A better way to select footprints?

A better way to select footprints?

When I insert a 1N4004 in the schematic, Kicad could ask if it is SMD or THT and suggest a list of possible footprints:

Same for resistors, but Kicad would ask SMD/THT and wattage.

Also, in the PCB editor, the user could be able to click on a footprint, properties, and get a list of “compatible” footprints for the current footprint, to change SMD/THT, Horizontal/Vertical, lenghts…

And for those who like to draw a PCB without schematics (simple circuits), the user could tell what component it is (1N4004), if it is THT or SMD, and Kicad could show a list of fottprints.

It would be very helpful, IMHO.

EDIT: the predefined footprints are defined by the footprint filters of the library symbol:


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image For eelik and for KiCad.

This method in KiCad is better then the other method you mentioned, because it does not annoy you with footprint questions, but still lets you add a footprint if you wish to do so.

For example, if you’re making a schematic for simulation only, then you do not care at all about the footprints.

Yes and I think a key point…is that so much of this hangs on using your own libraries and how you organize them. So for example you could keep symbols for SMT and through hole in separate libraries and/or the same for footprints. I think that most of us who are experienced have set up and use our own libraries.

The other thing…is that KiCad is easy to use. But it is designed based upon users having more experience and does not require users with more experience to operate in a manner which may be preferred by users with less experience.

I will stick my neck out further and say that most of us with more experience use much more SMT than through hole devices. So long as you avoid the smaller sizes (such as 0402 and smaller passives for example) I can think of few advantages to through hole unless you are hand wiring (no pcb).or already have the components. I am not discussing high power here. In fact a 0603 chip is generally cheaper to buy and quicker to swap out if your pcb is properly designed.

My preference is to have the footprint selection as it currently is. I only mention this to voice a different view.

I design circuits in Kicad schematic. In doing so I don’t care what the footprint is at the design phase. Its not until I have a complete and maybe tested circuit do I concern myself with the PCB foot print.

I could be mistaken, but years ago I tried to use Eagle. I found for every component I placed I would have to define the footprint for that device. It put me off so bad I abandon Eagle. There many have been an option to delay the footprint choice but I couldn’t find it.

I actually mostly work that way…but these days it is difficult to build most circuits without a pcb, so a footprint and a pcb is required before most circuits can be tested. That said, I usually do not concern myself too much with what the footprint is, other than to make sure I can get something which I can handle easily such as not a BGA. In my earlier post I was trying to recognize that you could have unique symbols for every ceramic capacitor for example, or for every chip size of ceramic capacitor. For my own sort of work I do not choose to work that way as I think it puts the “cart before the chicken” at least for me. Or is it the cart before the tomato? :slight_smile:

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Thank you everybody for the answers. I´m learning Kicad the hardest way - banging the head on the nearest hard surface.

This footprint preview in the schematic editor is very nice!

Before that I had to use footprint editor to find a suitable footprint, but I just couldn´t copy the library:footprint_name. If I press CTRL-C or CTRL-INS and try to paste on notepad, I get nothing.

Then I started inserting the footprint of interest in the PCB editor using the footptint browser, select it, press E for properties, go to General/Change Footprint, CTRL-C the library:footprint_name, and paste it in the schematics… DUH!!!