Create a simple copper pad

I’ve been using KiCad-PcbNew for one day.

I’ve been able to create a simple layout with headers and connecting traces (most traces on the front layer, and one trace on the back layer). I want to place simple pads (copper on one side, with a non-plated through hole for a wire attachment). All the pads I’ve seen appear to be on both sides (when I click view front or back, both pads always appear. What I’d like to create is one pad for a trace on the front, and one pad for a trace on the back.

Any suggestions?

Hello and welcome @xytsrm

What you require is a footprint, with a name, that is a single pad on one layer without plating through.
First you need to decide if this is a one-off or reusable at a later date.
If reusable, you will need to create a personal footprint library and then save the newly created footprint in that. see this article, also in “Help”.

To make your pad as a one-off, find a single pad footprint from the Kicad libraries and place it on your project. eg. Connector /Banana_Jack_1Pin or TestPoint_THTPad_ (size and shape as you wish).

After the selection, double left click that pad which will then open a window with pad properties.

In General select (green arrows):
Pad Type
Pad Shape
Hole Shape
Copper Layer
Technical Layer
and see the layer placement (red arrow).

For confirmation, when completed, check your Appearance manager (RH side of worksheet) / Layers and towards the bottom, select the appropriate view in the “Layer presets” box.

To make as reusable, “save as” either of the above (or just a single pad) as a new name in your personal library then complete the above modifications and save in your personal library.

If you move the wire a little, the pad will easily detach from the PCB. Plated (and soldered) hole with pad on the other side increases the mechanical resistance of such a connection.

Why a non-pated hole?
If you have your PCB manufactured, plated holes are usually included in the PCB process, and they are also stronger then non-plated holes.

In KiCad, it’s also quite normal to make custom pads by combining several different pads, and then set their pin number to the same number. You can for example use a THT pad, and then use a bigger SMT pad on the other side. KiCad does “force” you to connect pads with the same pad number. If this is for home manufacturing, then it is probably easier to use a plated THT pad in KiCad and then just not plate the hole. This does open a door to DRC errors though, so be aware of this when you’re soldering your PCB.

Personally, in the interests of a robust design, I’d agree with both Piotr and Paulvdh, but it is your PCB.
If their opinions change your design, all you need to do is alter the “Pad type” to something else of your choosing, plus of course, all the other green indicated items to suit your requirements.

I want to thank all for your concerns and responses. For the record I’ve been making PC boards literally for decades; I understand the issues of single-sided pad stability. This is intended for a small one-off project, where I will be making the the PC board, carving the traces using my CNC machine on a double-sided board. To compensate for the lack of plate-thru, and increase stability I create oversized pads where necessary.

As mentioned, I’ve just begun evaluating KiCAD (file version: kicad-6.0.8-x86_64).

BTW: I’ve noted and issue when attempting to delete a trace. I initially used “Cut” instead of “Delete”; that caused the program to abruptly terminate without saving the work.


Without that context we can’t deduce that form a few forum posts…

KiCad makes backups and intermediate saves in a backup directory in each project, so it’s quite possible you can recover from a recent state.

Apart from that, bugs are taken very seriously and actively haunted and eliminated. If you can produce, or describe a way in which this can be reliably triggered and make a bug report (Or I can make the bug report if I can reproduce it myself) then such bugs are fixed quite quickly.

I simply created a route between two pads; right-clicked on the selected route; selected “Cut”, and KiCAD crashed. Tried it a second time and the same thing happened; try it for yourself. I was running KiCAD on a Windows 10 PC.

This was amazingly simple to reproduce.

It’s also already been fixed.

Note that this bug was reported on 2022-10-02, and it got closed with a “fix committed” 30 minutes later. However, you will have to wait for the next bug fix release (a bump in the 3rd number of the KiCad version numbering). This happens approximately once a month.

If you look at the release notes:

… then you see that V6.0.0 was released on 2021-12-25, and the current V6.0.8 was released on 2022-09-28. Updating to version number bumps in the 3rd digit are always only bug fixes and updating should always be safe. However, if your livelyhood depends on KiCad, I recommend to wait at least a week or so because *&^%$#@! happens in this world. KiCad V6.0.3 for example is missing from the blog because a serious bug slipped through, and was therefore replaced with V6.0.4 within a few days after release.

Happy that I was able to help :slightly_smiling_face:


If KiCAD makes backups, it might be useful when relaunching KiCAD (PcbNew) immediately after a crash to display the last backuped up image.


And how is the single sided non plated through pad coming along? :slightly_smiling_face:

Currently, checking toolpaths.

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