Frequently Asked Questions
How do I create a bill of materials (BOM) for my design?
[ PCB Design / Manufacturing ]
One of the key manufacturing outputs is a Bill Of Materials (BOM). There is no predefined standard for what this contains, so you will need to decide what your BOM actually needs in it.
A bill of materials can be created by using either the [Reports] or the [BOM Composer] option from the [Output] menu.
If using the [Reports] option, under the 'User Reports' section you will find two Bill Of Materials entries, one generates a readable text report and the other generates a CSV file suitable for reading into a program such as Excel.
As the heading of this section of the dialog suggests, these reports are user-formattable. If you want to tailor the output of one of these reports for your own use it is recommended that you first copy the report to a new name and edit that. The original report will then remain in place for you to refer back to in the future. For full details on customising the report, click on [Edit] then press <F1>. You can repeat this as you delve deeper into the report's structure.
Also under the [Reports] option in the 'Built-in Reports' section there is a 'Parts List' option that can produce a report using a less flexible reporting scheme. Once again, <F1> will give extended help with this option.
If the [BOM Composer] option is preferred, the dialogue by default shows a configuration table at the top, though this can be hidden. If it's not visible, click on the down arrow at the extreme right of the icon bar to reveal it. The icons use tool tips to describe their function which is generally straightforward. Care should be taken with the options on the right as these can affect which data is included in the report. <F1> will give help with these settings, as well as with managing the columns on the left.
These columns control the structure of the report - the titles and contents of each column in the report, how they're split into sections, grouped and sorted within each section. Although the setup can be complex, it's explained well in the <F1> context sensitive help, so only one configuration issue will be covered here. That is customising component values. Because columns only show the column header, the type of content is not always obvious. For instance 'Values' is obviously to do with component values, but 'Part Number' is less obvious. In fact, both are looking at component values, but the contents are differentiated by the value names that are considered. Each value column can contain only one value per item in the column, but can be configured for multiple value names. In this case the value names are scanned in order from top to bottom with the content of the first matching value name for each component being used. Extra value names can also be added, either from the pull down list if they're presenrt in the current design, or by simply typing them in if not.
There's one further area to consider. All reports generate a standard header. This is configurable, though not from this dialogue. Instead, it's necessary to go to [Settings], [Preferences], open the [General] tab then click on the [Header] button to the top right. The window which opens controls the contents of the header. For more details about the possible entries, please press <F1>. This is a global setting which will affect all reports created from the program.