Polygon

Same layer

Same layer

Below Both

Same layer

Different layer

Below Source

Different layer

Same layer

Above Source

Different layer

Different layer

Above Source

The above commands also are accessible on the right-click menu from anywhere in the region, although the name and order of the commands are different. 
A Polygon Pour can be deleted by using the right-click menu Delete command.

Pour Order

This region lists the order in which polygons will be poured. The preview image to the right shows a graphical representation of the polygon pours. 

Using the Auto Generate button will list the pour order from smallest to largest, which is typically the best order in which to pour polygons since it ensures that a small polygon is not prevented from being poured by a larger, surrounding polygon.
You also can change the Pour Order using your mouse drag-and-drop functionality. This is much more expedient in designs that have many polygon pours.
  • Move Up - click to move the selected polygon up in the repour order list. The higher the polygon is in the list, the earlier it gets re-poured relative to other polygons lower in the list.
  • Move Down - click to move the selected polygon down in the repour order list. The lower the polygon is in the list, the later it gets re-poured relative to other polygons higher in the list.
  • Auto Generate - click to have the system determine the pour order of polygons from smallest to largest. You can then use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to fine-tune the pour order if required.
  • Animate Pour Order - click to preview the order of polygon pours in the graphical representation of the PCB in the preview area. 

Polygon Pour Properties

The far-right region presents the properties of the selected Polygon Pour. The properties can be edited directly in the Polygon Pour Manager dialog, or they can be edited in the Properties panel. 

Net Information

  • Net Name - the name of the assigned net.
  • Net Class - the assigned net class.

Properties

  • ​​Net - lists the net of the chosen polygon. Use the drop-down to change the net to another on the list. 
  • Layer - use the drop-down to select the layer on which the polygon is placed.
  • Name - specify a suitable name for the polygon. As well as helping identify each polygon, the name can be used to target a specific polygon (or family of polygons) in a design rule.
    • Lock Position & Vertices - check this box to ensure that the polygon is locked. Doing so will result in a checkmark appearing within the checkbox of the Locked View/Edit column.
  • Area - the area that the given polygon encapsulates, listed in square millimeters.
  • Fill Mode - choose the fill mode for the polygon pour. There are three modes available, each with their own advantages and options:
    • Solid (Copper Regions) - region-based polygons result in far fewer objects being placed making for: smaller files, faster redraws, file opening, and DRC and net connectivity analysis, and smaller output files as the region object is fully supported in Gerber and ODB++. The preview image changes to present a graphical depiction of a solid polygon pour with the following associated options:

      • Remove Islands Less Than In Area - specify an area value. Any islands of polygons whose area is smaller than this value will be removed.
      • Arc Approx. - specify the maximum deviation from a perfect arc (curved edges are created from multiple short, straight edges).
      • Remove Necks Less Than - specify a width value. Polygon pour copper with width is smaller than this value will be removed. Typically this is set to be no smaller than the smallest width track used in the design, or the smallest copper width supported by the fabricator.
      • Pour Over All Same Net Objects - use the drop-down to select other kinds of objects in the same net to also pour over:
        • Don't Pour Over Same Net Objects - select this option for the polygon to pour around all other objects regardless of the net to which they belong.
        • Pour Over All Same Net Objects - select this option for the polygon to pour over all objects on the same net as the polygon that are within the polygon's area. For example, existing routes on that net will be completely covered by the polygon.
        • Pour Over Same Net Polygons Only - select this option for the polygon to only pour over existing polygon objects on the same net as this polygon. The polygon will pour around all other objects regardless of the net to which they belong.
      • Remove Dead Copper - enable this option to remove any isolated area of polygon copper that does not connect to the specified net. Note that a polygon that is not connected to a net is considered to be Dead Copper and it will be completely removed if this option is enabled.
    • Hatched (Tracks/Arcs) - track/arc-based polygons allow a hatched polygon to be created by setting the Track Width to be smaller than the Grid Size. Note that they can also be solid by setting the Track Width to be larger than the Grid Size. The preview image changes to present a graphical depiction of a hatched polygon pour with the following associated options:
      • Track Width - specify the width of the track used to create the polygon.
      • Grid Size - specify the spacing, or grid, that the tracks are placed on for the hatched polygon.
      • Surround Pads With - specify the shape used to surround the pads: Arcs or Octagons.
      • Hatch mode - there are four modes available: 90 Degree45 DegreeHorizontal, or Vertical
      • Min Prim Length - specify how short the track/arc objects in the fill mode are allowed to be. 
      • Pour Over Same Net Polygons Only - use the drop-down to select which other kinds of objects in the same net to also pour over:
        • Don't Pour Over Same Net Objects - select this option for the polygon to pour around all other objects regardless of the net to which they belong.
        • Pour Over All Same Net Objects - select this option for the polygon to pour over all objects on the same net as the polygon that are within the polygon's area. For example, existing routes on that net will be completely covered by the polygon.
        • Pour Over Same Net Polygons Only - select this option for the polygon to only pour over existing polygon objects on the same net as this polygon. The polygon will pour around all other objects regardless of the net to which they belong.
      • Remove Dead Copper - enable this option to remove any isolated area of polygon copper that does not connect to the specified net. Note that a polygon that is not connected to a net is considered to be Dead Copper and it will be completely removed if this option is enabled.
    • None (Outlines) - outlines only polygons are simply track/arc polygons without the internal tracks and arcs. The preview image changes to present a graphical depiction of an outline only polygon pour, with the following associated options:
      • Track Width - specify the track width for the polygon outline.
      • Surround Pads With - specify the shapes to surround the pads: Arcs or Octagons.
      • Min Prim Length - specify how short the track/arc objects in the fill mode are allowed to be. 
      • Pour Over Same Net Polygons Only - use the drop-down to select which other kinds of objects in the same net to also pour over:
        • Don't Pour Over Same Net Objects - select this option for the polygon to pour around all other objects regardless of the net to which they belong.
        • Pour Over All Same Net Objects - select this option for the polygon to pour over all objects on the same net as the polygon that are within the polygon's area. For example, existing routes on that net will be completely covered by the polygon.
        • Pour Over Same Net Polygons Only - select this option for the polygon to only pour over existing polygon objects on the same net as this polygon. The polygon will pour around all other objects regardless of the net to which they belong.
      • Remove Dead Copper - enable this option to remove any isolated area of polygon copper that does not connect to the specified net. Note that a polygon that is not connected to a net is considered to be Dead Copper and it will be completely removed if this option is enabled.
Each Fill Mode option displays a Show Preview/Hide Preview option. Use to show or hide a visual representation of the chosen polygon.

Outline Vertices 

Use this region to modify the individual vertices of the currently selected polygon pour object. You can modify the locations of existing vertices, add new vertices or remove them as required. Arc connections between vertex points can be defined and support is provided for exporting vertex information to and importing from a CSV-formatted file. You also can adjust the position of the polygon pour object by globally applying delta-x/delta-y values to all vertex points.

  • Grid - lists all the vertex points currently defined for the polygon pour.
  • Index - the assigned index of the vertex (non-editable).
  • X - the X (horizontal) coordinate for the vertex. Click to edit.
  • Y - the Y (vertical) coordinate for the vertex. Click to edit.
  • Arc Angle (Neg=CW) - the angle of an arc that is drawn to connect this vertex point to the next. By default, connections are straight-line edges with this field remaining blank. Click to edit then enter an arc angle as required. The entry of a positive value will result in an arc drawn counterclockwise. To draw a clockwise arc, enter a negative value.
  • Add - use to add a new vertex point. The new vertex will be added below the currently selected (highlighted) vertex entry and will initially have the same coordinates as the previously selected entry.
  • Delete - click to delete the currently selected vertex entry. You will be prompted for confirmation before the deletion occurs.
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