PCBNEW, drawing a center line on edge cuts

I’m new to KiCAD & using ver 4.0.2. I’m drawing a rectangle shape on the Edge cuts layer & was wondering is there is a way to snap another line at right angles to the middle of one of the sides without having to calculate where the middle is. I know that sounds very lazy but the reason i’m asking is I’m sure i saw it done in a tutorial once upon a time but i can’t remember where. Any advice would be welcome



No, KiCAD’s drawing tools aren’t that advanced. I don’t know if that kind of feature is on the development roadmap.

Many of us do board outlines with an external mechanical CAD program, and import the *.DXF file into KiCAD. It’s a little cumbersome - the most annoying thing is mentally switching back and forth between the commands, shortcuts, and features of the CAD program, then the shortcuts, etc, of KiCAD. I use the no-charge “LibreCAD” but there are others. I use this process even for simple rectangular boards because I can easily define the rectangle, add a radius to the corners, and mark significant locations (e.g., mounting holes, connectors, etc) in LibreCAD where KiCAD forces me to do a bunch of calculations, write down coordinates, etc.


1 Like

I wouldn’t try to argue the point that KiCad drawing tools are advanced, I’ve dealt with my fare share of frustration with them over the years (board outline included), however you answer is incorrect. To be fair, the question is incorrect as well. What are we exactly snapping to what? Snapping a line to the middle of another side? Side of what? If you are talking about being able to draw a line on the board outline layer which would start at the middle of another line and would be perpendicular to that line as well (which begs a question, why would you want to do that?) that can be easily achieved by setting your custom grid size to half of the first line length and making sure that your line is one the grid to begin with. You might have to re-position your board layout with your line to make sure that this condition is satisfied or place a new grid origin.

Do you actually mean: like in the letter T?

Yes, perhaps I didn’t explain myself clearly enough. If you can imagine the vertical side of the box, i need to draw a horizontal line from the exact center of it, imagine the letter T drawn horizontally

It would be good to be able to do that, however it’s theoretically possible only for horizontal and vertical lines, and even then only if you use grid which is coarse enough. Otherwise the middle point may be off the grid so that even the finest KiCad grid can’t represent the coordinate. It is so because the line is represented by the two endpoint coordinates (I believe). But it would be practical enough to be able to know the approximate coordinate.

Thanks for that, I’m trying to layout a front panel for a HI FI amp iv’e designed & want to put the controls along a center line. Looks like I’ll just have to quit being so lazy & do the sums :slight_smile:

Or, put some effort into gaining basic familiarity with one of the mechanical CAD programs. With just two or three clicks they can do things like find centers, distribute along a line, create a line or arc offset from another line or arc, place a line tangent to an arc, join two endpoints with a tangential arc, etc. That’s how I would do a front panel layout (and create a template for drilling the panel).

For a front panel I suspect there is a suitable grid pitch. In practical terms it comes down to a question of what is “materially significant”. A 10 mil (0.25mm) error - that’s the thickness of a business card - that could devastate yield on a fine-pitch SMT assembly, is not noticeable when it comes to placing front-panel controls, jacks, LED’s, etc.



There may be useful tools in KiCommand. I’ve tried to create commands that treat multiple drawsegments as unified shapes.

If you choose to look into using KiCommand, I can help make it work for you.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.