Gerber plot area

What defines the area included in a Gerber plot? In other systems, you can define the coordinates of the extents of the plot file. Is there a way to do this in KiCad?

I have a board that I do not yet know the final mechanical dimensions. I want to plot only a portion of this for testing purposes. I don’t need the sheet reference (no frame/title block).

Fab shops typically want a separate plot of the board outline - the edge cuts layer. They don’t want this on other layers.

I drew an edge cuts outline just around the area I want to plot. I tried to do a block copy of this area - alt + left mouse, but where does the copy go? Not to the clipboard, apparently. I tried to create a new project with just this portion of the board included, but that didn’t work. The block operation dialog never appeared.

Lots of design years and lots of systems under my belt, but sometimes KiCad is pretty strange in the way it does things. Thanks for any help.

This can be selected on gerber export :wink:
(setting “exclude pcb edge layer from other layers”)

If you choose to select “plot boarder and title block” then the page outline.

The plotted area is otherwise defined by the bounding box of all elements of your design. (If you have for example silk extending outside the edge cut then it will still be included.)
If you have multiple pcb outlines in the same design then kicad will plot all of them. (KiCad is not defined for more than one pcb per project.)

I figured that might be the case. That’s why I tried to do a block copy of that portion of the design, and open it in a new project. Haven’t been able to do that. Is that possible?

I don’t think copy paste between sessions is possible right now (could be a new v5 feature i am not aware of.)

One option would be to copy the full file (or project) and simply delete what you do not need in that copy.

Thought of that too. I’ll try it later. Thanks, Rene!

You can copy and paste between simultaneously open sessions. Maybe not between consecutive sessions.

Edit: in pcbnew.

What defines a “session”? I can’t open more than one instance of PCBNEW at a time, nor can I open more than one project simultaneously.

OK, I got that to work. Thanks for all the help so far, gentlemen.


In Gerbview there is an option to “backport” gerbers to Pcbnew.

From memory:
Board outlines & tracks work fairly well, but all pads (SMD also) get transformed into THT pads.

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