Print-based output for your PCB project in Altium NEXUS is available through creating a output job configuration file (*.OutJob). When you create a job output, there is a range of manufacturing documentation available for output including common two-dimensional PCB printouts, such as a composite drawings and schematic drawings. 2D print output is configured in the PCB Printout Properties dialog. 3D PCB printout (PCB 3D Prints) is configured in the PCB 3D Print Settings dialog.
To create an output job file, click File » New » Output Job File from the main menus. The new Output Job File will appear as a new file in the OutJob Editor window.
When you are ready to print documentation from your OutJob, access the PCB Printout Properties dialog (right-click on the desired output then choose Page Setup to open the appropriate Print Properties dialog, then click the Advanced button). In the PCB Printout Properties dialog that opens, you can define and manage the printout(s) required for the specific print-based documentation you want to generate.
The main area of the dialog is divided into three columns:
A new printout can be added to the current configuration by choosing the Insert Printout command from the PCB Printout Properties dialog's right-click menu.
The printout will be added beneath existing printouts and will be given a default name of
New PrintOut 1. By default, all options in the Include Components column will be enabled.
Double-click on a printout to open the Printout Properties dialog in which you can configure the properties of a printout/printout set.
A newly added printout can be configured (and an existing printout's configuration can be edited) by accessing the associated Printout Properties dialog. This dialog is accessed either by double-clicking on the name field for the printout (in the Printouts & Layers column) or by right-clicking on the name field then choosing Properties from the resulting menu.
A new layer can be added to a printout in one of the following ways:
A newly added layer can be configured (or the configuration of an existing layer can be edited) by accessing the associated Layer Properties dialog. This dialog appears directly when adding a new layer. To access the dialog for an existing layer either:
If you are adding a new layer to a printout, first select the layer you would like to add from the Print Layer Type drop-down list. The list contains all currently defined layers for the source PCB document, allowing you to include any PCB layer on a printout. The central regions of the dialog provide controls to determine how the primitives on that layer are displayed on the printout - either in Full, Draft (outline), or Hide (off) mode. This gives you complete control over what appears on the printed page.
Consider, as an example, an assembly drawing that includes the following layers:
The top layer would be configured to display the component primitives so the surface mount pads are visible and hide the free primitives so the routing is not visible. The multilayer would also be configured to display the component primitives so the through-hole component pads are visible, and hide the free primitives so that the vias are not visible.
Click the Preferences button at the bottom left of the PCB Printout Properties dialog to access the PCB Print Preferences dialog. All options defined in this dialog apply to each print-based output that can be generated.
This region allows you to control the coloring that is used for each possible layer than can be printed. For each layer, you can define the color used when printing in gray scale or color. Click on the left-hand color swatch to access the range of gray scale shades.
Click on the right-hand color swatch to access the Choose Color dialog, from where you can choose from a range of predefined colors or create your own, custom color.
Press the Retrieve Layer Colors From PCB button in the PCB Print Preferences dialog if you want to print using the same colors configured for the PCB design in the PCB Editor.
In addition to adding mechanical layers individually to a printout, you can also automatically include them in all printouts when the print job(s) for the parent document type is sent to the nominated printing device. Use this region of the dialog to enable/disable each of the mechanical layers for printing, as required.
Each of the three standard fonts used in the PCB Editor (Default, Serif and Sans Serif) can be substituted for a different Windows font when the printout is generated. Use the options in this region of the dialog to specify and enable substitution fonts.
Click on the button next to the required font field to access the standard Windows Font dialog in which you can choose the substitution font required.
When you click OK , the name of the font will be inserted into the font field.
The Print Keepout Objects option gives you full control over whether keepout designated design objects are included on the printed document or not.
Enable the Use Net override color checkbox if you want to use the net override color in your printout.
The following list of commands are available from the right-click menu, accessed from anywhere within the PCB Printout Properties dialog:
The PCB 3D Print Settings dialog enables you to select or create 3D printouts of your PCB for inclusion in the job output file. Remember, you can have multiple instances of any printout (use the Add New Documentation Output control from the OutJob in the Output Containers region to do this), which is particularly useful for 3D since you can print out views of the board from differing perspectives if you wish.
A custom view of your board can include it being rotated to an angle, zoomed, have various settings for surface colors, visibility, opacity, and board thickness. You can use these options to generate views that provide high levels of detail to highlight areas of your design or even create effects.
To create a custom 3D view of your board as a printout, perform the following steps:
If you would like to apply custom surface colors, etc., perform the following steps:
Print-based output can be generated in the following ways:
Configuration options defined here are distinct and separate from those defined for the same output type in an Output Job file. In the case of the former, the settings are stored in the project file; for the latter, they are stored in the Output Job file.
Setup options accessed from the PCB Editor's File menu with respect to page and printer are also separate from those defined when accessed from within an Output Job file. Again, the former will be stored with the project file, the latter with the Output Job file.
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