GROUND planes/fill zones and Freerouting


#1

Hi all,
I’ve been using Kicad from some years and I really like it.I use it in conjunction with Freerouting, until now I had no problem in routing all my circuits but today I used for first time GROUND and POWER planes in a project and discovered that Freerouting ignores planes and filled zones.Is something other people have experienced?Is there any other autorouting solution that can handle planes and fill zones?
Thanks in advance


#2

I don’t use Freerouting but I believe there was discussion lately about having to choose 2 layers. Also, I guess it would be good to find out exactly what you mean when you say ignore. Is free routing trying to route GROUND and POWER even though those connections are already made on the proper planes?


#3

Thanks for reply.For “ignoring” I mean that Freerouting, for example, doesn’t connect power traces (GND and VCC) to power planes that I previously created with “Add zone” function of Kicad, it simply ignores them and route traces over them.Until now I never used power planes/fill zone but now I need them since my latest project has many connections that I’m unable to route without using power planes.


#4

Hmmm… I thought Freerouting would ignore already connected components. This allows you to do manual routing and then ‘fill in the blanks’ with the auto router. Problem here is most don’t use or care to use auto routing solutions. The developers put most of their efforts into the tools for manual routing. That’s why you aren’t getting much input.


#5

Just to make an idea of my issue, here.s atttached a not routed board layout I’m working on.You can see I’ve added a ground plane in the upper left corner.If I export this layout in .DSN and then load it on freerouting, it will be ignored and no ground traces will be connected to this plane.I hope I explained well my problem.


#6

OK. This is not what I thought you were talking about. In this case you seem to have no component connected to it and that may be causing the problem. I’d suggest routing one trace manually to the area and dropping a via to see if that helps.


#7

Have you set it’s net to “GND”?

It looks like you have some pretty high expectations of the autorouter. Perhaps if you tried manually routing it you would have a better appreciation of component placement.


#8

I set the NET to GND and also tried to wire a trace from a GROUND point to plane dropping a via too but freerouting doesn’t care about it.I know that the best would be to route the circuit by hand but this will take too much time.


#9

Last thing I can think of is to try and place a zero ohm resistor along that trace and have the grounded side on the ground plane. Ugly hack but you can clean it up at the end.


#10

I have to finally bite. What do you expect that grounded copper fill area to do? Is it a ground plane for an external antenna? It certainly wouldn’t do anything for the rest of the circuit…


#11

I don;t think he’s expecting it to do anything. I don’t believe it is intended to be part of the final layout, he is just testing at the moment. At least that is my understanding.


#12

Yes, especially considering the progress you are making at the moment. :wink: But my point was that, depending on how many layers your board has, it doesn’t look very routable at the moment. And if you tried to route it manually you might gain a better appreciation of how to place components to improve routability.