Electronics > PCB/EDA/CAD

unpopulated footprints on PCB?

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oliver602:
Often see PCB's with unpopulated footprints so the same PCB can be used for variations of the same product or perhaps even different products.  Is there a a common way to do this in PCB design software? For exampe, I'd like to make a PCB with footprints for either a coin cell holder or AAA battery holder and be able to change resistor values for LED's.

hacklordsniper:

--- Quote from: oliver602 on November 23, 2011, 07:38:27 am ---Often see PCB's with unpopulated footprints so the same PCB can be used for variations of the same product or perhaps even different products.  Is there a a common way to do this in PCB design software? For exampe, I'd like to make a PCB with footprints for either a coin cell holder or AAA battery holder and be able to change resistor values for LED's.

--- End quote ---

Often manufacturers make single pcb for more models to save costs and/or remove components from exsisting design later in production to save costs. Additional components could also be used only in testing/prototyping stage and are not needed in final producsts.

armandas:

--- Quote from: oliver602 on November 23, 2011, 07:38:27 am ---Often see PCB's with unpopulated footprints so the same PCB can be used for variations of the same product or perhaps even different products.  Is there a a common way to do this in PCB design software? For exampe, I'd like to make a PCB with footprints for either a coin cell holder or AAA battery holder and be able to change resistor values for LED's.

--- End quote ---

It depends on what software you are using. Altium has variants, for example, but if your software does not have such feature, you can do this yourself by having multiple BOMs.

Neilm:
The other reason manufacturers might have empty footprints would be for "just in case" scenarios. These would generally be for EMC scenarios where having footprints on the board in the area you might need something would save the expense of re-laying out the PCB if later testing revealed that they were needed.

Sods law being what it is, I have yet to find one in exactly the right place (or correct footprint type)

Neil

oliver602:
Thanks for the replies. I'm using KiCad and after a quick inspection I can't find anything that would allow for variants. Anybody have tips on how to achieve something like this in KiCad?

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