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Altium Designer 20 Basic Tutorial

The Altium Designer 20 has a whole lot of functionality and features, which includes:

  • Support for rigid-flex circuit board design
  • Routing technology is advanced
  • Powerful reuse tools for design
  • Powerful tools for data management
  • Dynamic intelligence for the supply chain
  • Real-time tracking and cost estimation
  • Flexible management tools
  • Native clearance checking and 3D visualizations

All these functionality is offered through. Also, the whole process of design is performed in one design environment. It is one of a kind, and it is also engineered to offer optimal productivity.

This unified nature of the Altium Designer 20 ensures seamless and easy movement of the design data. This is from a specific design realm to another. However, to start with, the expected learning curve could appear as a strong blockade. This gets to the productivity-enhancing landscape, as well as a whole lot of features that it contains.

Therefore, the main space for the documentation is unique to the Altium Designer 20. This offers the whole information required to help you get started quickly with using the software. Furthermore, from the high-level overviews as well as stepped walk-throughs, and to the complete coverage of the entire resources of the nuts-and-bolts offered via the intuitive interface of the software, this Altium Designer 20 documentation offers you a whole lot of information and knowledge.

Getting Started With PCB Design and the Altium Designer


Is this your first time working with Altium Designer 20 or board design? Are you looking for a place to start? With this Altium designer 20 tutorial, we will reveal to you all you need to know. These include generating the necessary files for the fabrication of bare boards for the 9-component circuit.

This design we’ll be working with in capturing, as well as designing the PCB, is the astable multivibrator. This tutorial will also touch many areas of the altium designer 20 software. With this, you may need to understand properly in your daily design work. This is a great way for you to get used to this software.

Exploring the Altium Designer 20

The Altium Designer 20 has to do with all the software engineers and editors required to perform the development process of electronic products. Furthermore, all the document processing, compiling, and editing is handled in the environment of the Altium Designer 20.

This Altium Designer is twice the integration platform that brings the different functionality and features of the Altium Designer. It also offers a reliable user-interface all through the editors and tools. It also offers further flexibility and the environment is completely customizable. This allows users to set up their workspace the way they work

Also, you will be able to explore the interface and features of the Altium Designer 20, just by experimenting with it. You can also achieve this by creating a new project, and better still, by scanning through the documentation first to help you start ahead.

Extending the Altium Designer

The Installation Management System of the Altium Designer 20 will allow users to handcraft the installation of this software at all times after the initial installation. This will cover not just the updates to the system resources or core functionality, but it can also update, install, or remove the extra functionality. This extra functionality is possible via the optional Extensions available.

The extension is essentially an extra feature to the software, offering the extended functionality and features. A major set of functions and features are handled and installed transparently, which is part of your initial install. This is called System Resources. Furthermore, there are different Optional Extensions. These include optionally removed or installed functionality as required by users.

This is that extension concept, which enables the handcrafting of the installation in line with the design needs. The functionality may add a new exporter or importer. This is a tool that aids the generation of schematic symbol or provides support for a mechanical CAD partnership. To summarize, it is all the targeted functionality packages that enhance and extend the features of the Altium Designer 20

You can get the extensions either as paid subscription or for free. It could also be from Altium or a 3rd party

. Furthermore, with your Altium Developer extension, it is possible to extend the Altium Designer 20 functionality by using the Altium Designer Software Development Kit. This helps you to create your personal extensions for the Altium Designer 20 software.

How the Managed Content Server Works

The managed content server usually works in line with the Altium Designer 20. This is just to offer a good answer to questions regarding the handling of design data using secured integrity.

This server won’t just offer secure and rock-solid data storage, it also allows data re-release as separate and distinct revisions. This is essentially the changes in tracking design over time. This excludes the need to overwrite the data previously released.

Also, it caters for the entire lifecycle of that data you wish to manage. This allows people that wish to use the data to see at once, the stage of the data. It also reveals what you can use it for safely.

Furthermore, this server is useful in managing the managed data. These include domain models, components, design templates, and schematic circuitry sheets

You can indeed create as well as manage the whole design projects in the server. When you furnish some reusable ‘building blocks’ for the design in the server, you will be able to start a new project.

By so doing, you are sure that each component, model, and other design element are now approved and ratified

What are the Preferences of the Altium Designer 20?

PCB Layout in KiCA
PCB Layout in KiCA

The Altium Designer 20 offers the main location whereby you will be able to set up different preferences all through the different areas that are functional on the software. These setting are for the global system and they are applicable across relevant documents and products.

You can perform the preferences’ configuration from inside the dialog of the preferences. All you need to do is click the control you find on the top right section of the workspace’ top right. Make use of the options and controls available on your loaded page in configuring what you prefer for that software area

Also, this can be a mix of the satisfying policy of the company policy, as well as the working environment you prefer working in. In addition, the dialog of the preferences offers different tools to make sure that your preferences is just the way you need it. These include:

  • The ability to import the preferences that were defined in an initial instance, or the software’s version
  • Ability to save the preferences to, as well as load it from the preference file

Furthermore, if you’ve managed the content server, it becomes possible for you to release your preferences for the Altium Designer 20 formally to the target item in the server

Reference of the PCB Design Rules

The PCB Editor of the Altium Designer 20 makes use of the Design Rules concept in order to explain the design’s requirements. The rules altogether forms a set of instructions that the PCB editor should work with. They include all the aspects of the design, which includes the clearances, routing widths, styles of the routing via, and more. Also, you can monitor a good number of these rules in real-time using the online DRC (Design Rule Checker).

In addition, the design rule targets some objects that are applied in hierarchical form. It is also possible to set up many rules of one type. It could happen that the design object gets covered by two or more rules with a similar scope

For this instance, there is a contention. A priority setting helps in resolving all the contentions. The system passes via the rules from the highest to the lowest priority and then chooses the first one having the scope matching the objects that are being checked.

Reference of the Project Compiler Violations

Compiling is very important in producing an effective netlist for any project. To explain further, it is the compilation process, which yields the design’s data model. This is the data’s single model, which can be accessed all through the domains of the design in the design environment of the Altium designer 20

You can verify the connectivity awareness in the schematic diagram when compiling according to the rules that are defined as a part of options present in the project. This can be found on the tabs of Error Reporting as well as the Connection Matrix respectively.

The Altium Designer 20 documentation area offers an easy reference that describes every possible drafting and electrical violations, which can result or are present in the source documents during the compilation of a specific project.


We hope you enjoyed and have a good understanding of our article on Altium Designer 20. This unified nature of the Altium Designer 20 ensures seamless and easy movement of the design data from a specific design realm to another.




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