Top Mask

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canberk_unal
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Joined: 07 Sep 2015, 05:14

Top Mask

#1 Post by canberk_unal » 12 Oct 2015, 03:03

Hi, i draw some RF signal lines so i need to cover them with top mask . Is there a easy way to do this ? using polygon as a top mask doesnt look so good .

Tomg
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Re: Top Mask

#2 Post by Tomg » 12 Oct 2015, 05:50

The solder mask layer is automatically generated. Currently, DipTrace does not show the solder mask in the PCB Layout Editor. The solder mask can only be viewed in either 3D Preview or Gerber Preview. DipTrace automatically opens up areas over pads and plated through holes, and the size of these openings can be globally-modified by changing the value of the Solder Mask Swell in the Gerber export dialog window.

What DipTrace calls the Top Mask in the PCB Layout Editor is actually a keepout layer that opens up areas of the top solder mask. What DipTrace calls the Bottom Mask in the PCB Layout Editor is actually a keepout layer that opens up areas of the bottom solder mask. These mask keepout layers are used for making custom openings in the solder mask.
Tom

canberk_unal
Posts: 7
Joined: 07 Sep 2015, 05:14

Re: Top Mask

#3 Post by canberk_unal » 13 Oct 2015, 00:55

Tomg wrote:The solder mask layer is automatically generated. Currently, DipTrace does not show the solder mask in the PCB Layout Editor. The solder mask can only be viewed in either 3D Preview or Gerber Preview. DipTrace automatically opens up areas over pads and plated through holes, and the size of these openings can be globally-modified by changing the value of the Solder Mask Swell in the Gerber export dialog window.

What DipTrace calls the Top Mask in the PCB Layout Editor is actually a keepout layer that opens up areas of the top solder mask. What DipTrace calls the Bottom Mask in the PCB Layout Editor is actually a keepout layer that opens up areas of the bottom solder mask. These mask keepout layers are used for making custom openings in the solder mask.
I want my RF lines without any paint , just copper . So what do i have to do ? If i don't use top mask , i see paint on them in 3D preview.

Tomg
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Joined: 20 Jun 2015, 14:39

Re: Top Mask

#4 Post by Tomg » 13 Oct 2015, 04:28

The application of the top solder mask, or "paint" as you say, is automatic; so you will have to manually expose the desired trace areas using the Top Mask layer. Here's how it is done in DipTrace...

1) Set the Current Signal/Plane Layer to Top.
2) Set the Current Shape and Text Layer to Top Mask.
3) Use the Place Shape tool (use a filled shape) to place your top soldermask keepout shape. This will be the shape of the exposed trace area.
4) You might have to turn off the copper layer to see your new keepout shape, especially if you are working on a copper pour.

Remember that DipTrace does not show the actual top solder mask layer ("paint") in the PCB Layout editor. You must view how your new keepout shape affects the top solder mask ("paint") in the 3D viewer or the Gerber preview. I hope this helps.

p.s. If you are looking for more accurate control over the Top Mask (keepout) shape, right-click somewhere on its outline, select Properties... and, under Points, edit the coordinates.
Tom

canberk_unal
Posts: 7
Joined: 07 Sep 2015, 05:14

Re: Top Mask

#5 Post by canberk_unal » 14 Oct 2015, 04:56

Thanks for the reply, i did exactly what you said . But my problem is it doesn't look like only traces are without paint on them in 3D preview . If i do like the picture posted , will it be ok ?
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Tomg
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Posts: 1175
Joined: 20 Jun 2015, 14:39

Re: Top Mask

#6 Post by Tomg » 14 Oct 2015, 10:15

If the green object in your screenshot is the Top (copper) layer, and the red object is the Top Mask (top solder mask keepout) shape, then it should open up the top solder mask for you. Remember, what DipTrace calls the Top Mask is not the top solder mask; it is the top solder mask keepout layer. The opening in the top solder mask will be exactly where you placed the Top Mask (top solder mask keepout) shape. The Top Mask (top solder mask keepout) shape will not be displayed in the 3D view, but its affects will show as an opening in the top solder mask itself. (The top and bottom solder masks are displayed in 3D view.) Here is another example of how it works...
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Tom

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