Altium NEXUS Documentation

Multi-board Assembly

Modified by Tania Mashkoory on May 17, 2019
All Contents

Parent page: Multi-board Panels

Multi-board Assembly panel
The Multi-board Assembly panel showing an assembly of 4 PCBs, and the top and bottom sections of the case.

Summary

The Multiboard Assembly panel is used to navigate and manage a multi-board assembly. The panel presents an expandable tree view of the complete assembly structure, not unlike the Projects panel, and includes all PCBs in the assembly, the components, layers and nets within each PCB, and any included STEP models.

Each entity, or item in a Multi-board assembly is referred to as a Part. To learn more about Multi-board assemblies, refer to Creating the Physical Multi-board Assembly.

Panel Access

When a Multi-board assembly document is active, the panel can be accessed in the following ways:

  • Click View » Panels » Multiboard Assembly.
  • Click the Panels button button at the bottom-right of the work area then select the Multiboard Assembly menu option.

Content and Use

The panel offers a structured tree view of the entire assembly, including:

  • The included boards (PCBs), and the components, layers and nets within each PCB
  • STEP models that have been included
  • Other Multi-board assemblies that have been included

It also allows addition boards, STEP models and other MBAs to be added into the assembly, and the visibility of selected part(s) to be toggled off or on.

Highlighting

The Multiboard Assembly panel provides highlighting capabilities, where the part selected in the tree is highlighted in the workspace. The highlighting is bi-directional, therefore, the selection state of panel entries will change in response to objects that have been selected in the workspace.

Multiboard Assembly boardsTwo boards selected in the workspace are also highlighted in the panel.

The highlighting feature provides an excellent method of locating a specific part, for example, finding a component or examining the path of a set of nets as they pass under a daughterboard.

Controlling the Visibility of Assembly Parts

As well as highlighting a specific part or parts, the panel can also be used to control the visibility of the parts currently selected in the panel. To hide the selected part(s), right-click then select Visible from the context menu. The selected part(s) will disappear from view, although, while they remain selected, they will continue to be visible. Click on another part or anywhere in the workspace to deselect them and switch off their visibility.

For example: a complete PCB can be hidden; or the silk screen layers on that PCB; or all selected Top Side components. The animation below shows the Search feature at the top of the panel being used to locate the fan, which is then hidden.

Assembly Parts

To help with working with hidden parts, hidden parts are made visible whenever they are selected.

Adding Parts into the Assembly

Three different types of additional parts can be added into a Multi-board assembly in the Multi-board Assembly (MBA) editor.

Note that a part is inserted into the Multi-board assembly as a single entity. For example, if you insert the STEP model for a case, which consists of a top half and a bottom half, you will not be able to manipulate these halves independently. In this situation you need to insert each half into the assembly, separately.

Click the appropriate button (or use the command in the File menu) to:

Insert another Multi-board assembly symbol - Insert another Multi-board assembly into this assembly.

Insert PCB symbol - Insert another PCB into this assembly.

STEP format symbol - Insert a STEP format mechanical model into this assembly.

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