I'm designing a board in OrCAD PCB Designer Professional 16.6 that requires two copper planes on either side of the board. The two planes must be connected by vias along the edge of the PCB every 3 mm. The board is an irregular shape, so I'm not sure how to accomplish this quickly or accurately.
My second problem is that the solder mask must be removed from the edges of the PCB on both sides. Normally, I could draw some rectangles and get this done, but again, the board is an irregular shape. It literally looks like a puzzle piece. I'm pretty sure there's a way to do this with Z-copy or some other function, but I'm not sure the best way to create the solder mask shape around the edge of the PCB.
I'm sure somebody here knows how to do this - enlighten me! Thanks.
David could you post a picture of the board outline, I have an idea of a good way to handle the solder mask. The vias I think will be the most difficult part.
If the outline doesn't contain arcs it is a relatively simple Skill solution, that I can help you with, to add the vias and a soldermask line around the outline shape.
In reply to eDave:
It does/did contain arcs and curves. Like I said, the board looks like a puzzle piece. I manually drew everything. My version of OrCAD doesn't have the stitching option, so I manually placed all the vias and manually drew the solder mask shape around the edges. It took a while, but it's done.
In reply to David Yackman:
First: I do NOT know the differences between Allegro and OrCAD, as far as what OrCAD is capable of. I use Allegro and so this is what I do in that tool.
I think I see a way to do it, though I do not have time to verify it right now.
Let's create the outer-edge of the ring.
From the menu: Edit > Z-copy
In the Options tab, select the etch layer you want the ring on.
In the Options tab, select a value for Contract - this will be the pullback from the edge of the PCB.
Select the PCB outline.
You should now have a filled shape on your etch layer, pulled back from the PCB edge.
Now, add a void to that shape, to form the inner part of the ring.
First, you need to create a sketch line.
In the Options tab, select the Board Geometry/Outline layer. You will delete this after you are done.
In the Options tab, select a value for Contract - this will be the inner-edge of the ring.
From the menu: Shape > Manual Void/Cavity > Polygon
Select the filled shape on your etch layer.
Click on the sketch line you created on the Board Geometry/Outline layer to add the void that will act as the inner-edge of your edge ring. I use my RMB to snap pick to Segment Vertex and snap pick to Segment Midpoint (for arcs) to do this. The default void line type for me is Line 45. You can change this to Arc as you need it, in the Options tab.
RMB Done when complete.
Delete your sketch line.
This ring can be copied to the soldermask layer of your choosing. Be sure to copy the void, using the Option tab.
I sure hope this made sense!
In reply to KoryM:
I may have read more into this. If you are doing this for only soldermask - and not etch - just modify the instructions to fit your needs.