With footprints, i often draw them such that at first their centre is not lined up with the footprint editor origin. Its often easier to do this. I then locate the centre of the footprint using the “cross hairs” method. I then move the footprint till the “cross hairs” overly the footprint editor centre point.
I get the cross hairs (in Eagle) usually from the rectangular component courtyard. This is a rectangle with centre same as the footprint centre. In this rectangle , i draw cross hairs using a 0.005mm line from the corners of the rectangle. You can then use the cross hair to align it with the centre spot.
Is this possible in kicad?
First, when you press spacebar the local coordinates is set to zero (dx and dy in the bottom status bar of the window). You can use it as quick reference. It may help you in some tasks.
Then there’s the anchor tool button or Place -> Anchor. It sets the actual zero point of the footprint. It’s easier than moving the footprint items, so actually your workflow may be easier in KiCad.
Sometimes I will draw a square in which the corners relate to where pads will go. Using other CAD programs for graphical design, I will sometimes draw either an + or X for the cursor to snap to to find middles of objects.In KiCAD, I also actually design entire board outlines and save them as module footprints that have various graphic items added to them for the cursor to snap to, mostly when switching the ‘grid origin’. Drawing and saving a board outline works well when you have to mate two boards together, rather than line everything up twice.
I generally draw footprints centered from the get go (or more precisely i draw it such that the dimensioned drawing of the datasheet maps neatly which in most cases means centered). But I make heavy use of being able to move the grid origin freely around. With my method i then always know what amount (if any) the center point differes from the pick and place point so i can at the end easily move the center to that point.
For more details see Tutorial: How to make a footprint in KiCad 5.1.x (From scratch)?
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