Frequently Asked Questions
Getting best results from Pour Copper
[ PCB Design / Poured Copper ]
The [Pour Copper] option can be used to automatically add copper shapes to "fill" the spaces between other items on a layer. This is often used, for example, to provide additional shielding by attaching the poured copper to the ground net. It is also useful if a power plane includes tracking as it has the ability to remove shards of isolated copper which the simpler power plane algorithm could not do.
The routines that generate the filled copper areas are obviously quite complex, and there are certain things that you can do to help achieve the best results. One of the most important things is to avoid very short, or very slightly angled, segments in your tracks and shapes. Try and use a reasonable working grid, or use one of the 'segment modes' such as 'orthogonal' or 'right angle' to help you keep segments properly lined up. There is a tool to help with this which can reveal unintentionally angled tracks. Under [View], [Display] on the centre column of the [Settings and Highlights] tab is an option for 'Angled Tracks'. This will cause any tracks at an angle to be flagged in the appropriate colour. Note that orthogonal tracks, and those at any multiple of 45 degrees won't be flagged. Neither will any curved sections of track.
On layers where there are few if any tracks, you should also avoid putting poured copper areas across the whole design. Instead you should continue to use the powerplane facilities in the plotting to create the necessary plots needed to generate the filled areas. Filling with poured copper can lead to over-large plot files, and can also affect the general performance of editing your designs within Easy-PC itself. If using whole plane pours is necessary, the pouring should be done at as late a design stage as possible because of the performance impact.
Copper pours should in general not be used directly on power planes. Because of the different requirements for generating pour and power plane plots, there can be a conflict with an impact on performance (though this won't introduce any instability). Instead, using the [Layers] tab under design technology, the bias on the power plane layer should be set to 'No Tracks' and the net name removed by double clicking on the name, then scrolling to the bottom of the list and selecting the [None] entry.