I am in the process of designing a board that will be manufactured as a turn-key project (PCB fabrication, components purchasing and assembly). This is the first time that I am doing it using Kicad, in the past these operations were done by an outsourced PCB editor that used a different package.
One of the files requested by the manufacturer is a “pick and place” file for the automatic placement machine. I looked into a previous example and basically it provides the component reference, coordinate of the center of the component and its orientation.
From the Kicad documentation I understand that this can be done providing the attributes are set correctly and here I got a bit stuck.
- In the documentation it says that you need to set the attributes of the footprint to “Normal+Insert” however in version 5.0.2 there is are no attributes and instead there is a “placement type” with the options to “through hole” “SMT” and “virtual”. My assumption is that this replaced the attributes and “SMT” is equivalent to “Normal+Insert”. Is this correct? If not - where are these attributes?
- Which layer defines the center of the component? Is it the courtyard layer? Do I need to specify somehow the center of the footprint or does the file generation process calculates it by itself?
- What defines the 0 orientation? I assume it is the way the footprint is drawn in the editor but, for example - is the 0 orientation of a 0805 footprint when the pads are left-right or top-bottom?