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Getting started with SnapEDA Part II: Using InstaBuild

January 9, 2020SnapEDA Team

In the second part of Getting Started with SnapEDA, we would like to introduce you to the latest computer vision technology to speed up the library creation process even more: InstaBuild. We had an introduction to the most basic features of SnapEDA in Part I, feel free to check it out!

InstaBuild is a free automated part builder that allows you to create schematic symbols and PCB footprints in minutes. It uses computer vision and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to build IC symbols and IPC standard packages. InstaBuild recognizes the pin numbers and names from the pin definition table in a datasheet, it detects the pin types and arranges the pins based on their function!

Figure 1: The InstaBuild Homepage

These are the steps to get you started with InstaBuild, we will use the package builder to build a footprint for the LTC3836EGN from Analog Devices. We will then proceed to build a schematic symbol for MAX16126TCD+ from Maxim Integrated.

Let’s create a package for the LTC3836EGN part:

1) Navigate to the webpage for the part

Search for the part through the SnapEDA’s search engine or follow the link to the part’s webpage.

Figure 2: The Search Results for the LTC3836EGN Part

2) Select the InstaBuild option

On the webpage of the part, there are two main options to get this part created: InstaPart or InstaBuild. Click on the InstaBuild option.

Figure 3: The LTC3836EGN Part Page on SnapEDA

3) InstaBuild for Footprint (Footprint Builder)

On the InstaBuild page, navigate to the Package Description page on the datasheet – the InstaBuild script does this automatically. Enter the package dimension data from the datasheet into the Footprint Builder form on the right to generate the footprint.

Figure 4: The Footprint Builder page for InstaBuild

Once you have filled out all package information, click Generate Footprint. The footprint is now ready to be downloaded in the desired CAD format.

Figure 5: Completed Footprint using InstaBuild Ready for Download

Now, let’s generate a schematic symbol for the MAX16126TCD+ part:

1) Navigate to the webpage for the part

Search for the part through the SnapEDA’s search engine or follow the link to the part’s webpage. Click on the Build option to begin.

Figure 6: The part webpage for the MAX16126TCD+ without a Schematic Symbol

2) InstaBuild for Schematic symbol

Upload the datasheet for the part (This is not required if the datasheet is already available on the part page). The datasheet should have a detailed pinout table so that the script can detect it.

Navigate to the pinout page and highlight the pin table from the datasheet. Click on Extract Pin Map From Table to extract pin data.

Figure 7: Symbol Generator page for Instabuild

3) Modify, generate and download

Make sure that you have removed the empty rows. Also, adjust the extracted table for active low pins and other pin properties. If there are any exposed pads, make sure to assign a pin number to it, so that the part can be created successfully.

Figure 8: Extracting Pin Information using InstaBuild Computer Vision Algorithm

After verifying the data on the extracted table, generate the schematic symbol. You can now download the part for your desired CAD format.

Figure 9: Completed Symbol using InstaBuild Ready for Download

Things to consider when using InstaBuild:

• The “InstaBuild” tool shows up on part pages that we have determined can be built using InstaBuild.
• Parts with a non-table pinout format can not use the computer vision feature of InstaBuild. In cases like these, you should manually entry the required data.

We are excited to help you to save hours of your time building models with InstaBuild! If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the comment section. Until next time, happy designing!

SnapEDA Team Administrator

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