I've just recently started designing my first PCB using Altium but am confused with the mechanical layers. I have a 4-layer board, and am placing components on both the top and bottom side (Through right-clicking and settings the component layer). This properly assigns the pad, solder, and overlay to the layer I choose, and if I go to 3-d view everything looks right.

However, I've noticed that both the courtyard and the body information (layers 13 & 15 by default) for each side were put on the same mechanical layer. So I enabled their respective pairs (layers 14, and 16), and configured them to be pairs of the already existing layers. But I'm not sure how to actually assign the bottom layer components to have their courtyard/body information on these new layers. I've tried setting them to the top layer, and then back to the bottom layer to see if now that I've configured the new mechanical layers it would just automatically assign them to those, but that was not the case. How do I do this?


Hopefully I understood what you are trying to do.

You have to create a mechanical pair.

With a PCB open click Design Board Layers and Colors (Shortcut: L)

In the bottom left corner, you'll see a Layer Pairs Button. Click it.

Add your layer pairs together (like Mechanical 14 and Mechanical 30).

That's it.

Now when you switch components between layers, the items on the mechanical 14 will switch to mechanical 30 and vice versa.

I'll try and add some images and format this answer to be a bit more clear later on.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, you did answer my question. You had a different way to setup the layer pairs, but it seems like my issue came from the fact that I had already set up everything. And so if I switched from the bottom layer to the top, the mechanical pairs would alternate layers, and then if I did it again they would revert to the wrong set. So I had to switch layers, then delete the layer pairs, and switch again. Anytime you switch layers, it'll just alternate which of the pairs is used, which I didn't think about. Whoops. \$\endgroup\$ – Colin Jun 1 '15 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Colin did you try to setup layer pairs in both pcb file and footprint file? Or just pcb? \$\endgroup\$ – Looongcat Sep 21 '15 at 7:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Looongcat I just did it on the pcb file, I didn't have any footprints that required multiple mechanical layers. \$\endgroup\$ – Colin Sep 21 '15 at 21:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @colin Your question was "how to actually assign the bottom layer components to have their courtyard/body information on these new layers". You said components - i'm thinking about components :) For normal case layer pair assigning must be enough, so there is one problem left - to figure out why it's not working if needed actions already done. \$\endgroup\$ – Looongcat Sep 22 '15 at 5:39

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