KSU don't likes to add new sketch to PCB (not Edge.Cuts)

This are my first experiments with KSU “Push Sketch to PCB Edge”.
KSU - rather new - I loaded it 5.03. I did it manually as I don’t know why in my FreeCAD 0.19 Addon manager sees only ‘3D_Printing_Tools’ Workbench (I’m 90% sure half year ago I didn’t had that problem).
KiCad 5.1.9.

  1. I pushed sketch to Edge.Cuts.
    I noticed only one problem the width set in Push window had no effect - the Edge.Cuts I got in Pcb had width according to Board Setup. Absolutely not important problem.
  2. When I tried to push next sketch to Edge.Cuts - it says that to change Edge I should load pcb file - I didn’t tried it. It is OK - changing something can be more complicated that only adding.
  3. I pushed next sketch to Dwgs.User - this time width setting works.
  4. When I try to put next sketch to Dwgs.User:

I get the message:


Do you think it is a bug or a feature? :slight_smile:

Hard to tell.
I don’t know what’s currently loaded into FreeCAD and what you did with it previously.

There is also the option of user error.
Sketches in FreeCAD are nomrally not thrown away and replaced, but just edited and modified.

FreeCAD is also a bit of a strange beast.
Software development for FreeCAD is slow, but it does make significant progress. First time I tried it Now some 5 to 8 years ago, it was pretty buggy and barely usable. Now I use 0.19_something and it has a lot of very nice things built in, but I also got a feeling that it also carries with it a lot of crud from half finished experimental workbenches, or possibly even deprecated workbenches that should best be deleted. (Or maybe I just don’t understand how they work) If you’d ask me, I’d say there are plenty of reasons why FreeCAD has not reached version 1.0 yet.

For me, working with FreeCAD is a bit of a hit and miss of what works and what does not.

I had the same problem two months ago, the repository address location changed so it doesn’t see the addons, except 3D printing tools, dunno why, go figure !
Upgrade to the latest revision of ver. 0.19 and it should work correctly.

I generally always try to do ‘whatever’ it is, without using plugins. Thus, a good understanding results then, for convenience, I may use plugins like KSU Stepup.

Below vid show using Only FreeCad’s Sketcher to Draw and Export DXF. Then, I import it into Kicad’s Edge-Cuts layer.

No problems… Using FreeCad v19-23756

ADDED: Naturally, can choose what Layer to import to last images shows it imported to User layer…

this seems a quite old release
Now is ‘KiCadStepUpWB.Activated(v 10.1.7)’

this is a glitch in the code… in a first release I didn’t allowed to change Edge line size… I will fix this

this is by design… just import your pcb in FreeCAD and in that document create or modify your sketch.
In that way the sketch will be aligned (referenced) to the document origin/coordinates and parts.

Please consider that pushing a sketch to kicad pcb file will erase the pushed layer … if you have i.e. two different sketches to push, simply merge them and then push the resulting sketch.

Please have a look at this small tutorial:


this will miss the MCAD-ECAD collaboration engine built by StepUp among FreeCAD and KiCAD

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Thanks. But, I don’t care about StepUp (sorry, no offense) or other interfaces. After working with nearly all the CAD programs and training engineers and drafters (since 1984) that worked for me, I’ve become proficient enough to have Zero problems solving related issues.
And, with the exception of using FreeCad’s Gear, FEM and Fasteners workbench, I prefer doing it my way (keeps the Brain going and doesn’t depend on others updaing their plugins. What’s a user going to do when Plugin coder dies? and FreeCad updates no longer like KSU/etc… ?)

I had installed 0.18 but later (about year ago) 0.19. Under both of them using Addon manager I added KSU (+ 3 other WBs, probably listed in KSU help) and updated them many times.
Later probably I loaded some never 0.19 version and don’t know if Addon manager still worked or not. Just don’t remember any problems but may be with that version I had worked only one day.
Then half year passed.
Few days ago when I opened FC and selected KSU WB I got info that I am 20 its versions late. I went to Addon manager and it sees only one WB (3D_Printing_Tools). Don’t remember how, but I found KSU to load it in zip and installed it manually (I know it as I have FC also at second not connected to internet PC (both are Windows 7)). May be Addon manager first directed me to KSU but when I tried to update it became as it is now.

I only use FC (rare) to make 3D models for KiCad. And I do it only to add semi photo of PC to documentation (just for fun - as I got 80% 3D models with KiCad I can define myself the 20%). I never needed 3D and don’t need now and probably will never need it.

Now I have to design the PCB with Edge containing of 14 arcs (none of them in regular angle like 90) and 2 straight sections so decided to check FreeCAD -> KiCad and LibreCAD -> KiCad ways.

I considered upgrade but being busy with other things planed it for ‘some time in future to check if it helps’. As I know it helps I have bigger motivation :slight_smile:

There are arguments for this approach, but if someone has worked hard to solve all the problems at the interface between FreeCAD-KiCad … it would be a sin not to use it. Great thanks @maui

I don’t think I use any other plugin with KiCad.

Probably I will will check it (just to get bigger understanding of FreeCAD) but KSU gives me in this subject what I need. I just went out of my real needs in that my experiments so I found ‘problems’.


I supposed that pushing sketch into pcb file means adding some lines with what you need to push. I don’t know file format but supposed you can add anything to graphic layers without deleting what there is on that layer.
I assumed (few years passed and I not checked it yet) that I will be able to make complicated chart by generating manually in Inkscape the logarithmic scales + one simple semi chart line then multiplying that line by counted by my program values (connected with near and far EMI fields in a function of frequency). I supposed that it will work and I also supposed that the same way it is possible to add anything to graphic layers in KiCad pcb file. I understand that some layers have special conditions to be assumed the layer is correct but I think both User and both Eco layers don’t have any such rules.

no problem, but this is a thread about KSU (KiCAD StepUp)… then instead of helping people in use the tool, you are playing your way of ‘approaching’ the problem… that’s no useful IMO for this thread.

That is an old way approach that modern CADs have left, using instead the direct MCAD-ECAD collaboration, as KSU is offering.

Freedom is the best choice.

:rofl: that is the best part of your post… :rofl: :rofl:

thanks, I appreciated :smiley:

In general ATM there is no way to distinguish/name a sketch/contour in pcbnew… so when I pull a layer w/ KSU, I pull all the drawing objects of that layer… the same when I push back the layer.
I need to clean all the drawing objects into the pcb to avoid doubling lines/objects of the same layer.
It is a bit tricky, but if you get used to this method, it should be quite straightforward and user friendly.

Missing Keywords from above, should read, “…but this thread is about “My” KSU(Kicad StepUp Plugin…”

You did an excellent job making the plugin. But, I don’t need it.

That said, I’ve been looking for a reason to enjoy this nice weather and ride my Harley. And, this presents to me the perfect excuse to spend my time doing just that and some yard work and not posting…

Thus, I make my farewell offering with this:

• Regarding another post wherein users confuse “mils” with “millimeters”. They are not the same. Mils is the syntax for 0.001 inch. So, when talking about line widths, users should know what the term means.

• Whether Kicad, FreeCad…etc; the story is common: Plugin coders push users to use their plugin. I get it. But, don’t want it. I prefer using a foundation of knowledge to solve the problems and avoid being locked into some Whiz-Bang code that may fall apart downstream. How many posts are there about Plugin bugs and shortcomings and need to update them…

• Lastly, I forget about the Policing aspect of users telling other users what Not to post.

Best of luck to all - no need to respond, I won’t be back.

I don’t see any problem in getting doubled lines/objects. I am deciding to add to specified layer the sketch I have designed and I am taking responsibility for the effects.
On the other hand it is you who decided how KSU works and it is your right to do as you think is better.
Assume that someone (like me) can give some high % of believe in KiCad will not suddenly disturb his work taking in mind that lot of people all over the world uses it and it gives high probability bugs are found and fixed. At the same time I assume that KSU is used by much less number of people and for much shorter time (I use KSU very sporadically). I have no problem to assume that you adding some lines to my file at specified layer will not garbage my pcb file as you take care only about that simple task. But it is harder to assume that my pcb can be loaded to FC, modified there (I understand that is the way to add sketch to what already is in file) and than saved for me not corrupted. I don’t care about bugs that can be noticed at once, but about something that I will work with such file for some long time and than suddenly I will find that something was corrupted.
So I would suggest to add to KSU possibility to not only push sketch into empty layer but also into not empty layer (adding all elements of sketch even if you get them doubled). May be a check-box in Push window. But of course it is up to you.
At the same time I understand that you believe 100% in your code so may be don’t understand why I am not so sure as you.
May be my doubts are irrational. Adding sketch like I am suggesting is really the same process as adding by loading pcb file to FC and then saving afterwards.

the title should explains all to you…

Nobody ‘push’ users to use their plugins … the plugins are ‘free’ and exists to share user experiences and knowledge…

and what about open source projects?

the same for any open source project, like kicad itself… not a ‘Whiz-Bang code’ IMO
BTW it seems you are involved in writing plugins too …

it seems you contradict yourself

you forgot to read the title as I posted above… here the user asked for help in using the KSU plugin… you simply are highjacking the thread IMO (and the OP told you he asked for help in the plugin use).

enjoy the weather and your ride…


KSU makes always a backup of the pcb file before make a push … anyway it is just an external plugin … each user may decide for him/her self.

the idea is derived from Edge-Cut layer which cannot have doubled lines (to create a closed edge)…

KSU in general adopts the concept to create/modify the mechanic part of the project in a mechanical CAD.
Some similar concepts for commercial CADs are available here:

@BlackCoffee wasn’t around when this plugin was first developed and doesn’t have the context for the functionality it brought to Kicad at that moment. Well, and still does obviously. This has been discussed. StepUp is a ‘nettie’. When does it become a waste of time for developers to write code for a problem that has been solved elsewhere? I suppose it’s great for Mega Company that wants ‘lockin’.

Kicad is a community effort with each choosing their mode and level of participation. People need to respect other’s choices.


Yes: if BlackCoffee dies the plugin is left unmaintained, so he shouldn’t use the plugin.

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Can we stay polite here please
@maui plugin is the preferred way as many here people use it. Nothing to stop anybody doing it differently.

I decided to add some my thoughts to it - may be based on not understanding the processes.
For me adding sketch to pcb is made by copying pcb file line by line and searching the place to add just few new lines. But loading pcb file I understand as transforming the file format into internal representation of pcb.
And while in first process I just don’t see what could go wrong then for second I imagine that if KiCad will add some new format that plugin will not understand than it would be easy to lost that information during loading/saving. And if it would be something rarely used than it can be not noticed for long time. Based on this I assume some higher risk of losing something in pcb file by loading/saving to different program then original. But may be each compilation of KSU just uses the loading/saving source code from KiCad source and there is no such risk. I just don’t know how KiCad exactly is written and how are plugins written.
But the whole started by me discussion is about really not important ‘problem’ :slight_smile: