Dear National Instruments:
(A) What determines a footprint size for shoving and DRC?
It seems that it may be for shoving :
the "rectangular box that encloses all drawing on (1) copper layers (2) silkscreen layers (3) 3D info top layers (4) courtyard layer"
Is this correct? Only someone who has access to the source code for the program would know for sure.
(B) Are these four layers the only ones involved?
(C) What is the corresponding rule for DRC?
(D) The "courtyard" layer is new. Does this layer have special properties? How does it differ from the 3D info layer?
(E) Is it possible to define a "shape" for the part boundary for shoving, that is not a rectangle? How?
A) Need to double check it
C) You can follow this recommendations for the DRC http://www.ni.com/tutorial/8583/en/
D) The courtyard is the boundary, or space, around an IPC-compliant part, and includes the minimum electrical and mechanical clearance of the component and land pattern boundaries.
E) It is possible but I will need to do some research on how to do it
" The courtyard is the boundary, or space, around an IPC-compliant part, and includes the minimum electrical and mechanical clearance of the component and land pattern boundaries."
This is a copy-paste from the documentation.
My question is not how it it defined, but instead how your program, ultiboard, uses this layer. If this was the only layer that contained the above information, then, I could draw an outline on the courtyard layer that defined the part clearance shape. I could then draw a silkscreen pattern that I wanted that would not change the part clearance. However, this does not seem to work, the part extents also use the silkscreen and 3d layers (and more??)
This is probably because many parts in your database do not have a drawing on the courtyard layer, so ultiboard must use different information to determine the part parts clearance shape. Only National Instruments knows how ultiboard determines the part clearance boundary.
I am asking you to share this information with your users. Are you willing to do that?
I would like to draw silkscreens that may, in fact, end up being underneath other parts, (when spacing is tight). At the same time, I would like ultiboard to automatically prevent me from placing parts that physically overlap. Is there any way to do this? If your program has this limitation coded into its algorithm, just let me know that it is not possible.