KiCad and ODB++

fcad_pcb is a very good option… StepUp internal parser is based on it.
You can have some tips on how to use it here:

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Apropos of the forum software, it seems to have a strange idea of “1 month later” between the posts of Frederik and cflin. Maybe it would rather forget the disastrous year between April 2019 and April 2020. :wink:

Mar 19 means 19th of March, not March 2019. Mar '19 would mean March 2019. Confusing? Yes, at least for those who don’t live in US. I would prefer for example ISO format and full year.

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Ah, ok stiffed by those confusing US dates again.

@John_Pateman and @maui:

I am evaluating the use of KiCAD vs. Cadence’s OrCAD/Allegro in a corporate environment. So, the use of HFSS is a given… Regarding the two other scripts (besides the pcbmodelgen, which I am not sure works very well because I’ve tried it in the past, but things do change), I would also need to import the dielectric layers in addition to the metal structures.

OBD++ export would be nice, but that is a potential (not certain!) feature of KiCAD6, which is ways off. That is my understanding at least. So, I am not sure this discussion warrants a new thread.

Thank you both for your responses. At the very least, I think this discussion helps keep KiCAD at the cutting edge of modern pcb development.

KiCad currently does not support pcb stackup info. So fcad_pcb would need to get this info from somewhere else. But the author (realthunder) is really supportive and responds to reported issues quite quickly so you should try requesting the pcb stackup info importing.

I think there was some discussion that V6 would support pcb stackup info. Does anybody knows if this is true? Is it already implemented in 5.99? If it is then I assume that realthunder would not object to implementing parsing this info.


I read that it is now a V7 thing, so years away.

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Yes. Post-v5 new features and development news

EDIT: ODB support was moved to the Future roadmap from v6 roadmap. Seth was/is working on it. (EDIT on EDIT: not ODB per se, but IPC-2581 (see #1954)).


Thanks eelik. So the board stackup info is already present in 5.99 layout files. So @cflin if you do ask for fcad_pcb to support board stackup it would make sense if it would parse the 5.99 layout files for the info.

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Thank you all for the info.

I have another question. We have discussed the workflow from KiCAD to a 3D electromagnetics simulator. How about the reverse? Very frequently, you can optimize in the 3D electromagnetics simulator and then you export the optimized layout to the ecad program. A 2D export, say of DXFs of traces, would not be a problem, but what if vias are also involved, making the export to ecad essentially 3D? If the vias are through-hole only, things may not be that bad; you can just export the 2D of each layer and then place the vias by hand where their cross sections are shown in the 2D file. But if the vias are blind or buried, then it is still possible, but tedious. KiCAD6 with its padstack may ease the pain, but for now, we have KiCAD5. Any ideas?

Seeing how FreeCad is the way to go from KiCad to .step, maybe @maui might have an idea. His StepUp plugin supports bidirectional flow for footprints and edge cuts. The plugin might be possible to extend the bidirectional flow for vias also.

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