Importing artwork into footprint editor

Hi *,

I am new to KiCad, but so far, a really cool tool.

I am trying to create a footprint from an artwork pattern in pcb editor. I have the artwork in pcb editor but i get stuck when trying to push it to the footprint editor.

Backgound story of my workflow:
I am trying to design a base board (or tester board). For the daughter board I want to interface, I do not have the kicad_pcb files (or pcb files from other tools). However, I have the gerber files. I loaded the gerber files with the Gerber Viewer and exported the layers to the PCB Editor. Here I did some clean up, added some helper stuff to User-Layers, and so on.
Now I need a footprint for the daughter board for further board designs.
I fired up the footprint editor and created a user library. Here I a want to import the artwork (and my helper stuff on additional layers) to help me in drawing the pads.

I tried:

  1. The option “Load footprint from current board”. But it is greyd out. I think because there a no drawing objects in pcb with the attribute “footprint”.

  2. Then I tried to export from pcb editor as svg, in the footprint editor I then tried “File > Import > Graphics”, but it fails with “No Graphics items found in file”

Can somebody push my in the right direction?
Many Thanks in advance.

No knowing what your Artwork looks like, this may or may-not get you the quality result you want but, it’s a first step…

Use the Image Converter tool in Kicad. Several tweaks (Picture, Threshold…) to help dial-in quality. Select the Outpuf Format type as Footprint.

It can be clean and simple to Complex. Complex Example below of artwork into Mask layer. So, you have options to try… Including straight-forward simple…

Examples of exported image of Circuit, then loaded into PCB and change of layers. Naturally, no need for layer change if just wanting image for a guide…
The image can be DXF, PNG…etc.

Thanks for the hints.

I managed it with the svg approach.

Here is my whole process:

  1. open gerber file in Gerber Viewer
  2. export from gerber to PCB editor
  3. export from PCB Editor as SVG
  4. postprocess SVG in Inkscape:
    • I had to convert all objects to paths
    • Inkscape Menu: Path > Object to Path (or Shift+Ctlr+C)
  5. Import into Footprint Editor

There I could use the imported geometry as a guide with the alignement tool.

The important step was step 4, to get rid of “No Graphics items found in file”.

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