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A footprint is a graphical representation composed of pads used for connecting electronic devices to a PCB. Any error while creating a footprint can cause redesigning of the whole board. Therefore, creating the right footprint is important to the design and manufacture of reliable PCBs. You can create footprints in many ways using Allegro® PCB Design applications.
For creating standard-compliant footprint symbols, Allegro PCB Editor offers Symbol Editor, an integrated library-development environment. The user interface of Symbol Editor makes part creation fast and easy by providing specific symbol-creation commands, powerful wizards, and templates. You can create a new symbol from the scratch or modify existing symbols.
In this blog post, we will go through all the necessary steps to manually create a dual in-line package (DIP) symbol using the symbol editor mode of Allegro PCB Editor.
To create a new footprint manually, do the following six generic steps:
You are now in symbol editor mode and see a blank canvas where you can create the new symbol.
Before creating symbols, you should specify drawing extents and design parameters.
To assign pins, Symbol Editor searches the padstack directories defined by the PADPATH environment variable.
The Options tab has various fields. Set up the fields to create the desired package.
The silkscreen layer contains the labels and outlines of the component. To add silkscreen as line or arc elements, do the following:
In case you cannot see grids, go to Setup ─ Grids. In the Define Grid dialog box, check the Grids-on checkbox.
You can create assembly outline in the same fashion. It contains information about the placement and orientation of all the components in the board design. To add assembly outline, do the following:
To define areas, do the following:
Labels are placeholders for displaying component data such as assembly and silkscreen reference designators and device types. You must define at least one reference designator to successfully create a footprint.
Choose Layout ─ Labels ─ RefDes and use the Options tab to specify the location and text block size. The text block controls the size of the label. You can add reference designators to the silkscreen and assembly layer separately.
Your footprint is ready to save. Check the status in the Command window. It says two files are created, dip16.dra and dip16.psm. The .dra file is a graphic file used for editing purposes only. The .psm file is the binary equivalent of the drawing file, created by default when you save the symbol. This file contains a compiled version of the symbol which has layer details and is used by placement utilities.
Allegro PCB Editor makes it easy to create a new symbol that you need to use in your design. I hope this blog helps you quickly get started to successfully create a footprint!
To learn in detail about this flow, watch the How to create a Footprint using the Allegro® PCB Editor training byte on the Cadence Support portal. Click the training byte link now or visit Cadence Support and search for this training byte under Video Library.
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