Adding a routed freeform shaped cut in footprint editor


#1

Hi

Is it possible to create a freeform routed shape in the footprint editor?

I could make a footprint and then do the routing on the PCB, but I want to use this part repeatedly so adding it to the footprint would be much better. I’m using a recent (post RC2) nightly build if that makes a difference. I understand that there are physical limitations of what a router bit can cut with respect to minimum radii in the corners etc.

Thanks
Danny


#2

you may have a look at this thread


#3

A short summary of kicads limitations.

In kicad 4.0.x (will stay the same in kicad 5) you can not use the footprint editor to put drawings onto the edge cuts layer. But kicad (pcb_new) supports footprints that have edge cuts drawings.

The discussion about this is in https://bugs.launchpad.net/kicad/+bug/1251393
I don’t think there is a valid reason for this limitation. Luckily the devs agree and this will change after kicad 5 (as the discussion mainly happened after the feature freeze for kicad 5)


So the only option to get a footprint with any drawing on the edge cuts layer is by using some external tool. Stepup is a good idea for more complex outlines. The python footprint generator if you want to generate a lots of similar footprints (Example a series of edge connectors).

For simple outlines it might be fastest to design the footprint normally in the footprint editor. Put the drawing for what you want on the edge cuts layer onto an otherwise unused layer and use a text editor with the replace feature to change the layer name.

Be aware that opening a footprint with anything on the edge cuts layer with the footprint editor will move that drawing to a different layer (I think it will move it to the F.SilkS layer. This might be version dependent.)
So you can not use the footprint editor to inspect your footprint.


#4

Thanks to both of you for the info.

I’ve downloaded freecad and StepUp, but paused there because I thought it would be easy enough to draw the shape in the F.SilkS layer and then change it in a text editor.

So after lots of trial and error, I’ve got the edge cuts working in the footprint. I wanted to make a fancy shaped pad by moving a shape to layers *.Cu and *.Mask, but had to settle for a normal through-hole pad which will be fine.

Thanks for the advice.
D


#5

In v5 you can make fancy shapes with custom pads (polygons)

Here stepup also helps: Kicad StepUp: The Sketcher for Footprint generation


#6

Hi,

I am a novice with Kicad and know much less than the other responders. However it struck me that you could simply create your edge cuts and whatever common design features you wish in a project. Then simply copy and rename the project files. This might be called a kludge approach (which it is) but you might find it effective, especially while you look for a more elegant approach.