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Should I enable thermal relief for the 3V3 (yellow line) polygon? If not, does it imply that the components on the right-hand side will be more difficult to solder due to their connection to a larger copper area?

enter image description here

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3 Answers 3

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There isn't a necessarily correct answer. Many boards I work on use solid connections from SMT components to a ground polygon, and while it does make soldering and rework more difficult, it doesn't make it impossible. Using a board preheater and good quality soldering iron and/or hot air tools makes it simply take a little more time.

If you expect to need to work on the finished board and are concerned, add thermal relief to make things easier.

The smaller components on the right will have some heatsinking through the wider trace to the polygon in question, but since most are connected through a smaller trace, they are already effectively have thermal relief.

If you're concerned about assembly rather than rework, then you would need to ask your fabricator. Depending on the components chosen and the type of soldering process being used, they may or may not advise a change.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your input. \$\endgroup\$
    – S_D
    Jul 28, 2023 at 2:45
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The components on the right-hand side won't be more difficult to solder as long as there is a soldermask bridge connecting between yellow line area and right-hand side.

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As it is shown in your picture, the components on the right are not strongly thermally coupled to the polygon. The normal copper traces already present will act as thermal reliefs.

Had the pads of those smaller components been included in the yellow polygon directly, then yes, I'd expect any rework done by hand (manually with a soldering iron and wick etc.) to be potentially more difficult or time consuming.

I wouldn't expect any issues with this part of the layout.

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