Hello everyone! We’re very pleased announce that we’re finally able to direct uploads of
.kicad_pcb files over at oshpark.com. This means that you can place an order without going through the plot process, worrying about drill formats, or fiddling with CAM settings. It also means new users can simply grab your design files and place a pcb order without worrying about installing Kicad at all.
We still have some work to do before an official announcement, but we wanted to get some community feedback, which is where you come in. We’re big fans of this forum, so you get to be the first to know. A big thanks to everyone here for such amazing community support of such an awesome tool.
What we’re hoping is to get some feedback to make sure we’re doing the Right Thing according to Kicad’s expected community conventions. Mostly we’re honoring whatever was set in the user’s Plot settings, outside of some manufacturing related ones. On the other hand, since the only way to save plot settings is by plotting, we want to set sane standards. Of the various settings, here’s the ones which we suspect will differ most often, or need a change.
- Plot outline on all layers, which is disabled.
- Subtract silk from Mask, which is enabled. This will be done anyway during fabrication.
- Via tenting is left as the user set. That should default to “tented” on new files.
- Plot Invisible Text, which is disabled. This could be configured to user specified, but is probably a good debate topic.
We also have one deviation from the normal Kicad plot routine: Before plotting gerbers, we update all fill zones. This helps protect against the odd case where minor via or trace tweaks results in stale ground planes causing shorts, or if a ground pour is added but never filled.
All of the more obvious CAM aspects are handled behind the scenes. We’ll detect the layer stackup, and generate all copper layers in the correct order. If your stackup fails to be detected or appears incorrect, please let us know!
There’s still some known UI issues which are being resolved, most notably blank layers generate a
removing blank layer filename.kicad_pcb, rather than the correct layer name.
Thanks a ton for helping us work out the final kinks in this project so we can help the community from our end. Lastly, please feel free to email us privately at email@example.com if your file or opinion isn’t something that can be posted publicly in the forum. We look forward to hearing from you all.
-Dan, OSH Park Support