Cannot open .pcb files on 'Mac' KiCad (6.0.5-0)

Hi, How do I open .pcb layout files? Import non kicad only give CADSTAR and EAGLE project options and none are working.

I am on Mac Monterey OS.

Do you know what software was used to originally create the .pcb file? Unfortunately there are many possibilities for software that make files ending in .pcb, many of which are not able to be imported by KiCad.

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It was PADS… Can KiCad open PADS .pcb? i know that my colleagues can open these .pcb using PADS.

Kicad cannot open PADS.pcb.
Kicad will only open CADSTAR and EAGLE.

KiCad has (partial) support for more formats:

  1. Open KiCad’s PCB Editor in standalone mode.
  2. File / Import / Non KiCad PCB File
  3. Open the “supported format” file extension thing in the file browser.

Currently supported formats (for KiCad V6.0.5) are:

That is for whole projects, If you import only a schematic, then altium is also supported (I once tested this and it worked quite good but not perfect), and for the PCB there are some additional formats as I already mentioned.

But alas, there is no support for PADS (Yet) in KiCad… or…
Is PADS the same as P-Cad???

Apparently, it’s also possible to import pads into altium, and then KiCad can import altium schematic and PCB files (but no projects). So maybe you can ask someone with an altium license to convert your project to altium.

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maybe because of the common P

There was a vague suggestion in that direction in one of the posts I read and I was too lazy to dive a bit deeper into that and figure out what that post really meant.

Unfortunately, no one I know has Altium. What will be a good MAc software to open PADS .pcb?

I’m afraid there isn’t any eCAD software for Mac that opens PADS layout files. (caveat: I’ve looked a couple of times last year, though not recently)

If you have gerbers, schematic, and BOM for the project being made previously, you could recreate it in KiCad. Depending on the complexity of the board, this might genuinely be the easiest option. Schematic has to be recreated by hand, but the gerbers can be imported and associated to the schematic automatically in KiCad.

If you set up a Windows virtual machine (or Bootcamp), both Altium and Mentor/Siemens PADS provide trials. I’d personally recommend Altium if you go this route, since the resulting Altium file can be directly imported into KiCad.

One final suggestion I found just now but haven’t tried: Mentor/Siemens has a new cloud version of PADS that has a free trial, you might be able to use that in your browser and export this file to something more useful.

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