At 09:20 AM 1/2/2002 -0600, Ted Tontis wrote:
>         The best and quickest way I have addressed this problem is to use
>mid layer 30, I place a courtyard around the component just outside the
>pads. I use a .5mm grid, it is an electrical trace now you can use the DRC
>to keep your spacing between your pads and overlay. The only draw back is
>you have to update all your library's. When you generate the gerber files
>just deselect that layer.

I do not understand how using a layer 30 courtyard will help, unless you 
also move the reference designators to layer 30. Perhaps Mr. Tontis will 
give us further detals. However, this will, if I my expectation is correct, 
check the bounds box for the text, not the actual text strokes.

It is an old suggestion, not yet implemented, that DRC clearance checking 
be improved in a number of ways, one of which was the inclusion of 
mechanical layers. Besides helping with this text/pad problem, being able 
to create an irregular component shape on a mech layer, as part of the 
library, and check for contact between such shapes and primitives belongong 
to one component and those of another, would be much better than the very 
primitive and irritating component clearance rule checking we now have. 
However, so far, this set of suggestions has not been implemented. Perhaps 
it will be coming.

for now, to check clearance of track and pads, I would use a scratch PCB 
and import as gerber all the pads from a side of the board (that would be a 
padmaster plot, I think), plus the silkscreen plot for that side. I haven't 
tested this today, it might be necessary to give all the imported pads a 
net, easy to do (create the net with the netlist manager then globally edit 
the pads to have that net). The clearance rule can be set to the desired 
pad - ink clearance.

this will check the true text clearance as drawn.

For small to medium-size boards, manual checking is probably sufficient, 
plus most fabricators will blow out the text anyway, if any should be left 
over pads.

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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