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How Do I Add or Modify the Soldermask in Ultiboard?



Primary Software:
Primary Software Version: 10.0.1
Primary Software Fixed Version: N/A
Secondary Software: N/A

Problem:

I want to add or modify sections of the soldermask in my Printed Circuit Board (PCB). How do I do this?



Solution:

The term soldermask is also known as solder mask, solder resist or just mask.

Default Behavior
By default, all Surface Mount (SMT) pads and Through-Hole (THT) pads already have a soldermask defined, so there is no need for the user to add it.

The soldermask term may confuse some users into thinking that they need to place a mask over the entire board to prevent copper from being exposed, this is incorrect when you work in a PCB Layout software such as Ultiboard. Think of this as a negative image, places where you see an object will be exposed (for soldering or just bare copper), and places where you do not see any object will be covered by the protective coating material that will prevent copper to be exposed or soldered.

The next image is a visual copy of the Soldermask Layer in Ultiboard. All objects that you see in green represent places where copper will be exposed to solder (mostly footprint pins). The black background is where in reality the soldermask coating material will be applied to prevent copper from being exposed, hence the negative image concept.

Make Soldermask Visible
To show the Soldermask areas of your PCB, on the Design Toolbox select the Layers tab. If you place a check right next to the Soldermask Top or Soldermask Bottom layers you will toggle the visibility on. To hide them, uncheck the box.

Add Soldermask
If you want to add soldermask to sections of your board, just make the Soldermask Top or Soldermask Bottom layers active and use the Place » Shape utility to simply place any object that will represent soldermask (where copper will be exposed).

Delete or Modify Soldermask
With the soldermask layers active, you can treat any soldermask object as any other object in Ultiboard, so you can change its shape or delete it.

Oversize Pad Soldermask
If you need to oversize the soldermask of all pads, you can do this before you export the Gerber file. Just select File » Export..., select Gerber RS-274X and click Properties; in the Gerber Properties dialog you will see the Oversize section, just type a number on the Top or the Bottom Soldermask to oversize it, or a negative number to decrease it.



Related Links:

Attachments:
Soldermask.JPG




Report Date: 11/22/2006
Last Updated: 08/28/2012
Document ID: 43LFGPMC

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