Altium Designer Documentation

Teardrops

Created: August 4, 2017 | Updated: June 4, 2021

The Teardrops dialog
The Teardrops dialog

Summary

The Teardrops dialog is used to add and remove teardrops from the design. Teardrops are often added to a routed PCB design to create stronger track-to-pad, track-to-via, and track-to-track connections. This is valuable when the design objects are very small, and is particularly valuable for drilled pads and vias because mis-alignment between the drill center and the pad/via center can result in the drill hole removing too much of the copper connecting the track to the pad/via. 

Current teardrop settings are stored as an Altium Designer environment setting on the PC, not in the PCB file. For more information on working with teardrops, refer to the Removing Unused Pads and Adding Teardrops page.

Access

The dialog is accessed by clicking Tools » Teardrops from the main menus.

Options/Controls

Working Mode

  • Add/Remove - add or remove teardrops in accordance with the other dialog settings.

Objects

This setting is used in conjunction with the object types enabled in the Scope region of the dialog.
  • All - target all objects
  • Selected only - only target those objects currently selected in the workspace.

Options

  • Teardrop style: the edge of the region object used to create the teardrop can be either:
    • Curved - use a Curved Teardrop style.
    • Line - use a Line Teardrop style.
  • Force teardrops - if this option is enabled, Teardrops will be applied to all vias and/or SMD pads, even if this results in a DRC violation.
  • Adjust teardrop size - if this option is enabled, the Teardrop size is automatically reduced to meet applicable design rules.
  • Generate report - create a text report listing both successful and unsuccessful teardrop sites.

Scope

Choose which objects to consider for teardrop addition/removal in conjunction with the coarse-level scoping defined in the Objects region of the dialog. When adding Teardrops, you can configure teardrop sizing as follows:

  • Via/TH Pad - specify the length and width of the teardrop as percentages of the via/thru-hole pad diameter (d). The defaults are 30% and 70% respectively. Click the percentage values in the diagram to change the percentages as required.
  • SMD Pad - specify the length and width of the teardrop as percentages of the attached track width (w). The defaults are 100% and 200%, respectively. Click the percentage values in the diagram to change the percentages as required.
  • Tracks - specify the length of the teardrop as a percentage of the attached track width (w). The default is 100%. Click the percentage values in the diagram to change the percentages as required.
  • T-Junction - specify the length and width of the teardrop as percentages of the primary track width (w) (the horizontal track in the image). The defaults are 300% and 100% respectively. Click the percentage values in the diagram to change the percentages as required.
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