I’m pretty sure that a large percentage of people don’t bother with the Fab layer in Pcbnew. However, I am working on a PCB where the prototype quantities are low enough that they are being hand-soldered (before moving to production). And the company requested a Fab layer to aid in assembly.
No problem, I worked one up, spent a long time rearranging the text on the Fab layer so it was readable, etc., etc.
After making quite a few updates, I came back to the Fab layer, and noticed that every single one of my edits was gone. Back to square one. I started moving Fab text around so it was readable…then decided to change the Fab name on several connectors to a more descriptive name.
…so I changed it in Eeschema -> export netlist. Pcbnew -> import netlist. (“Update footprints” is checked, as always.) And poof, every single change I’d made to the Fab layer was gone.
I did find this old topic sort of on the same subject, but not fully: Importing netlist without resetting ref/value positions. I can understand the ref/value getting reset if the footprint was changed. But if I’m just updating the netlist, it doesn’t make any sense to reset everything.
To sum up: I don’t understand why the Fab layers get reset when the netlist is imported. Ref layer and most other settings do not get reset after a netlist import. So why the Fab layer?
Could someone shed some light on this?