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One of the difficult steps when designing a printed circuit board is adding components or parts. It is important that you use a correct footprint for your part when designing a PCB. Failing to do so could create quality issues that could lead to loss of time and effort.
When designing a PCB, you cannot always depend on your designing tool to provide the correct footprints for your part. In such cases, you have to create your own footprints. With ECAD-MCAD Library Creator, you can easily create footprints for your parts using thousands of ready-to-use templates that are provided with the tool.
Before we start with the steps to create a footprint using an existing template, let us discuss what is a footprint. A component footprint is where your component gets soldered onto the printed circuit board. The details of a footprint are usually taken directly from the datasheets or derived from the component dimensions via industry standards. Most of the PCB design software provide a footprint library that can be used by a designer but these libraries have a limited number of footprints. Moreover, if you are using 3D models for your components, chances are that the existing PCB footprints available in the library may not be in sync with these 3D models. Library Creator is the only tool that can generate footprints directly from 3D models.
Let's start creating a footprint using a template.
Accessing an existing template (Tools – Templates – System - Packages) is very simple in Library Creator. Select a template from the available list of packages. The selected package and its details are displayed in the Templates dialog.
In this step, change the parametric values in the Parametric Table to match your component’s specification sheet and create a new package by clicking the New Instance button.
Oh, that is easy. To ensure that your PCB makes it through design to manufacturing, Library Creator allows you to apply specific rules to footprints that follow industry standards, such as IPC-7531. Just click Apply and then select the rule name to apply the rule.
You can also edit or create rules in the Edit - Configuration menu.
The next step is to save the package to create the relationship between the Package and the Footprint before you export it to Allegro PCB Editor. Just choose File – Upload – Save New Version and verify the details of the footprint.
Click OK and your package is saved.
Exporting the footprints to Allegro PCB Editor is as easy as clicking a picture on your phone. Library Creator directly interacts with Allegro PCB Editor which in turn speeds up the export process. Choose File – Export – Allegro to export the footprint to PCB Editor.
That’s it! You are done with creating your own footprint using an existing template in Allegro Library Creator.
Verification is very important. It is obvious that you would want to verify the footprint you just created. Just load the package in Allegro PCB Editor and launch 3D Canvas to view the footprint. Before that, if you want to try these steps, click here for a Rapid Adoption Kit (RAK) on creating a footprint using templates in Library Creator. This RAK explains all the steps discussed here in detail.
Note: The above link can only be accessed by Cadence customers who have a valid login ID for https://support.cadence.com.