Locking dwgs.user layer


#1

I have a PCB which I need to line up with a front plate that it will be mounted too. I knew I could import 2D drawings and thought that it would be a good idea to just give myself a second check on dimensions when I’m doing the layout. (I was planning on entering dimensions for the footprint directly, but having a second visual check sounds awesome.

But when I import a dxf to the dwgs.user layer, I can’t seem to lock it or keep the lines of the front panel together to move it as a group.

I’ve had a google and it wasn’t super fruitful.

Using KiCAD 4.0.7 on Windows 7.


#2

I don’t think there is any way to group items in KiCAD per se.

The only idea that comes to mind is to make your front panel lines into a footprint. And then you may be constantly clarifying whether you’re selecting the front panel footprint, or something else that is located within the bounds of the front panel footprint.

When I face situations like this (aligning with a front panel, or fitting a board into an enclosure, etc) I dedicate one of the “unused” layers to hold the information about the front panel or enclosure outline. I typically use the “Margin” layer, but “Cmts”, or one of the “ECO” layers should work as well. Then I import the applicable *.DXF drawing to that layer, and make the layer visible when I need to place components or make measurements. At other times I leave the layer invisible so I don’t accidentally select or alter some feature on it.

Dale


#3

Hey Dale,

Thanks for the help. Those were the two things that I found/thought of. Wasn’t sure if there was another way to go about it that would be easier.

I shall just hide the layer I think. Might try the footprint thing too.


#4

Grouping would be such a nice feature for component placement!
Is this already in the feature requests?

Another way to group your drawing is to export it to png with a defined definition (say 300x300dpi) and import it as a logo with the same definition to get the 1:1 scale. It will work like a single footprint (and you can press L to lock it).
You can also “move it” to any layer by editing the kicad_mod file.


#5

Humm that an interesting way to do that.

I ended up making it a footprint and then just not batch highlighting stuff anymore. Which was fine since I didn’t have too many parts and a good chunk of them got dimensioned off of the front panel.

I did put it on the dwgs layer, but it was still movable even when locked and the layer hidden. Well, when it was locked, I got a popup saying that the footprint was locked. Same idea though.


#6

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