3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 17, 2018 1:54 AM by e14softwareuk

    Component has been flipped and mirrored on same layer - why and how to detect

    jaza_tom

      I have encountered a very strange problem.

       

      At first I thought it was  a bug that makes Altium Vault components inconsistent in terms of their footprint when placing multiple instances of that component.

       

      See video below to see what I mean.  D2_1 and D2_2 are the same component, but their footprints appear to be mirror images of one another.

       

       

      Upon further friggin around I was able to replicate this phenomenon by copying the component, and then pressing the X button when placing it.

       

      See below video for what I mean:

       

       

       

      After yet more friggin around, I was able to determine that the erroneous footprint was indeed likely caused by inadvertently pressing the X button during placement of the component by double-clicking on the component and taking a peek at it's Comment's Mirror property.

       

      Mirror property of component

       

       

      A couple of things:

       

      1. How can I figure out which components on my board have had their footprints mirrored using the X and Y placement modifiers?  I see no property that specifies whether the component itself has been mirrored (though there does appear to be an accessible mirror property for the designator and comment).
      2. Why is there an option to mirror a component's footprint in the first place?  I can't think of any use cases for such a feature, and if you don't realize it is happening when it occurs, you are effectively now using an erroneous footprint.

       

      In my case, this error got copied 6 times, meaning that each on of my prototype boards have multiple problems and are now built and faulty.

       

      Not impressed!

        • Re: Component has been flipped and mirrored on same layer - why and how to detect
          e14softwareuk

          Sorry to hear about the board problems and thanks for the video. In the video you show the warning dialog when attempting to use the X or Y command

          Are you saying that at some point you could use X and Y without this warning appearing?

           

          I'm not sure of any automated way to detect such components once mirrored.

            • Re: Component has been flipped and mirrored on same layer - why and how to detect
              jaza_tom

              I'm not sure if the warning appeared or not, it would have been over a week ago since it happened.

               

              If the warning did appear, it would have been while copying/placing a whole group of components as part of a multi-channel layout where I wanted to mirror the relative position of all components with respect to one another (not change the footprint of each component).

               

              Can you (or anyone reading this) think of a scenario in which you would want to dynamically change the pin assignments of a component's footprint by pressing "X" or "Y" while placing the component?

               

              This "feature" seems ill-conceived.  Footprint physical pin locations should not be changeable during placement.  In my experimentation on this "feature", seems that if you flip the footprint of a component, and then make a change to that footprint in it's parent library and propagate it to the PCB, it flips the footprint back to its original (correct) orientation.  So, even if for some reason this "feature" was useful to someone somewhere, it will break down the second they attempt to propagate parent PCB library changes to the board they are editing.

               

              Not sure if you are the person to bring this to, but unless there is a documented useful use case for this "feature", I think it should be removed in the next released update to CircuitStudio (which is when, by the way?).