Frequently Asked Questions
How to produce an assembly drawing
[ PCB Design / Manufacturing ]
A traditional assembly drawing corresponds to the information which most engineers would place on their silk screen, plus an important extra - the pads. The problem is that there's no obvious method to include these when using the plotting dialogue, so this FAQ addresses how to achieve this.
There are two ways to do this, a quick and dirty way, and a less risky way.
Firstly, the quick and dirty way (with your design open) is to go to [Settings], [Design Technology] and look at the 'Layer Types' tab. Edit the 'Silk Screen' layer type to include all pad types you want in the assembly drawing, usually all types except vias. In the output dialogue, select the top silk plot and merge it with the board outline using the 'Layers' tab. Output the assembly drawing, but remember afterwards to uncheck the pads in the silk screen layer type to restore it to its correct state.
The better method long term is slightly more work, but is less error prone. Again, go to the 'Layer Types' tab, but create a new layer type. This should be essentially a copy of the 'Silk Screen' type, but with the appropriate pads included, so it will match the modified silk screen type produced using the first method. Now create a top side layer using this layer type. This will include the pads, but not the silk screen information as this will still be linked to the original silk screen layer.
To create an assembly drawing, you will need to combine these layers in a single plot. If the new layer appears in the list in the [Output], [Printing and Plotting] dialogue just select it, otherwise use the [Add Plot] function to create an empty plot of the required type. Now, using the [Layers] tab with the appropriate plot selected, merge the board outline with the top silk screen and this new layer by setting these entries to 'Y'. If you had to create a new plot, you can also rename it to something more meaningful than 'Plot 1' by changing the name on the 'Output' tab.
Because this assembly plot won't be automatically created with the right mix of layers, using a job to record the correct settings to avoid overlooking the layer changes would be a sensible precaution.