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I am trying to put a curved slot in a PCB in Altium 18. This is to give a blanking panel on the PCB which we can "pop-out". As the hole we're trying to blank out is circular, I need this slot to be curved.

It's easy to put a hole in a PCN, or a straight slot, or a board cut out using straight lines. Is a curved slot possible? Or a curved cut out?

The only work around I've found so far is to do a cut out made up of loads of very small straight lines, which is far from ideal.

EDIT: one option would be to draw an arch on the route layer, I shall attempt this and see if it will do the job.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is that inside the board outline or on board outline itself? In any case, as you found out, arcs are there for a reason.. If you carve a slot inside PCB proper, it won't be straight angles for sure. You'll get a call from the PCB fab asking if you're ok with the tool diameter arc.. \$\endgroup\$ – Barleyman Sep 14 '18 at 8:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why can't you draw a curved line on the outline layer? \$\endgroup\$ – Jeroen3 Sep 14 '18 at 9:39
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I don't have AD18 on this machine but it works the same as in AD17.

Pick a layer, whether it be the route layer or the board outline. I generally use the board outline layer (arbitrarily selected for my projects as Mechanical6). Draw the outline of the slot using a combination of lines, arcs, etc. - whatever you need to get the shape you want. Then, select the primitives outlining the slot:

enter image description here

Go to Tools -> Convert -> Create Board Cutout from Selected Primitives:

enter image description here

This will create your slot:

enter image description here

You might want to include a note to the board manufacturer to make sure they see the cutout and know what it is.

The slot in the images was one I made for my latest board design, but you can make it any size and shape you want.

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Have you tried the "Convert" Method in AD?

I often use this tool for such tasks. I don't know how this works in AD18, but I can explain for AD17:

You can draw a rather thick curved track/line, select it and then use the "Tools/Convert/Create region from selected objects" function in the menu. After that, you can double click the region and set the "kind" to "board cutout".

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Found you can draw it, and do Tools/Convert/Create Board Cut out from Selected Primitives. I shall accept the other answer as that has a more detailed explanation as to how to do the conversion. \$\endgroup\$ – Puffafish Sep 17 '18 at 8:02

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