Once again, lets talk about PCB designing. This time, its with OrCad.

At the moment we have done Schematics drawing with Dip trace, PCB designing with Dip trace.

Also we have talked about Schematic drawing using OrCad. So, lets make the PCB using that Schematic.

If you forget how to get the Layout for start making the PCB, lets remind it first then.

[1] Creating Layout

First open the Orcad capture CS and open your project. Then goto the project menu and select the project file. Then click on the Create netlist button on the top bar. Then Click on the Layout tab on the create netlist box. Select the path to save the MNL file and save it.

Alright, now you have created the Layout file. Go to the saved locating to check whether that file is there or not 🙂

[2] Starting with Layout

Now open the OrCad Layout software.

After opening it, it will be a blank as shown bellow. Then you need to open an existing PCB design or start a new PCB drawing. In this case lets start a new PCB drawing by clicking on new button.

When you click on the new button, a Load Template File dial box will open. Then you need to open the template file. The template file is located at C:Program FilesOrcadLayoutDataDEFAULT.TCH. This file can be locate in another place depending on the place you installed the Orcad. Select that file and open it. (Yes! open it to create a new PCB designing)

When you Open the DEFAULT.TCH file, then you need to open the saved layout file. Go the  the location you saved the Layout file (MNL file) and open it.

Ok, now you are almost there to create the new file. Now save the file at a prefer location. It is better to save this file with a version number. Because if you have any problem later, you can change versions.

When you save the file(MAX file), you will see like this.

 [3] Set Footprints

Then it start loading footprints. I think you remember the names that you gave when making the schematics.

Now you need to add the correct footprint to correct component. Click on the “Link existing footprint to component…” button to add components footprint.

When you click on that button, you can see the dial box to adding footprints. you can see the needed component footprint name on top of the dial box. If you need to verify the component, go back to Orcad capture CS and check the component.  (It is better to verify it)

On this dial box, you can select the Library form the Libraries and select the correct component from the footprint. You can also see the preview of it.

when you add the all the correct footprints, you will see the Design as follow with components footprints. (In this case I have add just some foot prints with correct number of  foot paths. Some of them are not the actual component footprint. I just add them to show how to create the PCB. not to show how to select correct component)

[4] Set Board Outline

Just for remind, as on other PCB design softwares, you can interchange with the layers using working layer combo box.

Before starting the PCB designing you need to draw a board outline. For that, you need to change the rule parameters. For that goto Options -> System Settings.

Then select Display Units to Millimeters and set all the values to 0.01. not the cursor point will move by 0.01mm. This will help you to draw a fine board outline.

After setting the values, change the working layer to SSB layer. Then click on the Obsticle tool to draw the outline of the board.

Then start drawing the PCB board outline as wanted size. you can see the dimantions of drawing line on bellow of the window. Press the `Esc` key to get out form the obticle tool and stop drawing the line.

[5] Arrange components

At the moment we have the components and the board on the Design window. Now its time to arranging the components. click on the components tool to arrange the components.

Before arrange the components, you need to change the rule parameters again for fine adjustments of components. Go back to system settings and this time select the units as Mils and set value as 8 or 16 or a multiplication of 8 as you prefer.  Because that is the length ratio between dots on the design window.

Uncheck the DRC check if you having trouble on moving components. If you have click on DRC ckech button, it will check your PCB drawing online at every movement. So you will be unable to move components and place them as you wish.

Now arrange the components.
After arranging the components, click on the DRC verify button the verify if there is any errors before routing. If there is any error at this stage, don’t start routing, because then your PCB will be a wrong PCB. Fixed the errors and again click on the DRC verify. Do this process until you get no errors.

When you get no errors, now start routing 🙂

[6] Routing

You can do the auto routing or manual routing. I prefer manual routing, because you can route as you wish 🙂 Click on auto route or manual route button as your preference.

If you clicked on the manual routing, now click on a pad and join it to the next connecting pad. In here, Orcad want us to get out form a pad at 90 degrees and get in to a pad at 90 degrees of exact angle. If you did not done this correctly, you will get errors at the end. So be careful with that.
Also You can press `Esc` to stop routing at a middle of a line and click on a drawn route path or while drawing, press `Delete` key to delete a route path. Press `N` key to route the next path of your PCB after drawing a one path. You will feel difficult at the first PCB drawing, but you will feel very easy when you drawing more and more.

After finishing the routing(Needed) or while doing the routing(Not needed but better), click on the DRC verification button. If you have errors, you will get a msg as follow.

Then fix that errors and check again until you don’t have any errors. If you have no errors, then you will see a msg as follow.

So, now you have finished making your PCB with OrCad. Now you can print it.

Now lets talk about some useful tips with PCB designing using OrCad.

[7] Tips

One thing is always refer the Schematic drawing. it is better to use the split screen facility for that(After windows 7) or use multiple monitors. Then you can see, when you click on the foot print, the component of that foot print also selected at schematic OrCad Capture CS. So it is very easy to identify the components.

Next thing is, try to avoid unnecessary details of the Design window. For that you can hide the layers. Click on the layer you want to hide and press `-` key on the keyboard. Press the `-` again to make that layer visible. placing components after hiding some layers is much easier than without hiding them. Also remember to place the correct components at correct place.

I think this post will give you an idea how to make a PCB using OrCad. If you have any problems or clarification on what I written on this post, the comment section is open.

Lets talk more about what we can do with this on leter posts.

***Please note that all of the content on this post was originally published on champlnx.blogspot.com. We have migrated these posts to www.champlnx.com for your convenience and continued access.

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