How to create Footprint in Altium Designer | applied electronics engineering

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How to create Footprint in Altium Designer

By Applied Electronics - Tuesday, January 3, 2017 No Comments
This blog post shows how easy it is to create a footprint for passive component like Capacitor with Altium Designer. Here a footprint for a 10pF Capacitor from Kemet will be created. Before we start creating capacitor footprint we need the dimension for the footprint. For this we need the datasheet for the capacitor. The manufacturer part number of this capacitor is C1206C100J5GACTU. The datasheet of this part can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website.

See next part of the tutorial- adding 3D step model of capacitor to footprint

Below are some essential screenshot of the datasheet.

In the picture below the line marked green shows the part we are looking for. This line gives the length, width and bandwidth of the surface mount capacitor. The length is 3.2mm, the width is 1.6mm and the bandwidth is 0.5mm.



The thickness for the capacitor requires the thickness code. The picture below shows the part we are looking for, and the thickness code of this part is the EB under C1206C.
 

Once we have the thickness code, we can look further down the datasheet and locate the thickness for the capacitor. The thickness is 0.78mm.


Next the required dimension is the land pattern. Looking for 1206 in the EIA Size column we get the dimension for the land pattern. Density Level A can be chosen for loosely packed components on the PCB.



The C, Y, X, V1 and V2 in the dimension specification corresponds to the diagram below. Here C = 1.6mm, Y = 1.35mm, X = 1.9mm, V1 = 5.6 and V2 = 2.9mm. These are the dimensions required for the footprint.


Once we know the dimension for the footprint we can start with the creation of the footprint in Altium designer.

Here assuming the PCB library is opended as shown below we will create the footprint using the Component Wizard.

surface mount capacitor footprint using component wizard
Go to Tools > Component Wizard

surface mount capacitor footprint using component wizard
Select Capacitor as the component footprint you want to create and select Metric(mm) as the unit.

surface mount capacitor footprint using component wizard
Select Surface Mount type in the type of capacitor

surface mount capacitor footprint using component wizard

Enter the dimension of the pads with length = 1.35mm and width as 1.9mm as obtained from the datasheet, the X and Y dimension.

surface mount capacitor footprint using component wizard
The separation of the pads is given by the value of 2*C where C= 3.2mm also obtained from the datasheet above. surface mount capacitor footprint using component wizard 
In the height and width of the outline you can leave the values in default value and click next
surface mount capacitor footpring using component wizard
Provide a suitable name, like C120610pF

surface mount capacitor footpring using component wizard
Click next and finish the Component Wizard.

This creates an initial footprint from the provided dimension. The PCB editor should look the one below-

footprint in pcb library
As shown by the figure above, the newly created footprint C120610pF appears in the PCB Library.


If we measure the length of the yellow top overlay it is 7.62mm and the width is 5.08mm(use ctrl+M to use the scale). We need to change them to value of V1(length=5.6mm) and V2(width=2.9mm).

Before changing these dimension we need to change the coordinate form mil to mm in altium designer. To do this right click on the editor, select Options > Library Options

changing mil to mm
Now we can move the right side overlay line to 2.8mm from the origin by looking at the coordinates at the top left corner.

capacitor footprint
Similarly the left line is moved to 2.8mm from the center.

capacitor footprint
The top and bottom sides are moved in same way to 1.45mm from the center.

capacitor footprint

Now the footprint is ready to use.

In the next tutorial 3D model will be added to this footprint, see adding capacitor 3D step model

See more Altium Designer Tutorials

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