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If I talk about my life, it was much simpler when I used to live with my parents. They took good care of whatever I wanted - in fact, they still do. But now, I am living alone, and sometimes I buy stuff and realize you consider a lot many things and not only how the thing looks alone in the showroom or a shelf before buying it. It was in February, for instance, that I bought this wooden table from a furniture store, and when it arrived at my apartment, well it covered the entire living room. That’s learning. Spacing is important!
In the world of PCBs too, you have some minimal spacing between components to respect during placement. These limitations are defined by the type of soldering or placement process. When two components are overlapped, the placement boundary creates a DRC error. And it’s good that a DRC is marked because no one will want that to happen late when the product is being fabricated or even just before it, no one loves rework and it doesn’t make business sense too.
So, what if you can figure out all that can go wrong when your product is being assembled early on? Not guess but know and correct at an early stage – not wait for the fabricator or manufacturer to send you a long report of what needs to change. That’s why Design for Assembly (DFA) rules are so useful. They save you much rework and that means lower cost, higher quality, and, of course, faster time-to-market. DFA along with Design for Fabrication (DFF) completes the very useful Design for Manufacturability (DFM).
The good news is you can run DFA while placing on your board. There are a couple of requirements in order to use DFA. First, you must define an additional DFA boundary. Maybe your footprint already has a DFA boundary. If not, you must add a DFA boundary manually within Allegro layout editors. The other requirement is that you must define a DFA spreadsheet that states the spacing rules from one footprint to another.
I hope that this helps you place parts more clearly and precisely within Allegro layout editors. So, start using DFA utility in your designs.
And finally, if you haven’t read the previous post on Loading SKILL Programs Automatically, then do give it a shot.
Thanks for reading and see you next time for more on Training Insights. Stay tuned ‘till then.
To learn more about this feature, watch the Placing Parts Manually Using design for Assembly (DFA) Rules within the Allegro PCB Editor video on the Cadence Support portal. Click the video link now or visit Cadence Support and search for this video under Video Library.
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