Can graphic lines be defined by angle and length?

I’m in the process of drawing several new footprints. It would be helpful if I could draw the body graphic lines using polar coordinates. However even when I select R/theta the graphic line properties are in x1,y1, x1,y2

Not at the moment (except as a plug-in). Might be a v6 feature. Hang tight. :slight_smile:

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Is the plug in you referred to very complex? If not where can I get a copy to try?


Sorry, I meant you’d need to write it. The functions to do this are available but no one has needed badly enough to write it yet.


I guess I will be included in the group that didn’t write it.


Does this help:

Footprint Editor / Preferences / General Settings / Coordinates: [*] Polar

I set the grid to 1mm and you still draw lines on the grid, but it shows starting coordinate, radius of 5.830952 and a theta (angle) of 31.0.
I was a bit confused by the “Z 4.98” but it seems to be the Zoom factor of the current display resolution.

I think the OP needs to edit the segment and assign the angle and radius desired the same way he can assign start and end points with cartessian coordinates.

With the polar coordinates tool one can see the cursor’s coordinates but cannot set the start and end points of an item.

I’m somewhat new to Kicad, at least in designing hours. In creating my most recent board outline I found it somewhat cumbersome.

I found by starting the board shape at X=0 and y=0, then moving it to place was the best so far. However I still had to calculate the x,y for each corner. This board had 45° chamfers on each corner so it was a bit of a PIA.

It would be very helpful to me if Kicad could:

  1. Allow line segment entry in x,y or R,theta
  2. Group the line segments so selecting them is more efficient
  3. Lock the edge cuts layer so once in place they cannot be moved without unlocking.

I don’t have a CAD program and my CorelDraw doesn’t export a compatible DXF file. And I don’t want to install applications like FreeCAD just for board outlines.

I’m an old user. You are right. The drawing tool is the weak one in Kicad. Efforts have been applied to electrical improvements. Freecad+kicad_stepup is the killer application for edges.

It is possible to edit a segment and enter start and end rectangular coordinates.

Grouping is not possible, but you can select a group of lines (or other items) and move all of them together. Click for the first item, shift+click for the next one and so on.

Ummm. Not possible, at least for 5.0.2 and older versions. Only footprints can be locked.

As you have 45° lines, you can set the preferences to "limit graphic lines to 45 degrees.

There may be tricks which you don’t know, and in the soon to be released version 5.1 there are some additional helps. Can you share your outline? I could show how I would do it.

Thank you both for your reply’s :slight_smile:

I know the current Kicad cannot accomplish the items I mentioned, hence the prefiace "…It would be helpful…
And I’m certainly not complaining. But the items I mentioned would be helpful, especially locking the edge cuts.

My current board is finished. I simply had to calculate the corner points (including the chamfers). I found excel was helpful here.


Hitting spacebar gives you a user 0,0 reference to use, instead of having to start at global 0,0.

2D drawing is definately not one of KiCad’s strong selling points :slight_smile:
FreeCAD is also not among the easiest programs to learn.
There are however multiple places where DXF graphics can be imported.
DXF can be imported as grapics on the user dwg, fab, silk screen or Edge.Cuts layers.
DXF can apperently also be imported in the footprint editor:

I have however never done anything with this and do not know what you can do with an imported DXF in the Footprint Editor.

To me this all seems quite reasonable. A CAD drawing program easily gets quite complex on it’s own, even if it’s “only” 2D and it makes much more sense to me if the few KiCaD developers there are keep focussing on the Schematics / PCB / Simulator aspects of KiCaD for the forseeable future.
All the basic things can be quite easily done with some primitive shapes as lines, circles and arcs on a grid, and combined with a few special things such as the Footprint wizards in the Footprit Editor I’m quite happy. The most usefull short-term additon in this aspect would probably be importing other formats. SVG seems a logical choice.

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