I’ve just finished my first layout with Kicad and I just realised that the pads of most footprints are too small to solder with ease with my tools. I’d like to keep the footprints but use bigger pads. In NI Ultiboard - which I use at school - I can select some of the pads - easy to do with filters - and change their properties easily. How do I deal with that in Kicad?
I recently did this for the same reason; I opened each footprint used on the board, edited the pads to make them friendlier for hand-soldering, and save to the local library for the project. When all of those were done I went back into the footprint assignment dialog and changed all the assignments to use the local version of the footprint.
It was easy, and a good way to get started learning how to use the footprint editor. Also, for some of the footprints in the standard library there are already ‘long pad’ versions which are designed for hand soldering.
So, if I got it right, there’s no way to change the pad properties without creating a new custom footprint?
I understand the rationale behind that but this way I’m forced to duplicate most of the footprints I happen to use.
Please don’t assume that; I chose the path I did because I wanted to learn how to use the footprint editor! There may be ways to do it without customizing the footprints, and if so hopefully someone else will answer.
I’ve already created a few custom footprints for a CR2032 battery holder and a buzzer and choose appropriate pad size.
Ok, my fault! There’s no need to duplicate footprints to get bigger pads. I learned how to change pad properties and push properties to similar footprints. Every EDA is different so I just had to practise with pcbnew.
Check once more
45 years ago I had the soldering iron with tip made of 4mm diameter copper wire. But nowadays I think it is hard to buy a soldering iron to which you can’t have the thin tip easily used to solder SMD parts at their standard (copied from datasheet) footprints. Tin “likes” to wet elements legs and footprint pads going between them. You don’t have to have a big tin drop to connections be well done.
I need the soldering process to be as easy as possible because some of the boards will be made at school, etched in-house and assembled by students in a lab with old, worn-out tools. So we choose big pads, tracks and higher clearence to get the job done.
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