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I want to build a circuit with many repeating pieces of schematic/pcb layout, and I want to reuse both schematic & pcb layout. Altium offers to reuse schematic, or reuse pcb separately - via snippets and circuit sheets.

But is it possible to reuse both? I.e. when I place another instance of subcircuit to schematic, PCB layout is also automagically copied - and it's all automatically updates when I modify subcircuit... Copying & pasting manually does not work - as it will be a nightmare to maintain if I would need to modify cubcircuit (I will have ~200 instances and ~2000 discrete components total).

Could you suggest how to do it? We've found a script DesignReuse which does exactly this - but unfortunately it does not work in Altium 13: https://code.google.com/p/altium-designer-addons/downloads/detail?name=DesignReuse_v3.3.zip&can=2&q=

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Like this? http://wiki.altium.com/display/ADOH/Snippets

Cannot test it right now, but it should work in AD13 as well.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As far as I see - it allows only to reuse PCB or Schematic, but not both at the same time... \$\endgroup\$ – BarsMonster Jun 22 '13 at 18:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Any better? altiumvideos.live.altium.com/#Detail/1222/True \$\endgroup\$ – Tom L. Jun 22 '13 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, this explains it very well. Although the process is less automated than I desired, it is still would do the job for me. \$\endgroup\$ – BarsMonster Jun 25 '13 at 14:00
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For a very large number of copies use hierarchical design techniques to create rooms repeating circuit blocks a large number of times. After aranging rooms, then you can use Design >> Rooms >> Copy Room Formats to make them all the same very rapidly. This copies everything about the previous template room including component orientations, tracks, vias, text, etc.

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You do can multi-channel in Altium, using the sheet symbol.

You create a schematic with ports representing the inputs and outputs to your repeating circuit, then place those on your main sheet, connecting up your ports. When you create your PCB, those circuits will be placed in 'rooms', which you can then setup a single room, then copy it to the other rooms. This will copy alignment, traces, layers, etc, between all the rooms so all are wired up nearly identically.

See http://techdocs.altium.com/display/ADOH/Creating+a+Multi-channel+Design for a description straight from the source.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ But this involve "copying" layout, this means that it will be extremely painful to make any changes afterwards. I am looking for a way to be able to modify all these copies later without huge pain of modifying 100's of copies. \$\endgroup\$ – BarsMonster Nov 21 '14 at 4:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BarsMonster: you can repeat your changes to channels by nesting them into banks. The copying only copies the layout and arrangement, if you, for example, remove some parts from one of your channels, when you update, it will automatically zap the part from every channel. If you replace a part, the update will swap every instance on the PCB. The multi-channel design is what altium provides specifically to do what you want. \$\endgroup\$ – whatsisname Nov 21 '14 at 4:23

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