How to Customize the Board Outline in NI Ultiboard

Updated Oct 30, 2020

Upon transfering a design from Multisim to Ultiboard, a default rectangular board outline will be created. In this tutorial, learn how to customize the board outline in three different ways: by using the board outline wizard, by importing a DXF file, or by defining a custom polygon.

**Before Beginning: Deleting the Default Board Outline

To create a custom board outline shape, first delete the default board outline. To do this:

  1. Make sure the selection filter Other Objects is enabled, as shown in the image below.
  2. Double-click on the Board Outline layer in the Design Toolbox
  3. Select the board outline shape and press Delete.

You are now ready to place a custom board outline using one of the methods outlined below.

Method 1: Use the Board Wizard to Create a Custom Board Outline

  1. Delete the existing board outline
  2. Select the Board Wizard from the menu (Tools > Board Wizard).
  3. Complete the steps to create a rectangular or circular board with any number of layers.

Method 2: Import a Board Outline via a DXF File (Power Pro Edition only)

  1. Delete the existing board outline
  2. Start the DXF import (File > Import > DXF)
  3. From the dialog, select the DXF file to import
  4. From the DXF import settings dialog, select Merge import data into existing layers, and then select the Board Outline layer. Also select the units that match the units used in the DXF file. 
  5. A new board outline shape will now be generated. Specify the origin by selecting the design origin tool (Design > Set Reference Point) and setting the new appropriate origin (0, 0) on the new board outline.

Method 3: Place a polygon to define a custom or complex shape

  1. Select and delete the existing board outline
  2. Activate the Board Outline layer by double-clicking on this layer in the Design Toolbox
  3. Place a polygon shape from the menu (Place > Shape > Polygon) to complete the custom board outline.

Tip: A method that works well in defining specific vertices for the polygon is to start the polygon at the design reference point (). For simple shapes with a few vertices, the exact locations of the required vertices can be set by clicking on the * <Shift+8> to specify the (X, Y) coordinates in a counter clock-wise direction around the board outline. For more complex shapes, it is advantageous to make a list of the (X, Y) coordinates of the required vertices prior to constructing the polygon. Start at the reference point and complete a simple polygon (shape doesn’t matter) and by double clicking on the polygon, enter the vertices list in the Polygon tab of the properties dialog.

Handling Board Outline Errors

To locate an error in the board outline, zoom in on each of the corners and be certain that the individual lines are connected at the highest zoom level. Unconnected corners are the most common type of PCB board outline errors.