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My problem: I use Altium CircuitMaker (Version 2.1). I am designing a four-layer PCB; two signal layers (top and bottom), and two internal layers (GND and PWR). I do not connect anything (not any pads or vias) to PWR layer, but I want to connect all grounding (36) pads to GND layer.

I set up correctly my schematic, assigned the net label named “GND” where I needed. I validated the project, no errors were found. I updated PCB document, no problem. Then in PCB Design Rules I assigned the thermal relief pads, and clearances on my plane layer, specified expansion, air-gap and conductor width of a thermal relief pads. And I assigned the net name to my internal plane layer (GND layer). I run Design Rule Check and get Un-Routed Net Constraint: Net GND Between Pad OUT-1(17mm,35mm) on Multi-Layer And Pad OUT-2(19.5mm,35mm) on Multi-Layer. This is for all grounding pads. I expected to see those nice pad connections with air gaps, expansion, and spokes. But I do not see them. I only see the error that pads are not connected.

I have tried to find a solution for a long time, and nothing helps. I read a lot of documentation. Actually, I experimented with removing other grounding pins on schematic and finally left only two. And… it started working. I connected the rest of the pins and it worked! Unfortunately, after login again the next day, everything disappeared. I repeated it again, and it was OK again, and then disappeared again! Recently I am not able to recreate this behavior, even with two pads only. I do not have any idea what may be wrong. I had different troubles with CircuitMaker, but finally I found logical solution. Now I cannot see anything that I missed to have it work.

Because I have such a problem, I suppose somebody else could also have faced it. Is there anyone who could help?? enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're using "split plane" did you assign GND layer to the plane? By selecting GND layer and double clicking the inside PCB. Could you add some screenshots with this problem or share the files? \$\endgroup\$
    – desqa
    Apr 1 at 17:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for adding screenshots. I tried recreating your steps, and in my case it works fine. It looks like there is some problem with "Connect to net" operation. Because after it, the (in your case) light-gray outlines around GND pads should disappear, and you should see "crosses" symbolizing relief connections. And there are none on your screenshots. It should look something like this: i.imgur.com/BqXuW0K.png Could you share your project (or only part of it) through CircuitMaker website? (i.e. making it public) \$\endgroup\$
    – desqa
    Apr 5 at 14:37

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Yes, it works now! It looks similar like 'desqa' presents in his link. See my screenshots attached. I believe, I made all well there with connection the pads and a layer to the net. That is right I have not deeply studied the subject as PhD student does for his thesis but to be honest there is not much to study. The Altium/CircuitMaker user manual is clear.

So, how I managed with the problem? One day, and it was something shortly after I posted here my issue, CircuitMaker released a new update. After I made this upgrade to version 2.2 it started work properly, with no any problem! I do not now how to recreate the days/dates when the new updates were released by Altium CircuitMaker Team. 'desqa' answered April 5th. I just may assume, in meantime there was released upgrade to version 2.2.

As I noted before, in the past (a few months ago) I had the cases that the relief connections worked good, and after re-log in the CircuitMaker the next day, those nice connections to Grounding plane disappeared. I had this few times. Then since January-February 2022 I could never create relief connections again, until now - beginning of April. That gives me suppose, the problem was at side of software, and it was solved after the CircutMaker Team released new update. Last year the was 'large' upgrade released, from version 1.3 to 2.0. Then the user manual for old version stayed on the circuitmaker website for long time until beginning of this year. Also, from time to time there were released some 'smaller' upgrades of version 2.0, until 2.2. So, I may assume the software was all the time under work by the Team. It started work very smoothly after upgrade to version 2.2. And it is stable now.

Thank you for your answer! Let me apologize for my late answer. I have already shared my project ("Receiver-Module") through the CircuitMaker Website.

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