Importing DXF to PCB new creating illegible blobs

Hi all,

New to Kicad here as we’re using different software at work now (using 4.0.6). I have a board outline made with DXF. I have to import the dxf into Kicad for board layout. When importing the DXF, it’s coming out as a blobby mess. Everything is too bold. It’s an annoying stressful thing. Hopefully it’s easy to solve. Any ideas?

You may be looking at the problems mentioned here:

I have imported *.DXF files into KiCAD a couple of times. There was always a fair amount of “fumble around until you find something that works”. KiCAD’s file importing capabilities seem to range from “crude” to “basic”. I am grateful that KiCAD can import at all but it’s still quite a bit short of importing “well”.

Two recent threads that touched on this subject are:


Here are some of the things I concluded in the course of my fumbling around with DXF. (My conclusions may be incorrect, but they seemed to be valid at the time, and I may not recall accurately, so don’t take these comments as the Definitive Truth.)

  • The file needs to be saved in an older version of DXF. I think the DXF version from Autocad12 works well.

  • The DXF file should use metric (millimeter) units.

  • The no-charge version of CADStd ( seemed to produce DXF files that were easily imported.

  • Did I define something like “Default Line Width” when I created the DXF file? I vaguely recall that, but not sure.



Thank you so much Dale, i will try these things at work tomorrow.

There are a few DXF formats supported by KiCad, though I can’t remember exactly which ones. To be safe, view the file in LibreCAD (or it’s parent qcad) and if there are no problems then KiCad can probably import it but there is no guarantee since the DXF library used by KiCad was forked out of LibreCAD so long ago.

The DXF units should not matter at all provided that the DXF file specifies the units. If units are not specified then they are interpreted as mm. In the first 4.x stable release things were worse - all files were interpreted as mm regardless of the actual unit. There is a small catch which probably doesn’t matter to anyone - if you specify parsecs (and a few other large units) then they will be interpreted as mm. The only other catch with DXF is that everything must be within a radius of about 1470mm of the origin or else there will be numeric overflow problems.


There may be a bug in the handling of default line widths if your units are not mm. Can you send me the DXF (cirilo /d o t/ bernardo at gmail com) so I can check? If the bug is what I suspect then the default linewidth being used may be 2.54mm rather than 0.1mm


I’ve submitted a patch to the dev list for the development branch. Hopefully it won’t be too long before similar changes are made to stable.

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