ODB Setup

Parent page: WorkspaceManager Dialogs

The ODB++ Setup dialog


The ODB++ Setup dialog provides controls to configure the ODB++ file output options. ODB++ is a CAD-to-CAM data exchange format used in the design and manufacture of printed circuit boards. The format was originally developed by Valor Computerized Systems, Ltd., as an open database that could provide an information-rich data exchange between PCB design software and Valor CAD-CAM software used by PCB fabricators.


This dialog can be accessed in the following ways:

  • At the PCB document level, click Outputs | Fabrication » .
  • Click Project | Project Actions |  to access the Generate output files dialog. Click Configure to the right of ODB++ Files. 
  • At the PCB or schematic document level, click Home | Project |  » Generate outputs to access the Generate output files dialog. Click Configure to the right of ODB++ Files. 
When using the Generate output files dialog to access the ODB++ Setup dialog, you are only configuring the settings for the ODB files. To generate the ODB files after configuring, check the box to the right of ODB++ Files on the Generate output files dialog then click Generate.


Layers to Plot

Check the box next to each specific layer(s) you want to plot as part of the generated output.

Mechanical Layer(s) to Add to All Plots

Check the box next to each mechanical layer(s) you want added to all plots.

Miscellaneous Options

  • ​Include unconnected mid-layer pads - check this option to allow unconnected pads in mid-layer on ODB++ plots.
  • Generate DRC Rules export file (.RUL) - select to generate a .RUL file that contains all design rules defined for the source document from which the ODB++ data is being generated.
  • Export only the objects inside the board outline - select to specify the source that is to be used to create the ODB++ profile layer. The profile layer contains the enclosing boundary of the board. By default, this field is set to Board Outline (also referred to as the board shape). This option is available only when the source document contains an embedded board array object and it provides control over the extent of objects exported. Note that if an object (e.g., text) is outside of but touching the board outline and this option is enabled, that object will still be exported.
  • Select the PCB layer / Board Outline that will be used to create the ODB++ 'profile' layer - use the drop-down to select the desired layer/board outline:

Plot Layers

Use the drop-down to select a group of layers to plot:

  • All On - select to check all boxes in the Plot column (ODB++ data will be created for all checked layers).
  • All Off - select to clear all checked boxes in the Plot column (No ODB++ plots will be created). 
  • Used On - select to check all boxes in the Plot column of the layers that are used in the project.

The drop-down also allows you to add and edit a layer class when an entry is selected in either the Layers to Plot or Mechanical Layer(s) to Add to All Plots region:

  • Add Layer Class - select to add a layer class.
  • Edit Layer Class - select to edit the layer class name. This option is available when a layer class is selected in Layers to Plot.
The Plot Layers commands also are available on the right-click menu for the Layers to Plot and Mechanical Layer(s) to Add to All Plots regions.


Location of Generated ODB Files

The generated ODB files are stored in a compressed (ZIP) folder that is specified on the Options tab of the Options for Project dialog. The ODB++ database is a single folder (odb) located within a zipped folder with the project name and is comprised of the following sub-folders:

  • Fonts
  • Input
  • Matrix - includes definitions of the physical order of the layers and the relation of drill layers (through, blind, buried, etc.).
  • Misc
  • Steps - contains various sub-folders including the folder layers, which contain outputs for each layer enabled for plotting in the ODB++ Setup dialog, as well as drill information and component information.
  • Symbols - has single layer graphic entities that can be referenced from within any graphical layer in a step.
  • User - contains the generated DRC Rules file (*.drc) if the option to generate this file was enabled in the ODB++ Setup dialog.

Generating from an Embedded Board Array

When generating an ODB++ output from a PCB design that contains an embedded board array, the following statements apply:

  • The design is analyzed automatically for layer stackup violations.
  • Embedded boards that are flipped will display their layer stacks as flipped.
  • Mid-signal layers and internal planes that are different can still appear on the same mid-layer panel.
  • Mid-signal layers and internal planes can be flipped against each other.

When generating ODB++ output from the PCB design, all objects on all layers enabled for plotting will be exported. If you only want to export design objects residing within the board outline, ensure that all additional layers containing objects outside of this boundary are disabled for plotting.


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