Copy a old board layout into KiCAD

Why would you say they are unnecessary? Without them, the annular rings on the vias cause them to be isolated from the copper areas that they are supposed to connect: the board displays in GerbView and Gerbv with no copper around the vias, and did not display correctly in the 3D viewer when I was using version 5.1.9. With the nets, I see the copper areas displayed (I’m assuming) correctly in GerbView and Gerbv (as solid shapes, without black rings of no copper at the via locations). But I will not have the 3D viewer for version 5.99 for several more weeks, so have no way to check it there. I examined the revision you had made and noted what you had done, but it displays in GerbView and Gerbv with the black areas of no copper in the via locations. From my understanding, the only way to eliminate this is by assigning all the the vias and associated copper areas to a net. Could you please explain?

What are going to be the best settings for generating the drill files? I would like to see if the vias display properly in GerbView and Gerbv if the drill files are included, and of course the board houses will need them as well. There appear to be many options for generating the drill files, and I do not know which settings are best, or why.

I tend to think the opposite, that a mask is an unnecessary complication. I already know where the components are supposed to go, and I will be the one to assemble the boards. My plan was to simply not include a mask layer at all, and to specify to the board house that there is no mask layer.

Why do you keep saying that? If you’re using a lite download, you don’t have 3D models, but because you don’t use footprints, those are useless to you anyway. You should have the 3D viewer, though, so you can take a look at your boards.

the horse is dead. close this threaadddd.

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You needed them only because you tried to use a copper zone. Copper zones make sense almost exclusively with nets; they are meant to adapt dynamically and automatically to items in other nets.

If you open the design modified by me in my previous post you see it’s what you need but without a zone and nets.



It also shows in the logical formal way that the board doesn’t have mask (yellow in the 3D image is copper, brown is bare board). You still should communicate the mask thing explicitly, though.

This zone and nets issue shows that you learned how to technically use some details of KiCad but you still didn’t learn why. The why comes when you learn the normal intended workflow.

do you understand the difference between soldermask and silkscreen? it would seem not. educate yourself.

If you assemble manually yourself and have large enough components it’s OK for small designs to leave off the mask. But it comes for free and isn’t a “complication”. It adds electrical safety and makes soldering easier no matter how you solder or assemble.

How does solder mask layer work?

It depends on the board manufacturer, as many other details do. Unfortunately the gerber standard is old, new things have been added to it over time but most (at least cheap) manufacturers use old and/or buggy software and rely on their own conventions, so you can never trust that one recommended way works for all manufacturers with 100% certainty. For example the gerber standard has its own drill file specification but I believe most manufacturers don’t even recognize it. Use the excellon file unless your manufacturer tells otherwise. And in any case you should find the settings from the manufacturer’s web page or ask them. If you tell where you are going to send your order (web link) we might be able to give some comments.

You are still rowing upstream without a clue.
Not even aware that the current has pushed you into the ocean.
If you stop rowing and look around you, can you still see the shore?

I have a proposition to break this impasse.

Your PCB looks like it has about 10 SMT components. It is probably some filter. Resistors, capacitors and probably also some inductors.

I am willing to make a decent KiCad project from this, and post it here.
Maybe looking at a KiCad project that is made with KiCad’s normal workflow can convince you.

A coarse guess for my time:
10min Making the schematic.
05min Assigning Footprints.
20min Placing the Footprints on the PCB, routing and cleanup of your zones.

To be able to do this I need:
A schematic (may be hand drawn, preferably already made in KiCad)
Component sizes. Are those 0805 or 1206 on your PCB?
Explanation: What are those 4 horizontal bars on top of the PCB.


You could have a very professional finished PCB with soldermask and silkscreen for absolutely zero extra cost and near 100% likelyhood of it being correct when you get it, without having to specify any weird requirements to manufacturer.

All you would have to do is draw a schematic.

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Hrrmmm, I might be able to do it in 34 minutes…

Accepted. You do it then :slight_smile:

I’m confident that we will never see a schematic.
So, no worries! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I can’t understand why you bother to read it then. As long as others choose to participate that is their choice to make.

Because people keep bumping this trainwreck to the top of the page.

It will be my choice to continue pointing out what a stupid waste of time it is then I guess.

Curious, do you find it at all embarassing for kicad that this has reached about 10% the views of the FAQ sticky thread?

There’s no entertainment value in the FAQ. In these times people need entertainment. Surrender yourself.

I keep writing because every answer I write is a learning experience for me. I don’t think this thread is without value for others, either, but I understand some people don’t feel that way.

I mostly agree with halachal.

My proposal to make the PCB for “GoldenAge” is partially to finish this thread and let it sink to the bottom of the KiCad Forum.

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And that message of yours made it last 9 minutes longer.

Oh, cheer up Halachal, at least this thread shows the efforts regular contributors to this forum will make to assist others. :slightly_smiling_face:

If you don’t want to participate in a thread, DON’T. It isn’t your duty to tell others what to do. You don’t even have to see it.