KiCad archive file size

Greetings, and thanks for letting me into this forum!

I have a KiCad project in which the .kicad_pcb and .sch files together make up ~7MB.

When I archive the project it generates a monster zip file of 120MB. From the logs I can see that it adds ~12,000 (twelve thousand) files!

The files added to the archive are a mix of .kicad_mod, .lib and .STEP files, of which only some tens are in use in my project.

In Preferences/Manage Symbol Libraries…/Global Libraries I have tried to uncheck unused libraries, but the .zip file size remains exactly the same.

Is there any way to reduce the size of the archive file?

Thank you.

it is likely that most of the weight is being generated by the .step file can you confirm this?

That is a possibility, but I can’t say for certain without parsing the log file, grouping the files and adding the different groups together. Here’s two example lines from the log. The mentioned components have no relevance in my project:

Archive file “library\kicad-master\footprints\Thorlabs\3D\EA111_Case_only.step” (834489 bytes, compressed 143750 bytes)
Archive file “library\kicad-master\footprints\Thorlabs\3D\EEA11-original.step” (7829680 bytes, compressed 1277880 bytes)

Kicad includes the most files from the project-directory (inclusive all sib-fiolders) into the project-archive. The archive-algorithm doesn’t checks if a file is used in the project (or only forgetten from an older project).
The check if a file is zipped into the archive uses the file-extension, so the following files all get into the archive:

  • all step/stp files
  • pdf-files
  • all gerber-output-files
  • all kicad-related files (all project, board, schematic, library-files, independent if they belong to the project or not)

So to reduce the archive-size you should delete all files which don’t belong directly to the project from the project-subfolder.
You could also look into directly into the archive and search for the files which need the most space.

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