Missing bottom copper pads on through hole components

Hello all -

I just started re-learning KICAD after several years dormant (I think the last version I used might have been V5.XX??)

I am designing a small PCB and I have it just about ready to send to fab, but I am not sure if something is amiss…

When I see the 3D view in KICAD, it looks fine, but when I upload the placement and gerber files to JLCPCB, the image they have does not match the 3D image from KICAD, in that all of the through-hole components have pads but not holes through the board, and it looks like no drill holes. I excluded the through-hole components from the board, since I will be soldering them in myself. What I am wondering is, if I do this, will they send me a board where there are no holes/PTH where all of the through-hole components are supposed to be? FWIW, I tried uploading the placement and the BOM files to JLCPCB but they keep rejecting them - not sure how to resolve this??? Any assistance greatly appreciated!


I hereby certify that I am not simply asking someone else to design a footprint for me.

This is an auto-generated message that is in place on the “footprints” section of the KiCad.info forum. If I remove it and ask for a footprint to be designed anyway, I understand that I will be subject to forum members telling me to go design my own footprint or referring me to a 3rd party footprint site.

The 3D viewer is mostly a visual aid, and who knows anything about correctness of a 3D viewer from somewhere on the internet. The Gerber files (or other artwork output) are the reference to use to verify what you send to be fabbed.

What does this mean?

When you remove the footprints, you loose pads, holes, silkscreen, etc. and you will get a faulty PCB. If you remove 3D models, meh, those are not relevant for production. If you want to outsource SMT placement, then you need files which specifiy the coordinates and rotation of the SMT parts. But there are dragons about. There are no real standards for coordinates and rotation for those parts, and different factories handle this differently. On the plus side, factories have a lot of experience with guessing that info based on pad locations. For symmetrical parts (SOIC, SOT23-6 etc) it’s highly recommended to have some clear marks of the “pad 1” location.

This is such a multi-multi step process… I’m not sure what I’m doing…

I know that JLCPCB charge extra to solder in the through-hole parts, and I can easily do that myself, so I tried to exclude them in the schematic from BOM. I am guessing this might have had something to do with the fact that the 3D image in JLCPCB shows no holes for those parts…HOWEVER… way before this, as I was working on the design, I noticed that when I was working on the bottom side copper traces, having turned off the top-side footprints, there were no holes or pads present on the bottom side. I would have thought there would be, since they are through-hole parts. These are standard parts found in the downloaded library of parts, not something I added in myself. I thought through-hole components always showed up on both sides of the board??


Whenever people say that have used a footprint downloaded from the internet instead of using the standard KiCad libraries an alarm bell goes off in my head. Footprints from the Internet often have many infelicities. Have you looked at the footprint in the footprint editor and does it have the standard THT stackup? A KiCad THT pad should be on both F and B.Cu and have a PTH. Is there a reason why a standard KiCad footprint will not suffice?

Again: Your gerber files (and the drill files that go with it) are your reference.

I do not know what this means:

Downloaded from where? KiCad’s own libraries are normally installed together with KiCad and do not have to be downloaded or installed separately.

Posting a screenshot (From KiCad itself, not from some external gerber viewer) may help. Singling out a footprint for analysis also helps. You can easily create a small test project with a few of such footprints and post it here. It’s nice if the project is “complete” with symbols linked to footprints, but it does not have to be a real or working schematic. It’s just a framework to show the details that are relevant.

Sorry for the confusing phrasing - what I meant is that the parts are from Kicad and downloaded along with Kicad, not some third party parts.

I think my problem/confusion came from two different sources:

  1. In the appearance settings in KICAD PCB, when you click on the “eye” icon to turn off the view for the front copper, are you supposed to not see the rear pads on a through hole component? I was imagining just the top-view stuff would disappear?

  2. I believe the discrepancy at JLCPCB was due to my neglecting to include the drill files in the Gerbers.Zip file. I went back later and corrected my errors of omission, and the image they provided looked correct after that.

Technically everything you obtain is downloaded but you would avoid confusion by phrasing it as installed with KiCad packages.

I think you will find that TH pads are a distinct type of object and don’t follow the F and B Cu visibiilty settings. Under the Objects tab you will find a control for TH pads. This preferences dialog shows that it has a separate setting.

Here’s a screenshot of part of my PCB with both F and B Cu visibility turned off, but the TH pads are still visible. (The graphics are reversed because the parts are mounted on the rear; this is a display board.)


You really need to give a better description. For example, instead of this:

it’s much better to give the name of the library and the footprint name to give us on this forum a reference.

It also reminds me of this thread form another user, and what he shows is mostly normal and thus expected behavior of KiCad.

Excellent - thank you!