I’ve finished my first layout with Kicad, and coming from a close source PCB layout application, I am used to putting a drill table, layer stackup diagram, and fab notes on a gerber layer. I can just use text for the fab notes, but does Pcbnew support placing a “live” drill table or stackup diagram? I mostly care about the drill table.
I’m not a pro (I just moderate here, hehe) and not involved with KiCAD development, but what is a drill table?
Is that the first part in a excellon drill file?
And what is the ‘live’ part about?
Does that mean it uses links/fields from the drill sizes that are being used in the layout?
It might be possible to do something like that with python scripting…
For layers you could use one of the free ones… Dwgs.User or Cmts.User or EcoX.User.
None of these are predefined and available for anything you want.
A drill table is just a table with the following colums:
Count, hole size, plated (Y/N), and tolerance for the hole (e.g. +/- .003").
You are correct that the “live” part was that the hole count would be updated as the design was modified.
I come from P-CAD, and this is just something that you can drag onto a gerber layer, and it magically updates itself.
You are correct that this is most of the same information that exists in the .drl file, but it’s useful for the PCB house to have it on a FAB layer, along with a Notes Table. The one piece of info that a Drill Table has that .drl files don’t is tolerance. Sometimes you want a drill to be absolutely no more that X or no less than Y. You can then specify a tolerance of +0/ -.006 for instance.
Your suggestion about Python is interesting. Perhaps something like that could be created. If so, it would bring a very standard feature of other PCB tools to Kicad.
Oh, I forgot to mention that PCB houses can’t drill any arbitrary hole size. They have a certain number of bits to choose from, albeit a pretty large number. The tolerance info then lets the PCB house choose the appropriate actual drill bits that will still satisfy your stated requirements. Otherwise, they would have to ask you explicitly or simply do whatever they think is best, which might or might not work for you.
Some of the more seasoned users will probably chime in about this.
But there is nothing stopping you from digging around in there and get your hands dirty really.