Kicad draw circle [arc tracks]


hello. in new kicad i want to draw circle with bottom or top copper. but i try nightly build versions there is no correction about is very important issue. can designers do this?


Show a mockup screenshot of what you expect.


Are you talking about a circle of copper or a circular pcb?


i mean i want to draw elliptic copper way but it draws with fsilk or another. icant draw with top copper or bottom copper.


I just checked in what is currently the latest windows nightly (5.0.0-rc3-dev-2-g101b68b61) installed yesterday (my time). It is correct that in the board designer graphic elements can’t be drawn on or moved to the copper layers within the interface. (I didn’t try saving the file, hand-modifying in a text editor and reloading to see what would happen.) If you have either top or bottom copper selected when you select the graphic element tool the layer automatically changes to the corresponding silkscreen layer. Also, while the graphic element tool is active, if you change your layer back to copper, it will switch to silkscreen as soon as the mouse pointer moves into the drawing area. I only tested the accelerated modern toolset. Once the graphic element is drawn one can’t then change its layer to any copper layer as copper layers don’t show in the pulldown list.

In the footprint editor, the copper layers aren’t available to draw on, but if you draw a graphic element and then edit it the copper layers are available to select. But, you will get this warning when you try to apply the change:

@can This is why the board editor doesn’t allow graphic copper elements to be drawn. You can, however, draw your desired graphic elements as footprints (save in a library in the project folder and load that library as a project specific library) and place them where you want them. Keep in mind that caution about DRC not handling graphic copper well. You should manually check around your copper elements for clearance violations and/or enclose them in keepout zones.

Maybe a description of why drawing graphic elements in copper is important for you. We may be able to suggest better alternatives that you haven’t thought about.


Continuing the discussion from Kicad draw circle:

thanks for fast reply. but in proteus, altium, mentor, eagle we can draw copper ways elliptical or circle. for example in rf circuits many times we draw circles. if designers in kicad, can do this basic modification rf engineers can use kicad easily. i dont think this modification will be very diffucult.


for example wilkinson power splitter or directional coupler. or any led lamp way we need to draw circle or elliptic ways. the biggest deficiency of kicad is this. and also print problem(sizes can chance ) for laser printer pcb manufacturing.


KiCad cannot do curved traces directly and while you can use polygonal footprints as RF traces, it clashes with the push and shove router.
There is probably a wishlist entry on the bug tracker, but it won’t be in the V5 release as it would require a pcb file structure change.


Another request for arc track segments I think, I didn’t guess from the title. It’s such a popular request there are 4 bugs raised on it

If only there were 4 volunteers to work on it!


not really; you can look at benkempke repo or forum references.
Push&shove does exactly the same discretization of tracks.


Or donate to pay a developer to do it


finally? if we donate designers do this? to whom we must say do sometihng and we can track circular ways?
thanks to every body.


It’s not automatic. There’s no formal way to do that. You have to find someone who is willing to make a deal for that specific feature. Nobody is obligated to take any feature requests, even if paid. And if someone is willing, the plan for the feature should still be accepted by the lead developers beforehand.


Dev here. V6 is going to have curved traces support, but it means a lot of work for us (much more than some people here speculate). For example, rewriting the DRC and large refactor of the underlying data model. That’s why it hasn’t happened sooner.



Hi can and everyone, I am new here and this is my first post.

When I read cans’ post, if I now understand his original post correct, I felt called to forward an inquiry I had been caring with me for a long time whether it would be possible to transform a classic PCB design with 45 and 90 degrees angles into one replaced by curved and elliptic angles.

If I manage I am going to try attach a picture I saw already for some year ago that depicts what at least I have in mind, next to each other on the left side one can see the classic design with the 45 and 90 degrees angles (there are a few arched though), and on the right side one can see the same PCB but all angles are arched.

Kicad is completely new to me, so I am wondering if one can make such a PCB as the one on the right side, or is there any way to increase the radius of the 45 and 90 angles?
A feature wish would be to transform a PCB as seen on the left side into one on the right side, or if not automated, perhaps some function that could aid the designer to accomplish such type of layout.

ps. credits to the designer and his PCB work found under this link (one have to be logged in on that forum in order to see attachments)


At the moment, you cannot do this automatically in KiCad. This thread and several others is about the limited support for curved traces. What I can be sure of is the two audio power amplifier boards will behave the same, the effect is purely cosmetic and copying the style of a hand drawn PCB. Only RF PCB structures have a valid reason for curved traces.


I was surprised to read circular (or spiral) tracks are not supported in Kicad 5, they are possible elsewhere with no difficulty, and I have boards done that way in Protel. They have real significance for RF guys, plus many boards and containers can make good use of circular designs as well as lighting arrays. Antennas and inductors are also very handy applications that make use of spirals. I can understand how this poses a problem for DRC testing, but I do think this set of features has value down the road if it can be accommodated. This is getting into areas of RF specialization, like impedance defined traces and strip lines, which may be too big an ask for Kicad, but maybe not. You never know until you bring it up.


But elsewhere is not open source and probably not free.

I think DRC is not the biggest problem as it works at static object, and need not to do his job in ms. I suppose much more complicated would be interactive routing with push like functions on when arcs are on board.


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