Aligning Arches In Edge Cuts? *Solved*

I am creating a “case” top with an extra PCB panel. I laid out the course of the cut on the PCB Board page, on the User Drawing Layer. The PCB Board has a ground plane. I need the top to have a ground plane, too.

To keep everything in place, I went to PCBNew and appended the original PCB Board. I then deleted everything down to a blank board, with just the ground plane, mounting holes, etc.

I then changed the curve layers from drawings to edge cuts and aligned them as carefully as possible. This will cut back the top and expose the connection points on the PCB Board. However, the ground plane will not fill and OSH Park warns that it is not there.

Bottom line… How do you connect edge cut arches with the needed precision to be interlocked to create a continuous edge cut?

I do not know other cad drawing programs… Well, maybe LibreOffice draw… But, I would not know how to align things, there, and I would not know how to import them into PCBNew… Or, align the new drawing on the new top panel…

Please and thank you.

I am a bit confused. What makes you think the edge cut is not “precise” enough?

If you assume the zone does not fill because of an error in the edge cut then i have to tell you that this is not the reason. A zone in kicad only fills if it has a connection to a pad of the correct net. So you need to place at least one dummy component connected to said net for your zone to do anything. See How to create a power plane (using zones)

if you zoom in and drag the end points, you will see them “snap” to each other. it helps to turn your line width way down, at least temporarily.

Got it. It was a combination of both of your instructions and tying the pad to the ground net. Thank you for your help!

I’ve not been able to snap my curved edges to straight lines in edge cuts easily. I see you mention they will snap together but it has been my experience that I need to click the line and then the curve multiple times (to see where the “dot” on the end of each is) . Eventually I stage the lines and curves close enough together to where I see the overlapping circle and I know they are connected…

It would be great to know how to make them truly snap together.

Is it simply the diffeeence in line segment that is making it not snap? Or grid level? Or is there a snap setting?

Thank you!!

I find it best to set the arc centre and end points as numbers using “Edit”, then its easy to get exactly 90 degrees

Thank you, I’ll have to try this as I’m not sure what you mean. I’m sure it will make sense when I try it.

Glad you solved your problem. Properly placing edge cuts is one of the reasons I started KiCommand. You can place edge cut lines, then use commands such as connect, regular, regularsize, makeangle, and finish with the round command to round the edges of polygons created from line segments. If you try KiCommand, please let me know how it works for you.

  • Keep Ctrl down while dragging a line end: keep horizontal/vertical/45deg.
  • Keep Alt down while dragging a line end: snap to the nearest snapping point within some distance, including endpoints of other lines and arcs (in the same layer).
  • Keep Alt down while moving an object: snap, like above.
  • Use grid which is coarse enough, draw lines so that each endpoint hits a grid point in the same grid. Drag a line end - a circular cursor is shown when two endpoints collide.
  • Zoom in to make hitting endpoints easier if the grid/zoom level makes it difficult, i.e. if grid points are too close to each other in the view.
  • Draw arcs with Ctrl down to create 45/90/180deg arcs.
  • Generic advice: keep everything horizontal/vertical with Ctrl unless something else is really needed.
  • EDIT: “Limit graphic lines to H, V and 45 degrees” in pcbnew preferences limits the angles automatically and reverses the function of Ctrl while drawing a new line. However, it doesn’t affect editing existing lines.
  • Select an item, go on top of a small square endpoint (including arc endpoints and center point) and press M to start moving, grabbing from that specific point.

These work for 5.1.5. It’s very, very easy to create horizontal/vertical edges this way, also fillets with 90deg arcs. Adding other than 90 or 45 degree corners may make it a bit more difficult or much more difficult depending on the case, at least if you have to add fillets or calculate some dimensions.

Alt is somewhat problematic on Windows which tries to steal it for opening menus - you may need an extra click or Esc in some situations.

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