Mirror (Left Hand) version of PCB?


#1

Is there a way to make a left hand version of my existing (right-hand) PCB Layout? I am an utter newbie in KiCAD but it’s already replaced Eagle for me.


#2

You can’t mirror footprints as the real world parts can’t be ‘mirrored’, thus just mirroring the layout would do you no good, you have to route it for left-hand.
Or you mean something else and I just missed you completely?!


#3

if you mean you would like to see the pcb upside-down, this feature is available in nightly
‘Flip board view’ option


#4

I wouldn’t want to flip the footprints, just route existing with a mirrored board automatically. Left hand assembly versus the existing right handed assembly. Does that make sense, or am I thinking about this wrong?


#5

From my interpretation you don’t account for the devices/footprints being non-symmetrical along both axis to make this work.

Simple devices like resistors or non-polar capacitors can do it - symmetrical on two axes.
Diodes are only symmetrical to one axis.
Anything else usually is not symmetrical at all.

This means, if you ‘mirror’ the arrangement of the devices, the tracks need to go to other pins - it can’t just be mirrored.

The only time you can ‘mirror’ the layout without problem is when you FLIP it to the backside (if you had been on the front before, or vise versa). But that means all the devices/tracks that had been on the front are now on the back and vice versa. It’s not exactly a mirror, but looks like one if looked at from the top (or bottom).
That’s why @maui mentioned this visual board flipping option in the opengl canvas.
But this won’t be applicable to real world hardware…

Do me a favor. Take an IC, any will do.
Place it in front of you on the table on a sheet of paper. Note where it’s pin #1 is.
Place marks for the pins on the paper, noting pin #1 as well.
Then MIRROR the footprint on the paper how you think this should be working.
Now TRY to place the IC onto that footprint, with pin #1 matching the pin #1 on the mirrored footprint…


#6

What is a “right handed” board ??

I can think of very few cases where it is needed to make a “mirrored” layout (perhaps designing a Christmas tree ornament?), so obviously there is no automatic feature in KiCad. It seems like you could do it quite easily manually, indeed routing N components is no different to N/2 * 2… If this was a regular thing then it could be done with a script, probably one of the existing duplication scripts could be easily modified.


#7

Okay! I get it now. Was just not clicking. (Embarrassingly so!)

Thanks ladies and gents.

To illustrate what I’m doing, see the attached pictures. I am working on designing a F/A-18C simulator for my living room. On the upper main instrument panel (MIP) you have two warning light modules, on the upper right and left of the panel. I made the right PCB, now I will be doing the left.


#8

Cool stuff, at first I thought it might be for an RC model jet… people put moving puppets and working displays in those these days to increase the reality factor for scale championships.
But a 1:1, impressive.

May I ask what CAD tool you used?
And the other things will be 3D printed or some such?
Fascinating.
:nerd:

PS: I wonder what nerds are willing to pay for a system like this and how big the market is? :money_mouth:


#9

I used SolidWorks for the MCAD, and I am designing it to be built with nothing more than a 1000mm XCarve CNC Router and Prusa i3 3D Printer. The full models and all documentation will be released on a CC-BY-NC-SA license, but there isn’t much of a commercial market (not enough to make a sustainable business out of anyways). That said, after I build mine…If someone were to offer the right number, I’d be happy to talk. :smiley: