Import Gerber into a non routing layer as template

Maybe been discussed before.

In terms of copying reference designs from other tools intro kicad it would help to be able to import gerbers into a drawing layer as template.

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Hm… maybe:

  1. convert gerber to PNG (as high res as possible)
  2. converter PNG to footprint with bitmap2component
  3. add component to layout and start routing?

Would naturally be easier if there was a gerber2component converter of sorts that would directly use the x/y/etc info.


it is possible to load a Gerber in a drawing layer creating a new kicad board
GerbView Open Gerber and Export to Pcbnew selecting the desired layer…
then you can merge the board in pcbnew with the Menu:
File, Append Board (it is visible only if you open a board without opening the project, but only with pcbnew) or manually with a text editor


i managed to do this but it jumped into top-layer copper

is there someway i can move i to a drawing layer ?
or steer it into a dwg layer ?



I realized my mistake

will try again

many thanks

seems he messes the gerber up

looks perfect in gerbview

but after exported to layer 1 and imported it adds vias and stuff based on some faulty

i never asked for any vias

if i export to dwg layer he skips the vias but messes up the art-work any way


it was close close


square pads gets round when imported

i managed to import without the vias

but still round pads when actually are square

Please fill a bug to launchpad

I did yesterday

within seconds it was marked “wont fix”

no other comments

that is strange … would you put the link? I cannot find it…

strange … you may ask for some more enlightenment …

I think they do that for bugs that aren’t able to be solved by them within the next couple of years and which at the same time are not feature/function breaking.
Just not enough manpower available.
At least that’s how I take it.

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I would suggest that Gerbview’s “Export to pcbnew” function have an option that disables the “feature” that converts all “flashed” objects to vias. When the option is disabled, all flashed objects would simply be placed on the appropriate layer.

I am having a similar issue. I have a gerber file (generated by Mentor PADS) that instantiates a device footprint using flashed objects as the SMD pads. When imported into Gerbview, everything looks great. When “Export to pcbnew” is run, all of the SMD pads (and certain other structures) become vias. I found the statement in Gerview’s documentation that all flashed objects are converted into vias… Like I said above, I think this should be an option…

I need to make a few small changes and don’t have access to PADS. I was hoping to simply import the gerber, make a couple of edits, and move on…

i ended up using gerbview the standalone software (trial)
exporting to dxf and importing to graphical layer.

just usable as graphical template but thats what i wanted.

The following utility will create a gEDA PCB footprint from a gerber, which KiCad should be able to import. It makes guesses about flashed apertures being footprints, and currently ignores the complex polygons, but reproduces most if not all of simpler gerber designs. You may find a footprint with accurate geometry useful as a template:

Kicad module / s-file support is planned in due course.


@nicholas @erichVK5
please have a look also to
this is an improvement in standard open source gerbv (from which kicad gerbv has been developed) …
this branch has implemented the ability to export gerber to DXF
it is possible to build it also with MSYS2
github gerbv: howto build with MSYS2

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