Your First PCB Project

Now that you’ve had a chance to get an introduction to the types of files used in PCB design software, it’s time to create your first project and a schematic sheet for a new design. Before you can start creating schematics, you’ll need to create a new PCB project that will hold all of your design files. Every ECAD software application has its own file structure it uses to create and store your design data.

For this demonstration and in the rest of the course, we’ll work in Altium Designer to create your new project and schematics. The steps outlined in Altium Designer are broadly applicable to other ECAD applications, which also use a project-style file structure to store design data.

Many of the steps you’ll follow in Altium Designer will also require interfacing with your Altium 365 Workspace. Your Altium 365 Workspace is like Google Docs, but for PCB design. It is a data management environment in the cloud that lets you store and manage projects, components, manufacturing data, and much more. To set up your Altium 365 Workspace, follow the steps in the tutorial video below.

Once you’ve created your Altium 365 Workspace, this will be the central repository for your projects. To get started using some of the basic features for storing and opening designs, please check out the video below.

Altium Designer will be the main design tool you’ll be using in this lesson and the rest of the course, although the steps outlined in the course are also applicable in many other PCB design applications. The interface in Altium Designer is very important and has many tools you’ll use to view and manage the files in your PCB projects. Watch the video below to get a short introduction to the design environment in Altium Designer.

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