PCB Edge Tool in Nightly Builds?

I’m sure I’m missing something obvious… but the nightly builds I’ve been using (currently 2017-12-19 revision f4f0c09f3) no longer have the “blue dashed line” button in the right hand tool bar. I previously used this on the Edge.Cuts layer to create the actual board shape/border. Which button/tool should I use for creating the actual board cutout?


I seem to remember that there was talk on the mailing list that that tool does basically the same as the track tool. So they might have combined them into one. (And use the active layer to determine how the track tool is handled.)

I don’t remember the stable version, but a recent development version has the “Add graphic lines” tool as it has had for a long time. It has three blue lines and four small green circles as “joints”.

(EDIT: and no, you can’t draw with tracks.)

Hrm, yes, “Add graphic lines” is working for drawing the board itself, as expected. Maybe I didn’t select the right layer before drawing the shape before? Or maybe it was a previously nightly build that had an issue? Probably the former, though, most likely “operator error”. :slight_smile:


So what is the conclusion here? In current nightlies, which tool are you supposed to use to draw the board edge? Or can you use any of the graphic tools (and presumably NOT the track tool), just ensuring that you have the Edge.Cuts layer selected?

Thanks – Graham

Edge.Cuts is just a layer. When you plot the gerbers you can create a gerber file dedicated to the board edges. Basically it can be done with any layer and with any tool with which you can draw. The manufacturer probably wants to have a clean gerber with a continuous outline with one width to minimize misunderstandings. Remember that gerbers are quite dummy, they don’t have any metainformation or anything else than simple graphics. Usually communication between your gerbers and the manufacturer’s process involves some amount of human intervention. Drawing board edges is based on conventions (and the manufacturer’s recommendations), not hardcoded software rules.

When you plot the gerbers you can choose to include the edges to all layer gerbers. Therefore Edge.Cuts is kind of a special layer in KiCad. But you can still use any tool you can draw with. Maybe you can even misuse the track tool in some way. Just do what works for you.


I have found that the default line thickness seems wider now than with the old dedicated tool., but can be changed.
Remember that you can use a more suitable tool eg LibreCAD or FreeCAD to draw a complex PCB shape and import into KiCad as a .DXF file

in FreeCad it is also possible to design and export directly the Edge to pcbnew format


Thanks @eelik, that’s pretty much the conclusion I came to, so thanks for confirming. It’s just that existing tutorials on the board edge topic seem very devoted to the “dashed blue line” tool, like it had some special magic.