Is KiCad compatible with all PCB manufacturers?

This might be a stupid question but I wanted to make sure KiCad would give me the necessary files for the PCB manufacturer I am looking to use for my design.

They need these files to manufacture a board:

  1. Gerber files
  2. Pick and place files
  3. BOM in Excel
  4. Assembly drawings with instructions

I know that KiCad can output Gerbers but I am unsure about the pick and place files.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

KiCAD can create a component location file that is useful for pick-and-place. The conventions and standards for pick-and-place files are NOT as standardized as the requirements for Gerber files, so you will have to communicate with the assembler to determine his requirements for the component file. I believe there are two major areas of uncertainty:

  • Definition of component locations. The current consensus is to define the location as the centroid of the component body, but sometimes it is defined as the center of “Pin 1”. Unfortunately, KiCAD footprints from various sources use both of these conventions.
  • Definition of rotation angles. This refers to both the reference orientation for zero degrees, and the sense (CW or CCW) of rotation.



Normally center for SMD components, pin 1 for THT components. If you find a component that does not follow this convention please notify us maintainers. (or better: fix it and create a pull request.)


I believe the current library versions are consistent in this matter. (It’s still possible that some footprints got overlooked in the recent drive to improve library quality.) I was more concerned about footprints obtained from other sources, or persisting from prior versions of the KiCAD libraries.



It seems i have overlooked the “various sources” part of your post. (Might have been tired when i wrote my response.)

Back to the original question, even Gerber can be incompatible. There are a couple of conventions for the file extensions used for the various layers, depending on the manufacturers bias on commercial PCB software.
KiCad can generate valid Gerber files that are not handled by PCB houses with old or buggy postprocessing

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Thanks for the help everyone,
I emailed the manufacturer directly to see if they know if KiCad is compatible with their process.

I am hopeful it is compatible as I have been really enjoying KiCad since I picked it up!

I have had board fab’ed by multiple board and assembly houses and have never mentioned I use Kicad, just sent them my standard design package. Here’s an outline of what I send:

(Edit: Hmm, make sure to expand the view in the upper right, or post’s formatting does look right…)

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I have also used multiple fabs without issue. I send them

  • Gerbers
  • Pos files
  • BoM

Sometimes a discussion is required to confirm details but generally that’s all they need.