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I am using Proteus 8.7 and I am so confused about how to make a power plane (copper pour) exposed . I mean I want that area free from green mask so that It can make its use as thermal dissipation area. Which layer should I use to make this opening ? The layers I can use for the top side is "top paste" and "top resist" for this purpose . But I don't know which one would help me to achieve what I want .

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Whether it has the green mask or not won't make much of a difference to thermal dissipation. \$\endgroup\$
    – MCG
    Jun 1 '20 at 13:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you intending on connecting it to a heatsink? It would seem counter-intuitive to have an exposed power plane for the risk of shorts... \$\endgroup\$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jun 1 '20 at 13:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Usually, the thermal resistance of solder mask is insignificant compared to other thermal resistances on a board. It's thin. It has lots of area. It doesn't matter much that it's essentially paint, unless you're doing something super fancy. \$\endgroup\$
    – TimWescott
    Jun 1 '20 at 13:55
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The paste (more properly solder paste) layer defines where solder paste is to be printed on the board during assembly. It's used to make the solder paste stencil.

The resist (more properly solder resist) layer is what you want. "Solder resist" is synonymous with "solder mask". I'm not familiar with Proteus, but usually solder resist layer is negative, meaning that if there's something drawn on that layer, then that's where solder mask will be missing in the completed design.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a remarkable explanation thank you so much to you and to all other contributors . The best part of your answer is that I was in lack of knowledge about that negative and positive difference of that layer . So as you state , positive solder-resist layer covers all those areas with a protector color where it is not especially applied or used which is by default applied to entire board outline. I hope I am correct . \$\endgroup\$
    – user210324
    Jun 1 '20 at 14:08

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