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We are trying to get away from using a glue dotter. Instead we would like to use our screener to apply the glue to the board. The gerber files we get from our customers have the layer for the pads which we send to our board houses to get a screen for applying soldering paste.

The gerber files do not have a layer that would represent what we would need to create a screen for applying glue. How is this typically handled? Is there functionality in Engineering software that can automate the creation of this layer? Or is it typically done manually?

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It's completely possible in some EDA software to do this. For example, in Altium you can create a mechanical layer pair called something like 'glue' and the designed glue dots will appear on the appropriate layer for the component (top or bottom, wherever you put the component). So two Gerber files could be created and, say, if you only needed the glue on the bottom layer you could ignore the top layer.

This would require that the person designing the component footprints has enough knowledge about the size of glue dot stencil orifice that is required for each component.

I don't know if this is common practice- my guess is that it is used within some organizations, but more commonly done 'manually'.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 this is a standard EDA output layer in many packages. Eagle provides it as well, but the quality of the glue footprint is unreliable and is usually adjusted manually \$\endgroup\$
    – crasic
    Sep 15, 2015 at 16:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ So, if I am understanding you correctly. We would create a separate footprint that would be specifically for glue application, (ie 0805 GD). By pairing the two layers we would not have to manually add all of the glue footprints? \$\endgroup\$
    – Linger
    Sep 15, 2015 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes. You would only need two kinds of footprints if you want to mix glue and no-glue. Otherwise you could have the glue layers on all 0805 footprints and simply not output the glue Gerbers where not needed. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 15, 2015 at 16:18

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