Applied Parameters: None
This command is used to switch the display of the PCB workspace to 3D Layout Mode. This is the true, three-dimensional design mode. Combine this display mode with a 3D mouse, such as the Space Navigator from 3Dconnexion, to view and manipulate the loaded, three-dimensional board as if you were holding it in your hand.
This command can be accessed from the PCB Editor and PCB Library Editor by:
- Choosing the View » 3D Layout Mode command from the main menus.
- Using the 3 keyboard shortcut.
After launching the command, the workspace will change to display the board in 3D Layout Mode. This mode offers true, three-dimensional PCB editing. More than simple visualization, Altium NEXUS's 3D capabilities allow you to:
- Perform 3D clearance checking - components can be critically aligned with each other and the enclosure, as required.
- Visually locate connectors and other components requiring access for servicing.
- Better define manufacturing processes and the order of assembly, knowing all mechanical constraints have been accounted for.
- Generate more detailed hand assembly instructions, user manuals and instructions using images that are much closer to the reality of what will be seen by a human.
- Experiment with different colored solder masks in order to create a more aesthetically pleasing product that works well with its enclosure and surroundings.
- More easily bring key stakeholders onside by presenting them with a more concrete view of the end product.
This mode includes a number of features to help find, identify and manage the display of design content; collectively these features are known as the Board Insight System.
3D Board Insight features include:
- Single Layer Mode - displays just the current layer; other layers can be hidden, gray-scaled or monochromed (Shift+S to toggle the feature on then cycle through the supported single layer modes). Single layer mode is most useful when combined with a 3D view that utilizes Color By Layer (configured in the 3D Settings section on the View Options tab of the View Configuration panel.) Use the Ctrl+Shift+Wheel Roll keyboard shortcut to step through the layers.
- Predefined views - when viewing your board in 3D, you can quickly change view, enabling you to appreciate the fruit of your design labor from various popular viewpoints (from the PCB Standard/PCB Lib Standard toolbars).
To switch to Board Planning Mode or 2D Layout Mode, use the commands of the same name from the main View menu, or use the 1 or 2, keyboard shortcuts respectively.