Configuring the Layer Stack Manager in SOLIDWORKS PCB

Article by Joseph Lyon updated January 23, 2018

The PCB stackup plays a crucial role in achieving optimal product performance. A well-designed PCB stackup can ensure adequate signal quality, reduce electromagnetic emissions, minimize production costs and improve board manufacturability. The Layer Stack Manager in SOLIDWORKS PCB gives designers the ability to fully define the PCB stackup and save configurations for future use.

Layer Stack Manager

Layer Stack Manager

Accessing the Layer Stack Manager

The Layer Stack Manager can be accessed via the ribbon:
Home > Board > Layer Stack Manager or by Right click > Options > Layer Stack Manager

Access from the ribbon

Creating New Layers

Layers can be added to the stack up including: signal, internal planes, dielectrics and overlays. Many pre-set layer stacks exist and can be used as a starting point for your unique configurations. A layer can be moved up and down the stack or deleted as necessary.

Modify Layers

Modify Layers

Layer Properties

Fields in the layer stack manager can be modified such as: layer name, material, thickness, and dielectric constant. As changes are made to individual layer thicknesses, the total thickness updates automatically, a useful tool when dealing with mechanical design constraints.

A common practice is to rename copper layers in order from top to bottom

Setting up Drill Pairs

Drill pairs are necessary when creating blind, buried, or through-hole vias in your design. Drill pairs simplify the routing process and ensure accurate drill files can be generated for fabrication. The Drill-Pair Manager can be accessed from within the Layer Stack Manager.

Drill-Pair Manager

Assigning Net to Planes

Net names can be assigned to internal plane layers as needed. Simply double click the desired internal plane from the layer stack.

Layer Stack

A dialog will appear allowing the assignment of nets from your design.

Net Assignment

For more information on SOLIDWORKS PCB

Visit our SOLIDWORKS PCB product page, check out our other PCB blog articles, follow us on YouTube or give us a call at 1-877-219-6757 to speak with an electrical expert.

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Joseph Lyon

Joseph is on a twelve month internship with Javelin Technologies and studies mechanical engineering with a mechatronics specialization at Ryerson University.