Import/Create FootPrint DXF


There simply is no field in the footprint file format.

And who says GND will be named the same for all circuits? Maybe you call it ISO_GND because you have an isolated area.


True. Thanks. :slight_smile:


got my sample connector this morning :slight_smile:
the main barrel seams very long…

I’m afraid I will have a hard time inserting my board into the deep case… :hushed: :fearful::fearful:

I was planing on using about 4 of those in each case… (forget that battery:grinning:)
I’ll have to place them on one side only…

idea was to to have as much as possible inputs…

maybe I could add an daughter board install the connector firmly then solder down main board over it…

how these things are handled normally ? - I guess people are not making their life so hard and using only one

would a connector with internal wires be so much of a problem with RF ? -

original idea was to use this (connector to wire to board -probably not Phoenix tho);

but I’ve been told it was a bad idea by a my much more experienced than me RF neighbor saying I could pickup RF noise and I should have shortest wiring possible.
ideas?Suggestions ?


Remember our conversations about pin 5? Well I stand corrected.

I was arguing to have the pin 5 because my interpretation of the above line was that you were using a 5-pin part, but leaving 1 pin unconnected. I now see that you are actually using a 4-pin part as the second part alludes to. Simple error in English, I would me much less understandable if I tried to write in French even though I took French in grades 8-11. (American grade school system goes up to grade/year 12.) Granted, that was also over half my lifetime ago and I haven’t used it since. :wink:

My overactive attention to detail (we call it anal-retentive) would be to suggest to make a new footprint w/o that fifth pin. Probably easiest to modify the footprint you have to a new footprint, and add pin counts to the footprint names. (You may want to do similar things for the 3D object.) But, that shouldn’t matter.

To solve your current issue, you have a couple options that I can see.

  1. Only have those connectors on one side of your enclosure.
  2. Change to an enclosure that has removable sides. Yeah, more difficult to find an RF shielded one, but not impossible. Look for enclosures that are built on a frame, or aluminum extrusion enclosures.
  3. Either of these two to mount the connectors to the enclosure then solder them to the board. (Note, this makes disassembly difficult as you have to unsolder all the connectors to remove the board from the enclosure now.)
    3.1 Use the board design as is and expect to see the solder side of the board when you open the lid. If you have any components that need to be accessed when the enclosure lid is removed re layout to put them on the solder side. (I’m assuming for RF reasons you don’t have any components (like displays or indicator LEDs) that protrude through cutouts.)
    3.2 Re-layout the board with the connectors on the solder side of the board.

I’m sure there are more solutions that I haven’t thought of in the past 5 minutes.

Hold, on. Wait… It just dawned on me, enclosure in the latest pictures is plastic. It isn’t RF shielded. (I was still thinking about the earlier picture of an example board mounted in a cast aluminum case…) Or is that just an example for similar geometry, but not the case you (currently) plan on using?


Haha, sorry about my English that little phrasing made the hole difference.
I still made that part 5pins and use a no connect for now. but making a second footprint is a better idea.

Enclosure for RF shielding is not yet validated/decided. Not sure if I really need it or not.
price goes from 22$CAD(plastic) to 90+$CAD for the RF shielded version.
plus the customer told me he liked my white plastic version… so why bother.

placing the connector on the solder side is a good idea. I have no need to access the interior ever.
other than eventual battery replacement I should never see the case anymore in my life once it’s installed to the end location.

I still have Not made any layout, really testings my new footprints… I’m still at a very early stage so I can change things quite a bit. leaving for vacation next week so I thought I try to finish a first proto and order boards online so I can jump start when I return !

I too have no clue about ‘Pi Matching’ and 50 ohm trace making for the antenna part… so I have that to learn quickly first if I want to leave on Friday and not dream about it until I come back… I honestly had ’ 50ohm dreams yesterday ’ board is really small so it should not be a very big challenge I hope. *still very noob at all this.

this where I’m now…

might simply place 2 on each side and have them soldered down after board installation.
EDIT: but part placement (hole preparation on the case) will be a very precise thing… for the first couple that I will be making by hand at least) – when I’ll have more volume, I’ll ask case manufacture to pre-drill holes.


Almost finished my board layout ! (except the SMA part) yayyy!

now I would like to adjust the distance of the connector on the edge of the board to be sure it will be filling the distance between the edge cut of the inner panel and the actual case…(the inner panel is of course smaller than the case interior )
plus I have the eventual possibility to pre drill the case with Hammond… my sales rep Jane Linseman is very friendly :slight_smile:
I need to place the connector exactly because I only have a 3mm maximum panel thickness.

but once I try to reimport the board with part with stepup image I get this;

and the connectors are not on placed correctly…

I did something wrong I’m sure… but what :smile: ?


Check the footprint in your board. You probably are linking a 3d model different from the one you used to create the footprint itself.


the original connector drawing from manufacturer had that 45degree angle… but how come it’s okay in my board(kicad) using the wrl file as 3d model. and not the right one once exported to FreeCAD… :sweat_smile:


you need too use both .step and .wrl exported from FreeeCAD, not mixing up the two models.
Only the exported from FC are aligned to the footprint… wrl will be used in kicad and STEP will be used in FC.


problem is that I did it with you during last weekend from home… then imported only the footprint later to my work computer. now I’m not sure where the step file should be residing. in KiCAD only the WRL file I’m able to give the target in the property…


STEP and WRL must reside in the same place, the path is what you have assigned to your footprint.

place the STEP file generated by stepup after aligning the model to your fp in the same place in which you have the wrl file. Then StepUp will automatically switch wrl to step letting Fc loading the counterpart STEP model.
I would suggest to move the original STEP model in a different location, check the STEP conversion in FC (loading tthe kicad_pcb file) and verify the STEP model is missing.
Then copy the simplified and re-aligned model to the location in which your wrl is and redo the loading of the kicad_pcb in FC.


just got it now !

I re-exported the file on my work computer, made a new library instead of trying to import the one I’ve made on the other computer.

I’m curious about the workflow on placing the connector exactly on the edge of the board with the case…
trial and error ? placing it in KiCad, import, look, going back, adjust, import again ?
right now I can clearly see that the connector is not on the edge enough yet…


just place a line reference in your fp F_Silks where your connector is supposed to match the edge of the box, and a line reference where your board edge should be.
Then you will have an edge reference for placing the fp in relation to your pcb edge.
You can measure the desired distance in FreeCAD.


you mean to add a line at the footprint creation ?
like adding the case into the original FC file that has the pdf and connector… then adding a line to the fSilk…


At some time you need to measure something :wink:
You can do it in FC or using the manufacturer PDF … Anyway it is time to get some reference…
P.S. from your silks you have already the reference for the edge of the enclosure… You need to measure the distance from your board’s edge to the connector.


I see the pdf has a slight angle in the case… I hope it will be negligible… (not adding to much pressure on my board) image

the connector/board is not high enough so I need to use the ‘top cover’ instead of the bottom of the case to install by board.

I firstly import the board into FC., then align with mounting holes ( visually ) then (*since I can’t figure contraint with imported parts yet…)
to measure I went to ‘part’ tool, then selected measure linear, selected the interior face of the case and my board… is this the good way ?


this is not a good start…

have a look at Manipulator WB, the Aligner can do this job.

you can also use Caliper of Manipulator WB.


I found, making footprint need to draw a lot of draft lines… So if there is commands like Qcad would help, and avoid me had to go back and for with my calculator, datasheet, and draft lines…

Event a scale up / down would help simplify the math. Like if i can draw 10 times bigger - then scaled all back to scale 1 at the end…


Why? Designing anything in a mechanical environment at a scale different from 1:1 is a wrong approach…
Which is the utility to enlarge the scale when you can simply zoom in, without having to change the scale. Only working at 1:1 you can design with an accurate result…
You may have a look at the Image WB above to see how it can be done in a mechanical cad.


What if we can import DXF, (2-color) PNG or some 2D drawing format into the fp-editor but scale is not 1:1? Then use the scale to correct it. Then we can just crate footprint using the outline of that imported image. It may help speedup the process, reduce manual calculation, and create drafts lines…