Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that we must stop and appreciate. Like the fact that just because there aren’t any pads in a spot, doesn’t mean that you can use the space.

Take this PCB, for example. U3 is placed so that one and a half of its legs will be underneath a big RF module. The module isn’t shown in the picture, but the pads and outline are shown. U3 is right into the lower left corner of the module as you can see by the rows of pads and the silk outline. The module that U3 steps under is one of those module on PCB using castellated mounting holes.

If U3 were your hot little sports car and the big module were a dump truck, you most certainly wouldn’t do this. You’d look first. That’s what mirrors are for.

C6 up on top is pretty darn too-close to the module too. Move it a few mils to the right please.

Duane Benson
Mirror mirror on the wall
Who is the overlappingest of them all

3 thoughts on “Underlapping

  1. This is where 3D visualisation proves it’s worth.

    If your PCB CAD package doesn’t have it, then an IDF export to something like SolidWorks which will import into its CircuitWorks mode, will do the job.

  2. I’d hope the PCb design package DRC would spot this. But like Alan above, IDF into SW and 3D world is becoming a must, more so when you are stacking boards in a product.

  3. As Marc says, DFM should have caught this.

    Perhaps the components were not created with the correct courtyards or they just ignored design rules?

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