Electronics > Altium Designer

"IT'S TOO BIG!" says everyone, including my PCB assembler...

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I have a motherboard which clocks in at a very impressive 33" x 17".


Getting the raw card built is no problem.  But the smt shop, and the few other smt shops I spoke to,  all say it is too big - it won't fit in the smt machine, won't fit into x-ray, won't fit into the reflow oven, and just plain won't fit.  Anywhere.

I hate when that happens.

Anyhoo... I want to cut it in half, and slap in some connectors and whatnot to jumper the nets and power that got cut (there aren't that many nets that cross where I want to put the cut line), and then the smtShop can build each half individually.   The smtShop will be supplied with the two raw cards, two boms, and two placement files. 

But... in altium, I don't want to have two separate designs.   I have the great big design already done, including the 33x17" pcbDoc, and I've drawn the line where it'll be cut.  So the question:

In Altium:  from a single pcbDoc:  how do I generate two sets of gerber, two boms, and two placement files?

Wow, can you share what this is? I haven't seen a board that big since the old days of TTL, seems like I saw a CNC machine controller that had a board about that size but even that I'm not sure was quite THAT big.

Don't think this is the best way but:
- delete left half of the board, generate gerbers
- undo, delete right half of the board, generate gerbers

BOM I'm sure you could select the parts on the PCB, cross select that on the schematic, and maybe change a property/variant to left/right then generate BOM for each.

I wanted a rude username:

--- Quote from: frogblender on October 08, 2021, 07:41:31 pm ---33" x 17"

--- End quote ---

840 x 430 mm

I'm not sure the FR-4 even comes in such a length ... and among the other problems already mentioned, layer alignment is going to be difficult on that scale.

Might be worth taking a step back and asking, is this actually the right solution? Could a modular design be more suitable? What about the backplane-and-modules architecture, in use for over half a century in big iron like today's blade servers?

If it will be made as two boards I don't think it makes sense to keep it as one design file, as any changes mean you'll need to go through the process of splitting again.


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