I am trying to use Altium's multi-board design tool to connect 2 PCB's.

The PCB's will be connected with a right angle, male-male pin header (shown in image below).

Altium 18 Multi-board problem Bottom PCB: Motherboard                   Top PCB: Daughterboard

My project structure looks like this:

  • Project.PrjMbd
    • Source Documents
      • Project.MbsDoc
      • Project.MbaDoc
    • Daughterboard.PrjPCB
      • Source Documents
        • Daughterboard.SchDoc
        • Daughterboard.PcbDoc
    • Motherboard.PrjPCB
      • Source Documents
        • Motherboard.SchDoc
        • Motherboard.PcbDoc

I intend to join the two boards using only one pin header. The trouble is that both boards need to have the header library component so that the correct pads and nets are connected.

Does Altium have a mechanism for doing this?

EDIT: I do have the System:Connector parameter added to the header library component.


1 Answer 1


I would make a footprint on either board with no 3d component installed and ensure the pins match. Multiboard connectors need a special parameter to link properly. Add the following to both connectors "ParameterName: System, ParameterValue: Connector". Then the MBA should find the pins and walk you through the rest. A 3d component shouldn't be required for this to work

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I already added that parameter, and the two boards are connected in the multi-board project document. What do you mean it should "walk me through the rest"? I understand that the 3d model is not necessary for getting this to work, but it definitely helps in making sure things are aligned properly. I'm dealing with very tight space constraints in an enclosure. Thanks for the reply! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 17:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Well, mating the components is done with the 3d snapping tools, and mapping the nets is done in the connection manager for each connection. in your case it should be a direct connection. Right click on the connection to launch the manager. To be clear, One 3d model will be needed for alignment purposes for the assembly. I would mate the face of the plastic spacer to the PCB surface, then alight the pins. Alignment of pins is easier if they are modeled as cylinders since altium can then generate a snap on center. MBA is a bit busted as of now, so using circles wherever you can helps! \$\endgroup\$
    – Luke Gary
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 17:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the suggestions. I finally figured out how to remove (not just disable) the 3D model for one of the two header instances, so Altium's collision checking works. The 3D movement tool definitely is a bit wonky compared to Altium 17. Thanks again! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 20:29
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ No Problem! We need more Altium Questions and responses here, the altium forum is useless \$\endgroup\$
    – Luke Gary
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 0:02

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