Importing a Samtec footprint

Samtec provides footprint files in several different formats and it would be handy to be able to import any one of them and save having to construct one from scratch (their documentation on the SFP and QSFP cages isn’t the best).

They offer 2 formats, none of which I can currently find a converter for, does anyone know of a way to import any of …

  1. Altium Designer. I’ve found the altium importer, that requires Schdoc and Pcbdoc files, what I have is a .IntLib, can that be split into Schdoc and Pcbdoc so I can import it?

  2. what they term ‘ASCII’ which gives me a file with an .asc extension which is ASCII and has the following header


They do also list a ‘PADS’ format however downloading that gives me the same IntLib file.

Any convertors out there I make use of to get either of those file types into kicad?

I’m not sure which footprint you are referring to but Digikey offers a number of them that can be downloaded through their UltraLibrarian linked service that will export to KiCad. You might check that out for small numbers of footprints.

KiCad has some scripts and wizards to draw Footprints, including with options to quickly draw a row or arrays of pads.
So how complex are these SFP and QSFP components?
I did a 2 minute search and found a “technical drawing” on Octopart:

Normally I would expect a floorplan for the pads, but the 4 page drawing does seem to have enough measurements for a reasonable re-creation.
If you only need the footprint and not a full 3D model then if you have the measurements and after a bit of practice it only takes a few minutes to draw a footprint from scratch.

They’re not excessively complicated and I have made 100s of footprints and 3D models before so I have plenty of practice, however more manufacturers are now providing them as resources so if I can import them at least for a starting point I try to do that, less chances of making a mistake. Even if I do import them I usually end up modifying them, if for no other reason than my board house has solder mask tolerances which require a bit of pad shaving (usually) and as I’m hand-building I often made a few mods for that too.

Samtec’s documentation takes a bit of searching, you don’t always find things where you might expect them to be, that PDF for instance has the cage layout but doesn’t tell you the relative positioning of the cage and the board connector. The one which does is here They have one similar for the SFP/SFP+ which I also had to look for.

There’s enough pads, pins, NPTH and through holes that if I’d been able to import samtec’s as a starting point I would have done so, hence the question.

I recently started to use kicad 4.07 and am working on a design with two Samtec connectors, an FMC LPC connector and a GRF1 ganged 50 Ohm coax type connector.

For the FMC LPC connector I found the kicad files on Digikey ultra librarian (did not expect that!) and also using a google search which showed me the part was in the github kicad libraries.

For the GRF1 part, I could not find the symbol / footprints, however I did find a link on the Samtec site ( where one can search for samtec components. I searched for my part number, the site responded that they did not have the files I wanted but it gave me a link I could click to request the files, which I did. I think I received an email from Samtec less than 24 hours later saying that they had created the requested files and a link to download the files. I can’t guarantee they will respond like that for all requests but that was really amazing and it was free.

When I put in the request to samtec for the desired component files they also had a link where you could pay a small amount, I think it was five english pounds (less than $10), and they would create the desired component files for you.

Hope this helps.

there is a Altium to Kicad converter for pcb files… you may rise an issue there to ask if the owner could offer also this useful conversion :smiley:

Thanks Chip and all. I tried the Samtec site and requested models for the things I was missing but nothing back yet, so not sure that’s happening, it was a few days ago.

Found an Eagle model and tried importing it into SnapEDA so I could re-export it again, didn’t get too far with that. SnapEDA also showed on the google searches as having all formats but only has Altium.

So I have a footprint PDF for the connector and cage, I have 3D STEP for the connector but not the cage and at this point I think I’m better off doing it myself. If I can work out how STEPup works that’ll save me one 3D model rendering and I’ll rough the cage up with OpenSCAD/Wings3D so I have something I can use on the board, I find the 3D bit rather useful for not putting components on top of each other.

If you have an Eagle version, did you try loading that via the nightly V5 Kicad Builds ?

I did not - as I didn’t know v5 has any Eagle support. Can’t really move to v5 at this point, not at least until a real release is out; I gather there’s some effort involved migrating custom footprint libraries and I have tons of them so I was going to wait until stable and there’s a good migration method. Do appreciate the suggestion, would have tried that if I had less baggage to carry, the migration to v5 is something I suspect will take me a few days of pain when I do it, although I’m sure it’ll be well worth while.

Fair enough, but probably worth at least loading V5, and trying the import.
If you can get a KiCad format file, that might convert back to v4 with minimal effort ?
You can also check how V4 -> V5 works in your specific case.

KiCad v4 can also read Eagle footprint libraries directly, but I notice some people distribute Eagle data as an Eagle script, which KiCad can not read. For those I would load the script into the free version of Eagle and export as an XML library.

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Following up on my own post. I did put together a footprint from the documentation, didn’t take that long as ever but I really didn’t want to build the 3D models for the cages (the connectors had downloadable models already).

I had contacted Samtec around the time I wrote the original post and hadn’t heard anything. A few days later the mail bounced and I sent it to them again from another address. Overnight they sent me two absolutely wonderful 3D models for the two cages which were a super check against my footprints. So now I have verified footprints and 3D everything for the board.

So great service from Samtec there on the bit which I really didn’t want to do. I will start another thread with a couple of questions about FreeCAD and stepUP, I muddled through but suspect I missed some shortcuts.

Would be nice if we could get more footprint imports from other software into KiCad but I know that has an additional challenge over 3D models in that all the formats are closed. After 4 years using KiCad however I have to say it’s in the best shape ever and I thank all the people who work tirelessly to improve it.

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