PCB Component Shape Detection Improvements (New Feature Summary)

Created: October 14, 2019 | Updated: September 17, 2020
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The Problem with a Grid-Orthogonal Bounding Box

In earlier versions of the PCB editor, the bounding box of a component was defined by the smallest rectangle that enclosed all of the component primitives (copper and silkscreen layer objects, excluding silkscreen text). This bounding box was used for selection and component collision checking, which made it difficult to select and collision-check non-rectangular components.

The restrictive nature of this approach was exacerbated when a component was rotated since the bounding box did not rotate (it remained orthogonal to the grid), resulting in an even larger bounding box. This behavior would often result in false component collisions, and made it difficult to select a smaller component when it was close to an unusually shaped large or rotated component.

When components were rotated, their bounding box remained orthogonal to the grid.When components were rotated, their bounding box remained orthogonal to the grid.

Accurate Component Shape Representation

A number of changes have been made in this release to resolve this.

  • The bounding box now rotates with the component when the component is rotated.

The component bounding box (and selection box) now rotates with the component.The component bounding box (and selection box) now rotates with the component.

  • If there is a shape defined on a Courtyard layer (a mechanical layer with the Layer Type set to Courtyard), that exact shape is used for selection and component collision detection.

Include detail on a Courtyard layer to create an accurate shape for component selection and collision detection.Include detail on a Courtyard layer to create an accurate shape for component selection and collision detection.

  • If the component includes a 3D model this is used for collision checking, while the shape on the courtyard layer is used for the selection box.
  • Mechanical layer objects are excluded from the selection bounding box, but are included in the collision checking bounding box when there are no 3D Bodies or Courtyard layer objects defined. The exception to this are the .Designator and .Comment text strings, which are always excluded.

Learn more about Component Selection

Learn more about Component Area

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