Creating arc shaped tracks

Hi,
I have to shape my tracks as arcs, not just the corners but the whole track. It s fine to draw them on the right layer with the right width. But they are ‘graphic arcs’, with no net assigned. How can I relabel the graphic arcs as tracks?

Thank you.
Cheers
Detlef

KiCad 5.1 doesn’t support arc shaped tracks. The only way is to convert them to short straight segments in one way or another, or use a scripted plugin which creates segmented arcs (https://github.com/easyw/RF-tools-KiCAD), or use some other roundabout way like drawing a track alongside a curved edge cut line.

Version 5.99 (the unstable development version leading to v6) on the other hand supports arc tracks natively.

In KiCad V5.1 you can edit the properties of an arc and put it on a copper layer, but it still remains a graphical item, and not a track that is part of a netlist, so KiCad normally refuses to connect a net to it.

You can work around this by making a footprint out of your arc and then placing pads on it. A similar technique is used for the “net-tie” footprints.
But the whole workaround is quite cumbersome.

Another workaround is:

  1. Put a via on the PCB.
  2. Make a circular array of these via’s (Right click / Create Array)
  3. Use the via’s as snap points to draw copper tracks.
  4. Delete the via’s.

Weird thing is though, that KiCad very much likes to draw all tracks in 45 degree mode. I can not even figure out how to directly draw tracks in “all angle” mode. (And do not want to spend too much time on it) So what I did to experiment to get this going was to draw a zig-zag track and then use the g shortcut key to drag corners of the zig-zag track to each next via position to snap to.

[Edit] Thanks to Piotr (below)
Taking the interactive Router out of “Shove” mode and putting it into “Highlight Collisions” mode does indeed enable the “Free angle” mode to draw direct tracks inbetween the circular array. (but it’s still an ugly hack).

It works reasonably quick for a one-off to be useful, but keeping such tracks throughout the design cycle would be difficult (especially without locking them) as the Interactive Router tends to shove stuff around quite a bit.

1 Like

Hi,

I tried to draw two graphic arcs and route the track in this ‘waveguide’. That did not work too good: if the waveguide is too wide you get kinks, if it is narrow you get many, many segments.

Eventually I used a script to generate the segments and inserted these in the layout with a text editor.
It is a good idea to use plain text files.

THX
Cheers
Detlef

I have spend that time (10 minutes) for you :slight_smile:
Interactive router settings - Highlight collisions and then you can set Free angle mode checkbox.