From Freerouting to PDF

i had successfully complete my first development on Kicad.
As it has no autorouter i used Freerouting, all on a my linux-only machine.
I have 2 layers, does it exist any manner of printing each copper layer as a pdf file so i can transfer it to a pcb using laser sheets? I plan to use a dual sided pcb, print both sides into a sheet and use a hot iron or roller machine, then etch into perchloride.

Pcbnew / File / Plot / Plot Format: PDF
You can also use other output file formats, but KiCad ouputs one layer per file so you have to combine them with some graphical program if you want to save sheets.

When I was doing PCBs myself (1970-1980) I had no acess to laser printer :frowning: so I never reached the level of doing PCBs with hot iron or roller machine.
But isn’t it nowadays enough chip to order PCBs. You will get them much better than you can do yourself (soldermask, metalisation, 8 mils tracks/clearance).

It’s still faster and cheaper to produce home made pcbs for low tech one-offs. Nothing beats 1 hour turnaround time of toner transfer + etchant bath. If you do need soldermask, metallized vias and 8 mil clearance then it’s another matter.

@mads import freerouting result back to kicad and then plot to pdf from pcbnew.

I once bought a batch of 30 PCB’s (49 * 49mm) from a Chinese manufacturer, and including the shipping I paid around EUR27.
That was only slightly more then even the bare PCB’s for home etching. Once you factor in the chemicals used (and getting rid of them in a decent way) the difference is already smaller. And I have not even factored in the tools needed and the labor costs. (Hobbyists tend to think they work for free).

I did not need 30 PCB’s, but after experimenting a bit with their web interface I discovered that 30 PCB’s was exactly the same price as 20 PCB’s.

And for those EUR27 I had double sided PCB’s with solder mask and silkscreen on both sides, all holes drilled and plated and the PCB’s routed to size.

But having the opportunity to go from CAD design to an actual PCB in an hour or so still is attractive.

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