Shapester is a dedicated implementation of the mask engine in Xpedition. (The mask engine is what enables drawn shapes to grow and shrink and use bookean operations to combine shapes or subtract one shape from another.) On some PCB designs there is a frequent need to draw plane shapes that cover a few pins and/or vias to connect them. Depending on the pin pitch and size of the pins involved, this can be a slow and laborious process. Then if the compnents need to be moved for some reason, the work has to be done over to redraw the plane shapes. This is another perfect opportunity to make use of automation
Shapester does many things with drawn shapes in Xpedition. Of all kinds.
- It copies any kind of obstruct from one layer to one or more other layers.
- It copies plane shapes from one layer to other layers.
- It creates plane shapes around a group of pins and vias, using the net all the pins and vias are a part of.
- It creates plane obstructs around selected pins and vias, preventing other plane shapes from getting too close.
- It creates plane obstructs on the next inner layer adjacent to selected pads and vias.
- It creates solder mask clearances around selected pins and vias
- All created shapes can be made with square, rounded, or chamfered corners.
- There is a parametric adjustment available to affect how closely the draw shape stays to the selected pads. The larger the value, the larger of a 'web' is created between the pads and vias.
- There is an adjustment to set how much to oversize or shrink the plane shape from the size of the selected pins and vias.
Bonus feature is that there is a button to remove zero width traces. Such traces can be generated by Xpedition from time to time, usually between pins, planes or vias on the same net. They are typically not needed in the design so this function makes it easy to remove them.
Here is a video of the tool working:
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