I am assuming firstly that we are really talking about Planes made up of
Polygon Fills, as opposed to real Planes with Split Planes within them.

I have done this many times when I want to have a Plane fill in around
things on a routing layer, and have even done it with several different
Planes (of different nets) located (or even "nested") on the same layer.

Respecting your having one larger Polygon Plane over several smaller ones, I
am assuming that you are speaking of the case where the smaller ones are of
a different net.

If this is the case, you would then be relying on Protel to not flood over
the smaller Polygon Planes simply be virtue of the net being different.
While this may in fact work, I myself would not rely on it, and would not
trust Protel to handle it properly in all cases, and would try to work
around the problem in a different manner.

What I have been successful in doing in the past, and more importantly what
I feel comfortable and confident about doing, is simply this:

Start with an outline of how you want to break up your Polygon Plane on an
unused Mechanical Layer, using tracks (lines) of the appropriate thickness
for the actual gap between the Plane segments.

Place each little Polygon Plane segment where it belongs, using your
"outline" as a guide to "draw" each segment.

Where one Polygon Plane segment completely surrounds a smaller Plane
segment, draw the outer Plane segment as a comply seperate segment which
completely surrounds the smaller Plane segment, but does not overlap it, and
where the the larger outer Plane segment will actually overlap itself where
it comes back on its starting point.

This larger outer Polygon Plane segment, which surrounds the inner Plane
segments (but does not overlap them), can itself be made up of smaller Plane
segments with the same net and which all have overlaping edges, so that
there will not be any "gaps" in the resultant gerbers. Using many segments
for your larger outer Planes (or Plane segments with complx shapes) makes
things go a little easier if there are tricky outlines you are trying to
follow, and these can always be overlapped where they join up to prevent any
gaps in the gerbers, providing they are of the same net.

When you are happy with the results, don't forget to delete your outline
from the unused Mechanical layer, and turn it back off.

While it takes a little more work to do it this way, I never have to rely on
Protel to understand what I really want it to do, and there is no chance for

This method also prevents minor catastrophies which might happen if I
accidently deleted or renamed an inner Polygon Plane segment and then
"repoured" an outer Polygon Plane Segment.

In short,  you can draw larger Polygon Planes in smaller overlapping
segments, providing that they have the same net, and it is actually
preferable to have some overlap to prevent a "gap" in the gerbers, but it is
not advisable to overlap Polygon Planes which are not intended to be the
same net.

I hope that this answers your question.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert M. Wolfe" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, January 17, 2003 11:32 AM
Subject: [PEDA] Polygon Filled Planes

I believe there was a thread on this subject which
also had split neg. planes within its thread. I never
really ended up with an answer.
So dealing with polygons and not split planes,
what is the proper way to handle plane within plane.
I do remember something about not overlapping, but
thought that the discussion was slpit planes???

My real question is if I have one or more smaller ploygon
planes within a large plane that covers almost the whole board, do I
need to delete the large plane first then edit the small planes vertices,
then redraw the large polygon plane???
I am getting some errors on system level,
if you try to touch the big plane to let it rebiuld it spits
out an exception error, however if I do delete big plane first, then fix
small planes, then
redo big plane, all seems well. I do however created a mechanical
layer outline of the planes so it is easy to reproduce the large plane.
Weird thing about this though is that on a much slower machine
there is no problem at all.

Any help with proper procedure on many polygon planes will be appriciated.


Bob Wolfe

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