The computer-aided design (CAD) program Altium Designer 17 is a business specializing in electronic design automation software. The main function of Altium Designer 17 is to design printed circuit boards (PCBs). They are the foundation of most electrical products. For PCB design, it provides a full range of capabilities and tools. They include schematic capture, board layout, 3D visualization, and design rule checking. In addition, tools for building and managing component libraries, producing manufacturing files. Additionally collaborating with other team members are also in Altium Designer 17. As a result, it is a potent and popular tool in the electronics sector for developing dependable, high-quality PCBs.
Installing Altium designer 17
Pre-installation preparations for Altium Designer 17 include checking the system requirements, disabling antivirus software, downloading the installation files, backing up data, closing other applications, and running the installer as an administrator. To ensure the installation process goes smoothly, right-click on the installer file and select “Run as administrator” from the context menu.
Run the Installer
Once you have completed the pre-installation preparations for Altium Designer 17, you can begin the installation process. Here are the steps to run the installer:
To begin, double-click on the installation file.
Select your preferred language, then click “OK” to continue.
Any program, including Altium Designer 17, should always be installed after carefully reading the End User License Agreement (EULA). Any restrictions, limits, and obligations that apply are in the EULA, along with the software’s terms and conditions.
- Find the installation file for Altium Designer 17 on your PC.
- Use a text editor like Notepad or Wordpad by selecting “Open” or “Open with,” then right-click on the installation file.
- In the text editor, locate the EULA section and carefully read it. Note any pertinent details, such as obligations, limitations, and restrictions.
- Only continue with the installation process if you accept the terms and conditions stated in the EULA. Installing the software is not recommended if you disagree.
Before installing any software, it is crucial to carefully read the EULA to prevent any contractual or legal complications. You can comprehend the usage guidelines for Altium Designer 17 and determine whether or not to install the software by reading the EULA.
Two installation options are available when installing Altium Designer 17: Express or Advanced. An overview of each installation mode includes the following:
- Advanced Installation Mode: You can tailor the installation to your requirements with this way of installation. Advanced users that need to modify the software to meet their unique needs and want more control over the installation process should select this mode.
- Express Installation Mode: With default settings and options, we can install Altium Designer 17 quickly and easily using this installation technique. It sets up every necessary part required for the software to function. This mode is suited for most users who merely need to get the software up and running quickly.
Consider your skill level and your particular demands when selecting the installation technique. For example, the Express Installation Mode might be your best bet to get going immediately if you’re a new user. On the other hand, the Advanced Installation Mode allows you greater control and flexibility over the installation process if you are an experienced user with particular needs.
A pop-up window for Account log-in will now appear. This entails connecting to your Altium Account, linked to your valid license, using your AltiumLive Credentials. This is due to two factors:
First, it confirms your identification and that the program installation is legal, as defined by your account and license.
Second, it enables secure access to the Altium Vault, which contains the installation files you must download before installing the program on the PC.
The features and tools in Altium Designer 17 and any resources and help made available through your account are all accessible once you log in. In addition, you can sign up for updates and notifications for the program by making an account and logging in.
Select Design Functionality
Altium Designer 17 provides a comprehensive set of design capabilities for printed circuit board (PCB) design. Here are some design functionality alternatives for you to consider:
- Signal Integrity Analysis: This enables you to examine and improve signal quality and performance in your PCB design, including finding and fixing problems like signal noise, crosstalk, and reflections.
- Output Generation: This feature allows you to create output files like Gerber files, NC drill files, and bills of materials (BOM) required for PCB production.
- Library Management: Manage your component libraries by creating and updating components, importing and exporting libraries, and sharing libraries with other users.
- 3D Visualization: This feature enables you to examine and edit your PCB design in 3D, resulting in a more detailed and accurate depiction of the final product.
- Design Rule Checking (DRC): This ensures that your design follows specified rules and limitations, such as component clearance, minimum trace widths, and minimum via diameters.
- PCB Layout: This allows you to create the actual layout of your PCB, including component placement and routing path definition.
- Schematic Capture: This feature enables you to build a schematic of your PCB design, specifying the components, connections, and relationships.
You may produce a high-quality, reliable, and efficient PCB design that satisfies your individual needs and limits by selecting the proper design functionality choices in Altium Designer 17.
When you install Altium Designer 17, you will be requested to choose a location for the program installation. Consider the following factors while choosing a destination folder:
- Custom Installation: If you pick the Advanced Installation Mode, you may modify the installation location and the installed components. This enables you to install the program in a folder of your choice.
- User Access: Think about whether you want to install the software for all users or just one. Installing the software for all users may require administrator access, depending on your computer’s security settings.
- Installation Location: Select an easily accessible target folder. The default installation location on the system disk is generally in the “Program Files” or “Program Files (x86)” folder.
- Disk Space: Altium Designer 17 demands a lot of disk space to install, so be sure you have adequate free space on your computer’s hard drive. You may find the disk space requirements for program installation in the system requirements documents.
When choosing a destination folder, be sure it fulfills the software’s criteria and makes it easy to access and manage the data.
Congratulations, you have successfully installed Altium Designer 17! After the installation, you may activate the program and design your PCBs. Here are some first steps you may take:
- Run Altium Designer 17: To run the software, double-click the Altium Designer 17 icon on your desktop or find it in the start menu.
- Activate Your License: If you haven’t previously, you’ll be requested to do so when you open the software. Follow the on-screen instructions to enter your licensing details and activate Altium Designer 17.
- New Project: To start a new project, go to “File” and pick “New” from the menu. Select the project type and follow the steps to create a new project.
- Begin Designing: Once you’ve established a new project, you can begin designing your PCB with Altium Designer 17’s many design feature options. These tools are accessible through the software’s numerous menus and toolbars.
- Remember to Save Your Work: Save your work periodically to avoid losing progress. You may save your work by selecting “Save” or “Save As” from the File menu.
You may start using Altium Designer 17 and create your own high-quality PCBs by following these instructions.
Altium Designer 17 features
ActiveRoute is a useful Altium Designer tool that automatically routes traces on your printed circuit board. (PCB). It is a push-and-shove router that can route your PCB design fast and efficiently, minimizing the time and work necessary to finish your project.
ActiveRoute supports automatic routing, push-and-shove routing, real-time feedback, routing parameter management, interaction with other design tools, and the ability to develop a comprehensive design from start to end. It automates the routing process, removing the need for human routing and lowering the chance of mistakes. Other traces and components are automatically moved out of the way to generate the shortest and most efficient routing pathways with push-and-shove routing. As a esult, Real-time feedback allows you to monitor the routing process and make changes as needed.
You may expedite your PCB design process, save time, and develop high-quality designs that fit your unique needs by utilizing ActiveRoute in Altium Designer.
New Post-Route Glossing Tool
The post-route glossing tool enables designers to improve the clarity and readability of their PCB layout. This program makes a series of automatic changes to the routed traces on a PCB to make them more aesthetically appealing and easier to understand.
The following are some of the changes that the post-route glossing tool can make:
- Adjusting trace curvature to avoid sharp angles
- Removing unnecessary vertices and simplifying trace geometry
- Adjusting trace widths for better visibility and consistency
- Applying different colors and patterns to other net classes or signal layers
Designers may increase their PCB layout’s overall quality and readability by utilizing the post-route glossing tool, which is especially useful when presenting their designs to other team members or stakeholders.
Controlled Depth Drilling (Back Drilling)
Controlled Depth Drilling, commonly known as back drilling, is a PCB manufacturing procedure used to manufacture plated through-holes with a predetermined depth. This method entails drilling a hole through the whole thickness of the PCB. Then, remove a part of the conductor material from the surface layer to which the hole connects. As a result, the hole is plated and linked to the appropriate layers of the PCB.
Here are the general steps to perform back drilling in Altium Designer 17:
- In Altium Designer, open the PCB design and select the via(s) you wish to back drill.
- Right-click on the chosen via(s) and pick “Properties” from the context menu.
- Navigate to the “Advanced” tab in the Properties panel and look for the “Back Drill” option.
- Select “Back Drill” and enter the desired drill depth.
- Specify the target layer(s) from which you wish the extra copper removed. Depending on your design needs, you may choose one or several layers.
- Select the desired back drilling options, such as the drill size or drill depth tolerance.
- Click “OK” to preserve the selected via’s back drilling settings. (s).
Smart Copper Editing
Smart Copper Editing is an Altium Designer function that allows designers to easily change the copper polygons on their PCB layout without manually editing each segment. Instead, designers can effortlessly add or delete copper regions, change existing polygons, and reposition or reshape copper segments using Smart Copper Editing, all with a few clicks.
Some of the primary features of Altium Designer’s Smart Copper Editing include:
- Interactive editing: Smart Copper Editing enables designers to edit copper polygons on the PCB layout interactively by clicking and dragging on the polygon borders. Designers may add or delete copper regions, relocate or reshape copper segments, and alter existing polygons.
- Object selection: Smart Copper Editing enables designers to pick and alter numerous copper objects, such as copper pours, zones, and tracks, simultaneously.
- Real-time preview: Smart Copper Editing displays a real-time preview of the modified polygon boundaries and the influence on the surrounding copper segments as designers adjust the copper polygon borders.
- Auto-complete: Smart Copper Editing contains an auto-complete tool that fills in copper sections depending on the copper segments around it. This is very handy for making complicated copper polygons or filling gaps in the copper pour.
Design Rules Improvements
Many design rule choices are provided in Altium Designer to assist in guaranteeing that a PCB design is manufacturable and satisfy the specified performance criteria. Altium Designer now offers a complete set of design rule checks to aid in identifying possible design flaws before they become issues. Designers can use user-defined rules to create bespoke design rules based on specific design needs or manufacturing restrictions. Real-time rule checking enables designers to rapidly discover and remedy any rule breaches. Also, it ensures that the design remains within limits provided. So, designers may rank the relevance of distinct design rules using rule prioritization, and design rule templates serve as a starting point for new designs.
Support for Parameters in PCB Footprints
Altium Designer has parameter support for PCB footprints, allowing designers to generate flexible and customized footprints that may be helpful in various design scenarios. For example, parameters may be defined inside a PCB footprint and used to influence different elements of its geometry.
As a result, parameter support in Altium Designer PCB footprints may assist designers in creating more flexible and configurable footprints that can be helpful in various design scenarios. In addition, parameter support can enhance the design process’s speed and consistency.
Selection and Display Improvements
Altium Designer has several capabilities that assist designers in more effectively navigating and manipulating PCB designs. Among the features are multiple selection options, object highlighting, zoom and navigation, better layer management, real-time rendering, and 3D visualization. Altium Designer includes multiple selection modes for quickly selecting multiple objects on a PCB layout, object highlighting for easier visual identification of selected objects, and improved zoom and navigation features such as the “Zoom to Fit” option for quickly zooming in or out to the full extent of the design, or use the “Pan” option to move around the layout.
Designers may turn the display of different layers on and off. As a result, it makes it easier to focus on key areas of the design. In addition, real-time rendering allows changes to the design to be displayed on the screen instantaneously without requiring a manual refresh.
Designers may inspect the PCB design from various perspectives and discover potential design concerns using 3D visualization. As a result, these characteristics can make designers’ jobs easier and more productive, especially when working with complicated PCB designs.
Dynamic Cross-Probing and Cross-Selecting
Altium Designer’s dynamic cross-probing and cross-selecting capabilities enable designers to swiftly and effortlessly traverse between schematic and PCB views and select or highlight relevant items across both views. So, these features function by choosing an object in one view and the equivalent object in the other. As a result, it makes browsing between the two views simple and rapidly finding related things. This can assist in decreasing mistakes and enhance overall design quality.