Electronics > Altium Designer

Custom stencil with top and bottom layers on the same sheet

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msantos:
Hello,

I'm having an issue that may sound stupid but is burning the remaing hairs I have  :).
I want to design a single stencil with location holes, top and bottom side components to use on a new board I'm working on.
The thing is that I can't figure out a way to create the stencil on Altium. I assume I need to create a new PCB document but I can't find a way to copy just the solder paste layers to the new document.

What I've tried so far
-> Generating gerbers and importing the solder paste layers to the new PCB, this sort of works but some pads disapeer (I have no idea why but happens with all QFNs) making the stencil pretty much useless
-> Trying to select the shapes of the solder paste on the original document and copy them. Altium doesn't let me select just the solder paste, just the entire pad
-> Trying to create a panel hoping to merge the top and bottom paste somehow, but I couldn't figure out a way to do it.

What is the correct way to solve this issue? How would you guys do it? Any sugestions?



thm_w:
Copy the actual pcbdoc file, paste it somewhere, open and modify that.

Otherwise adding a "stencil notes" mechanical layer for the manufacturer may be an option. But won't work with low cost suppliers.

msantos:
Thank you for the reply

The thing is that I cannot merge the top and bottom paste into a single layer on the output file, at least as far as I'm aware.
The stencil manufacturer expects a single file with the entire stencil information (yes it's a cheap one, so I assume asking them for special stuff will be almost impossible)
To edit the PCB file in the way you mentioned I have to move the components of one layer by x amount manually and edit both top and bottom paste layers in order to make the stencil and somehow in the end merge both layers for the production file. You know a way to merge layers?
Even if this works seems like a bit of an hack, Altium costs so much money I would assume there would be a more gracious way to do it.

thm_w:
There is no way to have top and bottom paste layers in a single layer, and it would not make sense to do so.

You will have gerber files:
- top paste layer (for top stencil)
- bottom paste layer (for bottom stencil)

Are you sure they are able to offer two stencils per design? Maybe they just say default is one stencil (top layer) or they want you to put it into "one" zip file.

msantos:
I managed to find a way to do it, in case someone else finds a similar issue.

Panelizing the PCB you have the option to mirror the imported view. If I make a panel importing a regular PCB and a mirrored one, both top and bottom paste are in a single layer.
Then I just need to output a gerber with the top paste layer (adding align holes and all that) and I'm set.
This may be a bit of an hack but seems to work.

I know usually mixing different layers is not something we want to do, but there are a few times when it's helpfull

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