Altium NEXUS Documentation

Component Body Manager

Modified by Susan Riege on Oct 10, 2017

The Component Body Manager dialog (back) and the Component Body Manager for Component dialog (front)


The Component Body Manager dialog provides controls to manage the 3D bodies for components, both interactively or batch updated. It provides a central console with which to quickly modify 3D Body attributes.

A 3D Body is a primitive polygonal design object that is used to represent the 3-Dimensional shape of the physical component that is mounted on the assembled PCB. Any number of 3D Body objects can be used together to create complex shapes.


This dialog can be accessed from the PCB editor in the following ways:

  • Click Tools » Manage 3D Bodies for Components On Board from the main menus. 
  • Right-click on a component then select Component Actions » Manage 3D Bodies from the context menu.



The top region of the dialog lists each component footprint in the active library (in the actual design, this would be a list of all components on the board). For each entry, designator (available on design side only), footprint name, height, and source library information is displayed.

Interactive Tab

The Interactive tab of the Component Body Manager dialog

The Component Body Manager version of the dialog features two tabs: the Interactive tab and the Batch Update tab. The Interactive tab allows you to easily view information about the selected component, including previews of the component bodies and selected body.

Existing and Potential Component Bodies

  • Existing and Potential Component Bodies - this region lists all existing component bodies (3D Bodies) that are being used or could potentially be used for the component. Each component body is listed in terms of the following:
    • Description - a description of how the body has been created. This could be a purposefully placed 3D Body (referred to as a Component Body in its description), a rectangular shape created from a bounding rectangle, or an enclosed polygonal shape created from design primitives. Each body's description (whether placed or automatically created) will also include the mechanical layer on which it resides (or on which the object(s) it was created from resides), and its area size. Rectangular and polygonal bodies are distinguished by the  and  icons respectively.
    • Body State - reflects whether the body is being used in the component (In Component <ComponentDesignator>) or not (Not In Component <ComponentDesignator>). Click the entry to toggle the state as required.
    • Standoff Height - the distance from the board surface to the underside of the Extruded Body. Use a negative value for Extruded Bodies that must pass down through the PCB.
    • Overall Height - the distance from the board surface to the topside of the Extruded Body.
    • Body Projection - the side of the board from which the 3D Body will project. Use the field's drop-down to choose either Top Side or Bottom Side (project up, or project down). This setting is automatically changed if the 3D Body object is flipped to the other side of the board as part of a component flip.
    • Registration Layer - the mechanical layer on which the 3D Body exists. Use the field's drop-down to choose from all currently enabled mechanical layers. If the chosen mechanical layer is paired, then when the body is flipped to the other side of the board as part of its component, it will also be moved to the paired mechanical layer.
    • Body 3D Color - the current color used for the 3D Body. Click the color swatch to access the standard Choose Color dialog to assign a different color as required.
    • Body 3D Opacity - the current level of transparency for the 3D Body. Use the field's drop-down to choose from Solid (completely opaque), Hide (rendering the body invisible), 25% Opacity, 50% Opacity, and 75% Opacity.
  • Component bodies in: <ComponentDesignator> - shows the component's 2D footprint along with overlayed 3D Bodies whose Body State is currently set to In Component <ComponentDesignator>. The preview is dynamic which changes as bodies are included or excluded.
  • Selected Body - shows the currently selected body in the list above. The title area for the window also reflects the body's description. 

Batch Update Tab

The Batch Update tab of the Component Body Manager dialog

The Batch Update tab provides a facility for quickly adding 3D body objects to all or selected footprints in a library, or all or selected placed footprints in a design. 

Grid Area 

Use this region to define search criteria for detecting and creating 3D bodies and for defining 3D body properties, such as Projection side (also referred to as Body Projection), Registration Layer, Standoff Height, Overall Height and 3D Body Color.

Each entry in the list provides a different scope in terms of the layers that will be searched when detecting and creating possible 3D body shapes. Each search is individually enabled using the Enabled column option. Multiple searches can be enabled, however, keep in mind that a 3D body will be added for each successful search. Typically, you would enable a search on one particular layer - or layer set - depending on where you typically place the primitives or component outline information for a footprint. By default, a search of All Layers will be performed.

The Detection Method field allows you to control how each 3D body shape is defined:

  • Bounding Rectangle - use the bounding rectangle of the footprint.
  • Closed Shapes - use polygonal closed shape created from component footprint primitives.
  • Both (Prefer Closed Shapes) - detect either a bounding rectangle or a polygonal closed shape based on the footprint's primitives. If both are detected, use the polygonal closed shape. 

The Prefer component height if not 0 option column allows you to control whether or not the height attribute defined for a component footprint is used as the Overall Height for the 3D body. With this option enabled, for each component with a defined height attribute greater than zero, that height will be set as the added 3D body's Overall Height and its Standoff Height will be set to zero.

The Body 3-D Color specifies the color with which to render the 3D body. Click on the color to change it in the Choose Color dialog.


  • Apply Only To Selected Components - enable this option if you want to apply the 3D body criteria to only a selected group of footprints. Ensure that those components are selected in the top region of the dialog (use standard Ctrl+Click and Shift+Click features to multi-select). If this option is disabled, the batch add process will be applied to all footprints in the library (or all components on the board).
  • Delete Existing Bodies In Components - enable this option to remove any currently defined 3D bodies for the footprints targeted by the batch process. Use the preview window at the bottom-right of the tab to get an idea of how the added 3D body will look based on the currently selected component footprint and currently selected (and enabled) search entry. After defining all options for the batch process as required, click the Execute Batch Update button. The search will proceed for each footprint included in the process and, where a 3D body shape is detected and created, that body will be added to the footprint using the defined property criteria.

Batch Operation Preview

Use to preview the defined 3D bodies in different layers.

Additional Controls

  • Execute Batch Update - click to proceed with the update for each footprint included in the process and, where a 3D body shape is detected and created, that body will be added to the footprint using the defined property criteria.
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