CR-8000 Design Force 2023 - Contour Routing Demonstration

Tech Tip: Optimizing Your PCB Design with Contour Routing in Design Force 2023


CR-8000 Design Force 2023 has significantly upgraded its contour routing feature. For newcomers, contour routing refers to the method where you route PCB tracks to closely follow the board’s outline or other irregular shapes, thereby maximizing space usage.

So, What’s New in Design Force 2023’s Contour Routing?

Although previous versions had a bundle routing feature option, interestingly, Design Force 2023 now introduces two additional methods to maximize the benefits:

  1. Differential Pair Routing: This method simultaneously routes two tracks, ensuring they stick to the appropriate spacing and track width as outlined in the design rules.
  2. Single Routes: This feature becomes a boon for designers as it efficiently routes individual tracks along the board’s contours.

But, Why Use It?

Irregular spaces on a PCB often need more resources, especially where standard angles fall short. However, designers can easily navigate these complex terrains. The contour option then actively follows the board’s edge or existing tracks and quickly charts the best paths.

A Quick Guide to Using the Contour Routing Tool:

  1. Start routing by selecting the desired pad or pads.
  2. The Routing Tool smartly identifies the best routing mode for your net type.
  3. Right-click and pick “Contour” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Select the shape or edge you want your track to follow in Contour mode.
  5. Click the left mouse button to fix the routes according to the chosen contour.

Visual Learner? Watch the video below for a detailed guide on maximizing your PCB’s potential using this feature in Design Force 2023.

In conclusion, use Design Force 2023’s advanced features to enhance PCB design efficiency and authenticity.

Brian Gilman
Brian Gilman
Applications Engineer
Brian Gilman is an applications engineer at Zuken USA. He started at Zuken in 2009 after spending over 20 years at Invensys.