Post-v5 new features and development news

Hello all, it was merged this new feature I developed for 3D-Viewer: light parameterization …with some improvements in the rendering:


Beautiful, marketing will love this


Excellent, I really needed this feature!

With these improvements to the viewer being made, would it be possible to support opacity for the board material, e.g. polyamide / PET?

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Would you like to open a wish request on KiCad gitlab ? and provide some examples on what you would like to achieve?

Few people know that KiCad 5.99 has some invisible advanced configuration possibilities. You probably won’t need them but it may be good to know. See where it’s documented.

It’s possible to group board items together.

At the moment it’s just a “geographical” group which locks items together so that they can be selected, moved, deleted etc. together.


Compressed 3D models are supported, see KiCad will support compressed step and vrml models in the future. Yeah, I could use those gigabytes for something else.


Yay! Configurable origin and axis direction has landed, courtesy by @RRPollack. See User-selected PCBnew display origin (5.1.x) for background, but that thread is closed. (Please no bug reports or wishes here.) The feature won’t be integrated into 5.1.

EDIT: I wrote a FAQ article about the origins and coordinate system, Coordinate system, grid and origins in Pcbnew (especially version 5.99). It shows these new features.


All feature requests need to go to the bug tracker ( Search for your suggestion there first (I think it might be implemented but not sure)

Hopefully one of our hard-working admins can move this hijack over the the #community:feature-request

Apologies, I deleted the post.

Alternate pin definitions.

A library symbol can now define alternate definitions for individual pins, and a schematic symbol can chose which alternate to use.


There’s a new tool that lets you convert lines/tracks to polygons/zones/keepouts and vice versa.

I think it’s pretty handy for creating zones from imported DXFs, replicating some copper traces on the silkscreen layer, and things like that.

It doesn’t support curves/arcs yet but will eventually.


As usually curves are not handled. Why are curved tracks and rounded corners zones not yet implemented in Kicad? is there implementation that problematic? or is the Kicad code base inapropriate for handling such geometric primitives?

Curved tracks are implemented now (but some of the editing tools for them are still a WIP)

Seth is working on curved zone/polygon support:
Once that is merged I will update my tool to support it.
Historically the geometric primitives in KiCad did not support arcs very well, but, we’re working on fixing that for V6.


I really love these “Why is feature x not implemented yet” posts. Is really motivating and constructive :wink:
As a tip for the future it sounds much better if you ask differently. Something like: I really look forward to trying this all out. By the way are there plans to add support for feature x and is there a way that I can help? (The info is exactly the same but nobody’s pulse will rise reading it)


You can safely bet that when KiCad does support curved traces, someone will complain here that freeRouting does not do it, even though freeRouting is not part of KiCad.

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Perfect. Thanks. I know that handling curves is a true hell in any graphics editing software.

I once was part of a team searching for a quick (!) way to fill spirals (printed coils) for a PCB programm. It was hell ! Every time there was a special situation when any small part remained empty…
What I want to say is: Yes I would also like more rounded elements and yes I know its not easy to implement. Keep up the good work !

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The new library and schematic file formats were introduced long time ago (although, as Einstein said, time is relative). In the old format symbols used in a schematic were cached in an external file. Therefore the schematic files weren’t standalone, unlike the layout files. In the new format the symbols are embedded in the schematic file. This is a bit different than in the layout files: each symbol is once in the file and only the volatile data is per instance.

Anyways, the eeschema UI for handling symbols in the schematic have been a remnant from the old system. Now it, or at least much of it, has been made similar to the pcbnew UI.