Altium NEXUS Documentation

PlaceFill

Modified by Susan Riege on Jul 13, 2018

Parent page: PCB Commands

The following pre-packaged resources, derived from this base command, are available:


Applied Parameters: UpdateCaption=False

Summary

This command is used to place a Fill object onto the active document. A fill is a rectangular object that can be placed on any layer. When placed on a signal layer, a fill becomes an area of solid copper that can be used to provide shielding or to carry large currents. Fills of varying size can be combined to cover irregularly shaped areas, and can also be combined with track or arc segments and can be connected to a net.

Fills can also be placed on non-electrical layers. For example, place a fill on the Keep-Out layer to designate a 'no-go' area for autorouting. Place a fill on a Power Plane, Solder Mask, or Paste Mask layer to create a void on that layer. In the PCB Library Editor, fills can be used to define component footprints.

For detailed information about this object type, see Fill.

Access

Fills are available for placement in both PCB and PCB Library Editors by:

  • Choosing the Place » Fill command from the main menus.
  • Locating and using the Fill command () on the Active Bar.
If the command has been recently used from the Active Bar, it will become the active/visible button. Where other commands are available, this is indicated by a triangle at the bottom-right corner of the button. Click and hold on the active button to access a menu of all associated commands for that grouping.
  • Clicking the  button on the Wiring toolbar (PCB Editor) or the PCB Lib Placement toolbar (PCB Library Editor).
  • Right-clicking in the workspace then choosing the Place » Fill command from the context menu.

Use

After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter fill placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:

  1. Click or press Enter to anchor the first corner of the fill.
  2. Move the cursor to adjust the size of the fill then click or press Enter to anchor the diagonally-opposite corner and complete placement of the fill.
  3. Continue placing further fills or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.

A fill will 'adopt' a net name if it touches an object which has a net name.

Press the Tab key to access the Properties panel, from where properties for the fill can be changed on-the-fly. Pressing Tab pauses placement, allowing you to interact with the panel (or other area of the software) directly. To resume, click the pause symbol that appears over the workspace, or press Esc.

Additional actions that can be performed during placement are:

  • Press the L key to flip the fill to the other side of the board – note that this is only possible prior to anchoring the fill's first corner.
  • Press the + and - keys (on the numeric keypad) to cycle forward and backward through all visible layers in the design, respectively, to change placement layer quickly.

Tips

  1. While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up the Properties panel), keep in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the PCB Editor – Defaults page of the Preferences dialog is enabled. When this option is enabled, changes made will affect only the object being placed and subsequent objects placed during the same placement session.


Applied Parameters: Keepout=True|UpdateCaption=False

Summary

This command is used to place a Keepout Fill object onto the active document. A Keepout in PCB design is a user defined area or perimeter placed in the layout that copper objects cannot intersect. Typically included to control the area used by automated copper placement actions, such as polygon pours and interactive routing, a Keepout also represents an invalid location when manually placing copper objects. 

As specified ‘no go’ areas during design layout, Keepout objects use the existing Clearance Constraint Rules to control routing and detect placement violations, but unlike other placed objects, cannot be assigned to a Net and are not shown in generated Outputs or printouts. In its simplest sense, a Keepout acts as an ‘interference’ object that prevents other copper objects from intersecting its area as specified by the global Clearance Rule.

Access

This command can be accessed from the PCB Editor and the PCB Library Editor by:

  • Choosing the Place » Keepout » Fill command from the main menus.
  • Locating and using the Keepout Fill command () on the Active Bar.
If the command has been recently used from the Active Bar, it will become the active/visible button. Where other commands are available, this is indicated by a triangle at the bottom-right corner of the button. Click and hold on the active button to access a menu of all associated commands for that grouping.
  • Right-clicking in the workspace then choosing the Place » Keepout » Fill command from the context menu (PCB Editor only).
Keepouts can be placed on all (copper) signal layers, excluding copper planes. When the currently active board layer is not compatible with Keepouts, the command is not available (grayed out).

Use

After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter keepout fill placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:

  1. Click or press Enter to anchor the first corner of the keepout fill.
  2. Move the cursor to adjust the size of the keepout fill then click or press Enter to anchor the diagonally-opposite corner and complete placement of the keepout fill.
  3. Continue placing further keepout fills or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.
Press the Tab key to access the Properties panel, from where properties for the keepout fill can be changed on-the-fly. Pressing Tab pauses placement, allowing you to interact with the panel (or other area of the software) directly. To resume, click the pause symbol that appears over the workspace, or press Esc.

Additional actions that can be performed during placement are:

  • Press the L key to flip the keepout fill to the other side of the board – note that this is only possible prior to anchoring the keepout fill's first corner.
  • Press the + and - keys (on the numeric keypad) to cycle forward and backward through all visible layers in the design, respectively, to change placement layer quickly.

Tips

  1. To place an all-layer keepout, make the Keepout layer the active layer then place the keepout fill on that layer. Alternatively, after placement, select the keepout fill and set its Restricted for Layer field (in the Properties section of the Properties panel) to Keep-Out Layer. Keepouts are indicated by the current Keep-Out layer color. Keepout objects set to a specific signal layer are outlined by the Keep-Out color, whereas Keepouts on the Keep-Out Layer show as solid color.
  2. When editing the properties of the placed keepout fill, the associated Keepout Restrictions options determine which object types will be restricted by the Keepout. Deselecting an object type will cause the Keepout to allow transgressions by that type of object (not kept out) by not imposing the applicable Clearance Rule.
  3. Keepouts are automatically restricted to the Layer on which they are placed, so Keepouts applied directly to the Keep-Out layer will become All Layer Keepouts. When the Keepout Layer is changed, the Keepout will be limited to, and appear on, the specified Layer. Note that a conventional (non Keepout) object cannot be placed on the Keep-Out Layer.
  4. While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up the Properties panel), keep in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the PCB Editor – Defaults page of the Preferences dialog is enabled. When this option is enabled, changes made will affect only the object being placed and subsequent objects placed during the same placement session.

 

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