PCB Walk-through 5: Copper Pours

April 20, 2023

This tutorial demonstrates how create copper pours in OrCAD PCB Designer 17.4 (2021).  After you complete this tutorial, you will be able to:

  • Add ground and power planes
  • Draw and merge geometric shapes

If you would like to follow along with this tutorial, you can visit our walk-through page to view video tutorials and download design files.

To follow along, continue working with the design completed in PCB Walkthrough 4 or open the provided board file in the folder directory, PCB Walkthrough 5_Copper Pours.   

  1. In the Design Workflow, select Interconnect > Shapes > Rectangular.

  1. In the Options tab, select Etch and Bottom for Active Class and Subclass.

  1. In Assign Net Name, select GND from the drop-down list.
  2. Click to draw the rectangle on half of the board.
  3. Click to draw an overlapping rectangle.
  4. Right click and select Done
  5. Select Setup > Application Mode > Shape Edit from the menu.
  6. Right click on a shape and select Merge Shapes.
  7. Click on the other rectangular shape.
  8. In the Design Workflow, select Interconnect > Shapes > Polygon.
  9. In the Options tab, assign the net as GND.
  10. Click and draw your polygon to cover the remainder of the PCB.
  11. When all sides of the polygon are complete except the last connection, right click and select Complete.

Note: This will automatically finish the final connection and complete the polygon shape.

  1. Right click and select Done.
  2. Right click on the polygon and select Merge Shapes.
  3. Select the rectangular shape.

Note: OrCAD PCB Designer has dynamic healing for copper pours. Easily move components or mechanical symbols and the copper will heal itself.

  1. In the Visibility tab, select the All check box for Conductors to turn off visibility.
  2. Select Edit > Split Plane from the menu.

  1. Select Powerplane_1 as the layer and select Create.

  1. Assign 3.3V as the net and click OK.
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