How to Make 3D PCB Switching Mode Power Supply in Altium


Frequently Asked Questions about Altium Libraries

There has been an intense research in the recent past years on the design and PCB assembly. Our designers and pioneers are worthy of receiving thanks and tribute in this context. They have laid the foundation of the new and novel innovations and growth in the future.

In these attempts, there have been many failures too. But as you know that each failure is a way to the success in the end. The failure is not the opposite of the success, but a part of success. In this way, these failures have led to the success and innovation of the new and outstanding designs and PCB assemblies.

In the hard work of days and nights upon the PCB design, there you will come to know an important part of the design. It is the power of the PCB assembly. The power of the PCB is the component that is always in the constant change and evolution. As the PCB design is the complex and changing subject, the power is so. It is as a whole complex and attention seeking subject that has the complex structure.

In This Article We will Discuss 3D PCB Switching Mode Power Supply In Altium


Introduction to Switching Power Supply

Here in this article, you will come to know about the topologies of the switching power supply. It is evident that the linear power supply is more beneficial than the power switching. But in this modern age, there has been immense advancement in structure of the power switching. It has made it very easy and cost effective for the manufacturers.

It has become very easy and effective to convert these networks into the product designs of the power switching. The switching power supply has several stages in the structure. These are the input stage, an inverting stage, an output stage and a transformer. Let us explore the functions of the different stages of the switching power supply.

Ø An input stage

The input stage of the switching power supply is the component that has the function of filtering and rectifying the signal. It filters and rectifies input signal from the DC input.

Ø An inverting stage

An inverting stage of the switching power supply is the component that is responsible for the process of inverting the DC signal into the AC signal. It takes the DC signal and thus converts it to the AC signal.

Ø An output stage

An output stage of switching power supply is the component that had the function of receiving the output signal. It receives, converts and rectifies the output signal.

Ø A transformer

A transformer is essential in the design of the switching power supply in the case of the insulated design. The transformer is present between the output stages and the rectifying part of the switching power supply.

As we have learned the possible required knowledge about the switching power supply. Now we will move forward to the different topologies used for the 3D PCB Swiching Mode Power Supply in Altium.

Topologies for 3D PCB Swiching Mode Power Supply in Altium

There are several topologies for the make 3D PCB Swiching Mode Power Supply in Altium. The type of the topology needed for the PCB of your desire varies according to the components of the PCB. If we know the individual components, we can come to know the type of the topology for the switching mode power supply.

Ø Buck

This is the buck converter that is mostly in the utilization in the design of the switching mode power supply. Keep in mind that this topology is not best suited for the isolated power supplies. However, this type of the topology is perfect for step down purpose of DC-DC power supply.

The buck converter has very high efficiency in the working. It is best fit for the applications that are of the high power use. The requirement for the buck converter is only inductor. If there is a single inductor, it has the use of the single phase. However, if you want to use the multiple phase applications, different inductors are there to install in the 3D PCB Swiching Mode Power Supply in Altium.

There is also a limitation of this topology for the design of switching power mode. The limitation is that the input current in the converter may discontinue during the process. However, we can manage this shortcoming with the help of utilization of the filter and mode choke.

Ø Boost

Boost topology is very similar to the buck topology in the working and design. The boost topology is also not best for the isolated switching power supplies. However, this topology is not for the step down DC-DC power supply. This topology is for the step up DC-DC switching power supply.

The input voltage and current signal is rather continuous in this topology, unlike the buck topology. However, in the case of the inductors, from single phase to the multiple phase inductors are of the prime utilization.


Ø Buck-Boost

The name of the topology indicates that it is the mixture of the two topologies. Thus, it can serve to the step up and step down purpose of the 3D PCB Swiching Mode Power Supply in Altium. This type of the topology is best for the use in the batteries.

The reason behind its use in the batteries is that the battery requires the variable input voltage. Therefore, it is of the prime use in the batteries. This topology also has a limitation of the working and performance. The limitation is that the output signal or voltage is inverted in the nature.

With the deep attention, several changes and modifications are possible in the circuit of the buck-boost topology. Moreover, there is a need of the greater attention on the drive circuit in this topology.

Ø SEPIC and Cuk

The SEPIC and Cuk topologies are also of the best use for the batteries applications. The reason behind its use in the batteries is the variable input voltage available in these topologies. But the SEPIC and Cuk topologies do not invert the output signal in the circuit.

On the other hand, these topologies do not use only the inductor in the circuit. A capacitor and two inductors are in use for the purpose of the storage of the energy. The inductors used in this circuit can be two separate components. The other option is that we can use them jointly in the form of a coupled inductor. While the capacitors in the circuit can provide a protection to the topologies in the process of 3D PCB Swiching Mode Power Supply in Altium.

Ø Flyback

The flyback topology is the isolated version of the buck-boost topologies. The difference is that this topology uses a transformer in the circuit that has the function of the storage inductor. The transformer in the circuit is beneficial for the adjusting the output voltage.

It transforms the output voltage by adjusting the turn ration of the secondary plates. In this way, with the help of the transformer in the circuit, multiple output voltages are possible. The multiple output voltages are possible until the enough space is present on the transformer.

Unlike the buck converter, this topology is best and useful for the low power applications. The transformer acts as an inductor in the design for the purpose of the storage. Therefore, there is no need of the additional inductors in the circuit. In this way this topology is very useful and popular for the low power applications.

Moreover this topology for the 3D PCB Swiching Mode Power Supply in Altium very cost effective and is easy to handle.



Question:I made a board without a schematic (converted from PCAD / SL / …), how can I get a schematic now?

Answer:  The easiest way is to re-draw with your hands. AD has a tool for transferring changes from the board to the circuit, but in reality its capabilities are only enough to delete something.

Question: What is AD compilation?

Answer: In AD, almost any document and project can be compiled. The practical meaning of this action is manifested mainly for projects of integrated libraries – as a result, the library file itself is created, in fact. In most other cases, the main point of compilation is to check the document for errors.

Question: Compiler dumped me a bunch of errors and warnings. Should I fix them all?

Answer: Not necessary at all. Just make sure you mean exactly what is drawn and what he swears at.

Question: How can I make new documents create the default settings I need (for example, so that .PcbDoc is created in metric coordinates and with the required set of standard rules)?

Answer: It is necessary to create templates of the required types. To do this, create a new document, configure it as you need, and then set it as the default file for the required project types (System-> New Document Defaults).

Question: How to edit properties of multiple elements?

Answer: You cannot edit the properties of multiple elements through the element properties dialog. To do this, use the Inspector, which can be called by pressing the F11 key.

Question: How to find multiple items by a certain criterion? 

Answer: RMB response on an element of the required type and the Find Similar Objects menu item. There we set up the criterion by which to search and what to do with the found.

Question:AD has a very meager toolbar, everything has to be done through the menu – it’s very inconvenient.

Answer:Almost any tool can be reached by successive keystrokes. Of course, only true Jedi can perform all actions from the keyboard, but a couple of dozen basic combinations (such as PP, for adding a pin / pad, W for drawing a wire in the circuit editor, PT for interactive routing in the PCB editor) can be memorized, and this is already greatly speeds up the work.

Question: Can AD work with version control systems (VCS)? AD’s

Answer: Out of the box supports both SVN and CVS.

Question: Can AD save backups?

Answer: When saving a file, AD makes a backup in the History subdirectory of the directory where the edited file is located. For each file, many backups are saved, old backups are deleted when new ones are added, but not earlier than a certain time after creation (in AD10 it is configured in Data Management-> Local History, in earlier ones – Version Control-> Local History, there you can also configure saving all backups in one directory).

In addition, there is an autosave system – a file is saved every n minutes to a specific directory, m versions are stored for each file (in AD10 it is configured in Data Management-> Backup, in earlier versions – System-> Backup). Autosave is disabled by default, I highly recommend enabling it, as AD is very prone to freezes and crashes.


Question: What is the structure of libraries in AD?

Answer: The so-called integrated libraries are most commonly used in AD today. The integrated library contains a description of the components. Each component consists of a schematic symbol and a footprint. Schematic symbols are defined in schematic libraries, footprints in PCB libraries. The integrated library contains all the symbol and footprint library files involved in it.

Question: Symbols and footprints only? But what about beautiful 3D models?

Answer: The 3D model of the component is included in the footprint and, accordingly, is in the PCB library.

I converted my P-CAD libraries to AD and received three files for each. Which one is an integrated library?

After converting a library from P-CAD, the integrated library does not work. A schematic library (.SchLib), a PCB library (.PcbLib), and an integrated library project file (.LibPkg) are generated. To get the integrated library (.IntLib) you need to open the project file and compile it.

After compilation, the integrated library file is placed in the “Project Outputs for LIB_NAME ” subdirectory of the library project directory. I don’t like this long way.

Go to the Project Options of the library, the Options tab, in the Output Path field, enter the path to the directory where the ready-made libraries should be put. Personally, I put all the libraries in one Libs directory, and the .SchLib, .PcbLib and .LibPkg files are in the src subdirectory of this directory.

Question: How do I switch to metric in the schematic editor?

Answer: The units of measure for the schematic editor are configured through the system settings – Schematic-> Default Units.

Question: How do I switch to metric in the footprint editor?
Answer: The units of measurement for the footprint editor are configurable through the document settings.

Question: How do I switch to metric in the footprint editor?
Answer: The units of measurement for the footprint editor are configurable through the document settings.

Question: What is a Part in a schematic library?
The Part answer is part of the component symbol. It is used when a component consists of several logically separate blocks. The blocks can be the same (for example, a 4 x 2 OR microcircuit), complement each other (n- and p-channel transistor in a single package), or even heterogeneous (different microcontroller blocks).

Question:What is Mode in a schematic library?
The Mode response is an option to display the component symbol. It can be used, for example, to create symbols of one microcircuit that differ in the principle of grouping of pins. It is desirable that all pins of one element in all Modes are the same. In addition, in symbols containing several parts, it is recommended that pins belong to the same Part in all Modes.

Question: Can I bind several footprints to one character?
Answer You can, and the pin numbers for different footprints may not match. In this case, the Pin Map function is used. Problems begin when the footprints have a mismatch in the number of pads, and additional pins need to be short-circuited with the existing ones. This is not done via Pin Map, you need to add pins to the symbol.

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