A ground plane is a broad area of copper that connects to the ground signal. You can automatically create a ground plane that fills the empty areas between traces with copper:





alt To fill the area between traces with copper and connect objects of your ground net:
  1. On the left toolbar choose the Polygon or Circle tool.
  2. On the property bar Layer list select Top or Bottom.
  3. For clarity turn off the other layers using the layer toolbar button.
  4. Draw the desired shape and select the shape.
  5. On the property bar select your ground net from the "Net" drop-down box.
  6. Choose Tools | Ground Planes | Create... The Ground Plane dialog appears.
  7. Enter the desired distance between traces and the fill (described below).
  8. Click OK.

altThe polygon object defining the area to fill might overlap a copper object. If the polygon and the other copper object belong to the same net they will get connected.
altThe Ground Plane Create command must be applied after the traces are routed.

alt To indicate for a pad whether to use thermal or solid connection:

Before etch copper:
  1. Click a pad.
  2. On the property bar click the Additional properties alt button.
  3. Choose "Thermal" to force thermal connection or choose "Solid" to force solid connection.
  4. Click OK.
To delete a plane created by etch copper:
  1. Select an object of the plane.
  2. Choose Tools | Etch Copper...
  3. Click Delete Etch Copper.
  4. Click OK.


The Thermal trace width parameter specifies the width of traces connecting a copper object to the polygon object when both belong to the same net.

Note The Etch copper command only works for polygons that are inside the board outline.