How to add an anchor pad to a foorprint

I have made a footprint and in the right-click menu you have the option “Create pad from the selected shapes”.
If i try to do this i get an error called “unable to determine the anchor position consider adding a small anchor point”.
Can someone help me how I can place an anchor point in this situation.

The selection you make a custom pad from, needs a “real” pad too.

So first add a pad to the Footprint, then select both the pad and the custom graphics and then make a custom pad out of the whole selection.

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The visual appearance in the screenshot looks… not familiar. What’s you KiCad version?

Application: kicad
Version: (5.1.2)-2, release build
wxWidgets 3.0.4
libcurl/7.61.1 OpenSSL/1.1.1 (WinSSL) zlib/1.2.11 brotli/1.0.6 libidn2/2.0.5 libpsl/0.20.2 (+libidn2/2.0.5) nghttp2/1.34.0
Platform: Windows 7 (build 7601, Service Pack 1), 64-bit edition, 64 bit, Little endian, wxMSW
Build Info:
wxWidgets: 3.0.4 (wchar_t,wx containers,compatible with 2.8)
Boost: 1.68.0
OpenCASCADE Community Edition: 6.9.1
Curl: 7.61.1
Compiler: GCC 8.2.0 with C++ ABI 1013

Build settings:

Thanks for the quick reply.
I added a pad annd that helped but again I get an error

KiCad V5.1.2 is quite old, (maybe about a year? … Which is a lot for KiCad). There have been lots of bug fixes since then.

Windows 7 may be a problem for updating.
( And maybe is the reason you’re running such an old KiCad in the first place).

That said…

So what sort of things have you selected and trying to make a custom pad from?

Or approach it from the other end. Start by making a custom pad from a single normal pad an a single line segment, and then expand from there.

Yet another approach is to use several normal SMT pads and give them all the same pad number. This is normal and common practice for KiCad. Have a look at any of the Footprints from the default libraries that have the word “thermal” in them for examples.

This is my drawing that I want to make a pad from.

I followed your instructions and added a real pad then I selected my drawing together with the real pad.
Then tried the instruction “create pad from the selected shapes”

Do you mean that green is copper and black circles are empty space? Or are they through holes?

Could you give a direct link to a datasheet for a component? Or maybe give the file which has the shapes this far?

Yes the green is copper and black is an empty space they are not through holes.
This is not a datasheet of a component but my own drawing.

If you simply want a Copper field with an Empty circular area, video below.
You can add a Pad or Hole (SMD or THT or NPTH) as you desire. Since it’s Copper, it’s a Big Pad!
I did not fuss trying to get a perfect circle but, you get the point…

If you want to Truly make a Pad From Shapes, you need to make a Footprint wherein you Draw a Polyline shape, Double-Click it and change to a Cu layer, Add a Pad and, here’s the Tip I think you need, Bring the Pad to the Front then window-box select shape&pad, then Make Pad from Shape…

Hard to see but, looks like your center hole has something in it

I can’t see how your graphics are built up from viewing a screenshot.
As BlackCoffee also mentioned there is something yellowish in the middle hole.

As I wrote earlier:
Start with a custom pad from a regular SMT pad and a single line segment and see if that works. Then expand from there.

To complete my input, Vid2 shows the making of a Pad From Shape - I did not fuss with making it perfect… I did add a THT but, could have used SMD instead (to avoid a Hole)

EDIT#1: Added quick, smaller example of results - same process but using SMD pad (top right corner) instead of THT

EDIT#2: I made a PNG drawing, loaded it in Kicad using the BMP tool (with settings to export to Eco layer). This makes it a .mod footprint.
Then, Placed the footprint in a PCB and changed layers… Could add a Pad if desired. I didn’t bother.

Now, you have enough info to move forward…

I made my footprint the same way you did.

  1. What happens when I put a pad with a NPTH mechanical hole on the footprint ?
    Will there be a hole in the gerber file or not?

  2. I want holes not hand made but with the precision of a graphical circle.


I’m confused - to me the above implies you don’t want ‘Holes’, just want No copper in a Circle, then… Now, you say you want ‘Holes’

I’ll leave you with this:

If wanting to know “if…” something can be done or happens, why not try it yourself and perhaps learn from the effort?

Aside from using a JPG/BMP, as shown earlier, Below is about the cleanest you can get a circle in Kicad. Again, I used the Fill. You can ‘dial-In’ the line-width and clearance’s to use with a few trials…

Sorry if I am not clear with my questions, by now you know I am a newbee.
What I want to accomplish is, if I place a pad, with or without a mechanical or through hole, there is no copper in the Cu gerber file.
Hope my question is clear.

You use the word “Pad”

“Pad” (to me) implies it has Cu, whether or not it has a hole. SMD Pads don’t have holes unless User Wants one.
Cu is why Pads are called ‘Pads’ (and/or Ring’s) and not called ‘Holes’…

So, if wanting a Hole and not wanting Cu, then, use NPTH Hole (many of them in the parts to choose from). Gerber won’t have Cu but Drill file will have a Hole.

If not wanting Cu, (about the only reason you may Not want Cu) in the Gerber is to make a PCB by Etching (etching removes Cu from Non-Inked items and leaves the Cu in Inked areas alone). But, then, why make a Pad in the first place…?

If that’s the case, grab a bottle of Acetone (Nail Polish Remover) and wipe the Ink off so, etching won’t leave a Pad’s Ink

But, perhaps I’m totally confused (not the first time) so, others may be able to see you through this effort…

You say “Gerber won’t have Cu”
But I see Gerber has Cu.
PCB layout
Gerber Cu

Let’s get back to basics, because this discussion is getting difficult.

Please tell us what you really want – why you want that kind of pad? It’s starting to smell like a case of a wrong question. You are asking about a detail which may not be needed at all, or the solution would be different, if you would told what you want to achieve in the end and why. Even creating a custom shaped pad may be a wrong solution unless you tell us why you need it and for what you need it and why it needs to be like that.

Now we are stuck with trivial details like what is a hole and what is copper.

Edit: it would be a X Y problem,, as I recently learned from this forum. :slight_smile:

@eelik Ditto

And, without clarity… mud!

But, screenshot below show Cu Gerbers and Dril… No Cu on F.Cu for the NPTH and Cu for only Trace and THT


Perhaps a Mounting Hole is what you want. But, take notice that:

  1. It has a Pad
  2. Mounting Holes are most often used when a connection of some sort is required to ‘Mount’ something needing, usually GND

Look for the Part called “Hole” - see screenchot