# Creating a Package¶

A PCB layout can only be as good as the footprints it uses, that’s why it’s important to create high-quality footprints (called packages).

As far as horizon is concerned a package consists of these things:

• The pads the part gets soldered onto

• Copper layers (top/bottom/inner)

• Holes (for TH parts)

• Package outline

• Assembly outline and reference designator

• Silkscreen graphics and text

• Courtyard outline

## Package outline¶

The package outline is used for visualizing what the part’s outline looks like, hence it should follow the part’s nominal dimensions. You may use the “import DXF” tool for importing a DXF drawing obtained from a STEP model or otherwise. Since the package outline’s purpose is purely visual, you can use either lines or polygons. Only include pins if they significantly contribute to the part’s appearance.

## Courtyard¶

The courtyard denotes the space needed by the part that mustn’t be occupied by other parts in order to leave enough room for assembly. Since the size of the courtyard needs to be adjusted depending on the users manufacturing requirements, it has to be set using a parameter program. At 0mm courtyard expansion the courtyard outline is the (rectangular) hull around copper pads and package outline. To create a rectangular courtyard outline that can be parametrized, do this:

Use the “Generate courtyard” tool to generate the initial courtyard at 0mm expansion. If that doesn’t result in the desired polygon, use the “Draw polygon rectangle” tool for drawing the initial courtyard and set its parameter class to “courtyard” using the property editor on the right side of the window.

Open the “Parameters” Window and click on “Insert courtyard program”. If all goes well, this should add the courtyard program and as the parameter “Courtyard expansion” set to 0.25mm.