One of Altium's polygon pour modes is a hatched version, which allows the user to specify an individual track width and a grid size and it automatically generates a pour in a cross-hatch pattern. It also generates solid borders around component pads and traces. The benefit of using a hatched pour is that on larger boards it acts less like a heatsink (even if there are thermal reliefs on the pads it can still cause problems if the copper pour is solid) and promotes better solid joints. The problem is that sometimes this method leads to very small (<3 mil) openings in the hatch, as seen here:

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These can pose problems during manufacturing as each opening in the copper represents a section of mask stuck to the core prior to etching. These smaller pieces can flake off in the etching solution and redeposit elsewhere on the board, causing copper that should be etched away to remain. This can lead to shorts between nets.

There can be thousands of these tiny sections on any given board so manually going through and filling them in is time-consuming and impractical.

How could this issue be addressed in Altium Designer 17? Is there a script that I can use to fill in these small areas to improve manufacturability of my board while maintaining solderability?

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    \$\begingroup\$ FYI, I can confirm that V20.1.12 (current version as of this writing) still does this. i.imgur.com/q2gNpQM.png \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


Hello fellow designer,

This issue needs to be addressed by Altium, I found that this issue is irreconcilable by using the hatching tool. I personally used the paste array tool in the "Edit > paste special> Paste array" tool, and pasted a grid of polygon cutouts after routing was complete on the PCB. Then I went back through and deleted polygon cutout regions which created slivers. This will be more tedious, but the hatching looks much better.

Hope this helps,


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