Import Altium to KiCad


#1

I need help converting an Altium project to KiCad, please.

I’m using Mac OS X High Sierra & KiCad v5.0.0.

I downloaded the altium2kicad plugin. The directions say to go to the directory where the Altium pub & schematic files are located & run unpack.pl. I’m guessing this means open a Terminal window, drill down to where the Altium files are located & run unpack.pl., correct?

When I try this, I get an error in the terminal window saying “unpack.pl: command not found”. I tried it using “sudo” also, but got the same result.

In the terminal window, I changed to the altium2kicad directory, then typed unpack.pl …<path_to_Altium_files> but this didn’t work either.

Am I missing something?

Is there a good tutorial on how to import Altium to KiCad somewhere? I searched the web but don’t see anything…


#2

Any Altium decoder is going to depend on the Altium version. Usually newer versions break something


#3

I’m not sure about Mac OS X but in Linux to run a command that is in the directory you are in you would need to type: ./unpack.pl

I’m interested to hear how well the import works. I use Altium for customer boards and KiCAD for my companies projects.


#4

Awesome! I guess my Linux command line interface is rusty. That ./upack.pl worked! The terminal window showed “Done.”

I’m not sure where it put the converted files, though. I was in the altium2kicad folder when I ran the command. The readme file says it will unpack the pcb & schematic files into subdirectories. I don’t see any new folders or files anywhere… not in the original folder or the KiCad folder or the altium2kicad folder.


#5

Did you try Save as PCAD ASCII from inside Altium ?
KiCad seems to import PCAD ASCII PCB design files remarkably well. On the ones I’ve tried, just the fill priority of nested fills needed manual fix.


#6

How to import these PCAD ASCII files? I do not find it in the import dialog.


Mathias


#7

You will need to start pcbnew as a stand-alone application. From there, you can “Import non-KiCad board file” from under the File menu


#8

Is this different behaviour standalone planned to continue?


#9

I’m pretty sure it’s been this way since it was introduced. We don’t import boards into projects.

In that sense, there’s no bug report that I know of asking to import a board into a project, so we’re not looking at changing that. If we did, it seems the data would simply be overwritten by the next update from schematic. And if you don’t want it connected to the schematic, then you don’t need a project.


#10

Is it also somehow possible to import an ASCII scheme from Alitum? The altium2kicad produces a heavy fragmented scheme.


Mathias