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Solder Mask

Solder Mask

(OP)
Working on my first PWB. . .
Wondering what object do you place on the solder mask layer to instruct where the solder mask is applied, and not applied.

Polygon?
Lines?
Arcs?
Pours?

Also, does the gerber data on a layer end up being binary? In other words at each integral point on the layer the information only specifies that there either is something there or there is not. Granted it may not be a binary bitmap, it may employ vector graphics to specify this but there can not be multiple types of "something" on one layer. I am thinking that it is black and white. Then the type of "something" is determined by the type of layer right? If so does this apply to all layers?

Am I on the right track?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

RE: Solder Mask

(OP)
Ok answered my own question I think.

The solder resist mask layer is just that: a mask. Whatever is on it, shows where solder resist is not.

So most boards have nothing on it at all.
P-CAD auto swells the solder resist around pads and not around vias by the "Solder Mask Swell" setting under manufacturing.

When you draw on this layer you are placing solder resist voids where you draw because the layer is edited in photo negative.

Plane layers are also edited in photo negative in P-CAD.

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