Altium NEXUS Documentation

Managing Layer Stack Regions using the PCB Panel in Altium NEXUS

Created: February 20, 2019 | Updated: February 20, 2019
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Parent Page: PCB Panels

The Layer Stack Regions mode of the PCB panel


A Layer Stack Region is a user-defined area of a PCB that can have a unique layer stack assigned to it. A board can split into multiple regions, with each region assigned an individual layer stack arrangement. The layer stackups (defined in the Layer Stack) can be configured to cater for both rigid and flexible regions of the board, facilitating rigid-flex PCB design.

The three main list regions of the panel when in Layer Stack regions mode reflect, in order from the top:

  • The names of the available Layer Stacks.
  • The Stackup Regions defined on the board, or those assigned to a selected Layer Stack.
  • The list of Bending Lines in the selected Stackup Region

Panel Access

When the PCB Editor is active, click the Panels button at the bottom-right corner of the workspace then select PCB from the context menu. Alternatively, you can access the panel through the View » Panels » PCB sub-menu.

Panels can be configured to be floating in the editor space or docked to sides of the screen. If the PCB panel is currently in a group of panels, use the PCB tab located at the bottom of the panels to bring it to the front.

Once the PCB panel has been opened, select the Layer Stack Regions option from the drop-down menu at the top of the PCB panel to enter Layer Stack Regions mode.

Browsing Layer Stack Regions

While using the Layer Stack Regions mode of the PCB panel, change to the Board Planning Mode view through the View » Board Planning Mode menu, or use the 1 shortcut.

A board can split into distinct regions (Stackup Regions) that are assigned specific layer stackup arrangements (Layer Stacks). Folding areas (Bending Lines) are defined in the board's flexible regions.

When a particular layer stackup name is selected in the Layer Stacks area of the PCB panel, filtering will be applied using the Layer Stack as the scope of the filter. Any board regions assigned to that stackup will therefore be listed in the panel's Stackup Regions area. In turn, any bending lines defined in a selected Stackup Region will be listed in the Bending Lines list area.

Double-clicking on a Stackup Region in the list (or double-clicking on the board region itself in the design workspace) opens the Board Region dialog. Use this dialog to rename a region, assign it to a layer stack. or lock its 3D properties.

A board region's name and its assigned layer stackup are defined in the Board
dialog. One region should be locked as a 3D reference.

Each region displays a label that shows its name and the name of the layer stack assigned to it in the form Region Name - Layer Stack Name. If the layer stack is flex-enabled, this will also be indicated by (flex). Enabling the flex setting for a stack is done in the Layer Stack.

The available Layer Stack configurations and their associated names are also defined in the Layer Stack (Design » Layer Stack Manager).

Double-clicking on a Bending Line in the panel's Bending Line area list opens the Bending Line dialog in which the line's properties can be edited in detail.

The bending line properties have inter-related values where the Affected area width is calculated from the Bending Angle and the Radius. Therefore, when the first two properties are edited in the dialog, the third property (Affected area width) will be automatically calculated. Note that each Bending Line's Affected area width is displayed on the board in dark yellow.

The Fold Index defines the sequence that the bends are folded when the Fold State slider is used. The Fold State slider is just below the Bending Lines grid of the PCB panel in the Layer Stack Regions mode; use it to fold the board up in 3D mode (shortcut 3).

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