Multiple Boards In A Single File?

Is there a way to Import multiple board layouts into a single file and print out on a single page while maintaining original dimensions? Most are in .pdf exported from another layout app, while a few I’ve created in Kicad .


PDF is a useless format for generating manufacturing data to be honest. So if you need this for anything other than creating documentation then request gerbers from whoever made the boards that are not designed with KiCad. (For the KiCad boards just generate the gerbers yourself)

After that use a proper panelizing tool as explained here

If all boards would be in KiCad format AND all of them use the same clearance rules for ALL netclases then you could use pcbnew in standalone mode and append other boards. I highly advice against doing tasks like this inside KiCad as there is no way to guarantee that the design rules are kept for the things you imported and it is very easy to make a mistake here.

If it is however just for documentation then just use a program capable of editing pdf.

1 Like

It’s not useless if I’m doing the manufacturing myself and using the toner transfer method. The pdf works fine for what I’m doing, but I need to consolidate the boards so I’m not using up an entire sheet of the special paper for each single tiny board, and two sheets for double sided boards.

For the purpose Robotwizard seems to pursue, I disagree.
If the boards are already finished in their original projects, just appending them in standalone mode is fine. No DRC needed.

Then the only task to do is generating the gerber files or, in their case, plot them to pdf.
The big risk in using pdf is that printing 1:1 dimensions is not guaranteed.

The problem with append is that you loose the clearance info which means refilling zones might change clearances. ( A very easy mistake to make. If I remember correctly then the plot dialog even suggests to refill and plot is always a required step)

And if one goes via pdf anyway why not do the consolidation in pdf as I already sugfested above?
Especially as some of the boards are not made in kicad which means kicad can not be used for this task.

Sure, it is risky if they do not uncheck the refill zones box.

And of course I was talking about kicad made projects. The ones already in pdf format are in practice nearly impossible to import. The way from pdf to dxf to kicad is a pretty “long and winding road”.

I am using it for documentation but you can try.
Export the layer you need to SVG (File-Plot-SVG, or File-Export-SVG)
Several SVGs can be:

  • merged together in InkScape, or
  • inserted in one OpenOffice (LibreOffice) document and printed or exported as PDF.
    I think it is possible to maintain 1:1 scale til the printed output.

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.