Can anyone enlighten me on the difference between a non-copper area and a polygon? Are there use cases where one is preferred over the other. Polygons, if I recall correctly, are a relatively new creation (I think in the 5.x series).
A non copper area is in my opinion an area without copper. Or did you mean something else?
I meant comparing elements created from buttons in the right command bar:
- an element created by using a non-copper layer with “Add filled zones” vs
- creating an element using “Add graphic polygon”
I have noticed also that KiCAD won’t allow a copper “graphic polygon”.
Polygon: just a polygon.
Zone: is filled like other zones - they obey at least the Edge.Cuts lines.
A graphic polygon can be moved to a copper layer.
You can force it by moving the polygon to a copper layer after drawing it. But I just verified that I was able to bridge two pads on different nets with a graphic polygon moved to a copper layer without DRC squawking. This (potentially dangerous) behavior is actually leveraged in the NetTie library to allow intentional connection of two different nets behind DRC’s back. (This should be a temporary kluge until proper NetTie behavior is added, hopefully in v6.)
I just played with both tools on the F.Silk layer and found that the polygon always shows as a block of silkscreen paint. But the filled zone on silkscreen only showed filled inside the edge-cuts perimeter and when the drawing mode is “Fill Zone” just like a copper filled zone. Here is drawing mode set to “Fill Zone”:
And here is the same area with drawing mode set to “Wireframe Zones”:
And, finally, here is the same area with drawing mode set to “Sketch Zones”:
(The horizontal lines in copper pours due to windows in the fill are why I rarely use this mode.)
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