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The PCB manufacturer is asking

These highlighted green areas (they are openings on the bottom soldermask layer) will be exposed in the bottom layer and you required us to cover the bottom layer with solder resist in the notes. We suggest to delete these openings of the bottom soldermask layer and cover with solder resist as your requirement.

enter image description here

Are they talking about deleting the holes and covering with solder mask?

  • The red is the bottom layer
  • The green is the bottom solder mask layer
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    \$\begingroup\$ What did you write in the notes about the solder resist? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2023 at 21:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ (AFAIK solder resist and soldermask are two names for the same thing) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2023 at 21:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @S_D Is the designer of the PCB not available? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2023 at 21:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this an existing design that you're modifying or moving to a new manufacturer? Do you have a sample of the physical board that was made previously? (It sounds to me like you have a note saying that there should be soldermask as opposed to a bare copper board, and the manufacturer is mis-interpreting it to mean that there should be an unbroken soldermask layer with no openings, but this is a guess based on limited information) \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Apr 27, 2023 at 21:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ It sounds like the manufacturer got a note saying that the bottom should be totally covered in solder resist, but they also got a gerber file saying where to not put the solder resist (that's the green dots), so they're confused about what you want. Do you want there to be solder resist everywhere except the green dots? (Usually you do, but hey, it's your board not mine) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2023 at 22:16

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Covering small vias with soldermask is also known as tenting. In Altium, there is an option to specify whether you want tenting on the top or bottom of vias in the Solder Mask Expansion section of the via properties panel:

Altium via properties panel

I recently reinstalled Altium so I can attest to the Tenting option being turned off by default for at least vias added through the via stitching option.

Consult your fabricator for what the minimum size is that will accommodate tenting without causing manufacturing issues or voids.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I can see the option "via tented" was selected during the fabrication process hence the confusion maybe? Though on the attached picture their arrows are not all pointing towards the a via. \$\endgroup\$
    – S_D
    Apr 28, 2023 at 0:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @S_D yeah that's another possibility: maybe you selected to tent vias but then your gerber files show no soldermask over the vias. Either way there seems to be a simple communication issue that could be solved by just talking to the manufacturer to make sure so they understand what you want. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 28, 2023 at 15:49

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