Constraint based component placement, again



It would be nice if there were a way to place components on the pcb in a similar manner as mechanical cad systems were you can place constraints between components.

An example of how I would like to use this is I have a hole pattern my LEDs need to protrude from, relative to mounting holes and I would like that to always be perfectly exact rather than having to manually do it now… either by hand or by moving position exactly by calculating it manually (sort of manually doing constraints).

Constraints should probably be between any footprint feature, either the footprint center or a pad etc… or even the courtyard etc…



Well, I started working on one a few years ago :slight_smile: but lack of time and more urgent work has not allowed me to make much progress.

Long time ago somebody posted a demo in this forum about positioning and aligning footprints very much like a CAD software, unfortunately I have been unable to find the post anymore.

EDIT: After spending much longer than what I´m willing to admit, I found the post, unfortunately my memory failed me and it was meant for footprint design, not placement in board.

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Yep that is exactly what I had in mind except for footprints on the board (you’d probably have to have some sort of snap points type thing for positions similar to how Autocad does, eg snap to center, or center of edge or corners), and it would be “the hotness” for footprints for sure especially those that put offsets in odd (translation: pain in the butt) to calculate for how KiCad wants you to normally position things. Gotta have some pipedreams for KiCad 7 I guess.

I don’t know how much time I have spent translating footprints into KiCad… only for them to be wrong in some odd way that I overlooked because I was not able to input the measurements from the manufacturer directly.

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