It’s generally “known” that pcbnew doesn’t really support via stitching. You have to link together a bunch of vias using traces, so that they keep their net association. And this is clunky. The traces get in the way of everything, look distracting, and will be removed by “Cleanup Tracks and Vias”.
Here’s a better way. It’s a bit long-winded to set up, but easy to use once you get it going.
- Click “Open footprint editor” on the right toolbar:
- Click “New footprint” on the top toolbar:
- Name it something sane - I tend to call it something like “VIA-0.6mm”
- Place a single pad in the center. Configure it like this:
- Pad type: Through-hole
- Shape: Circular
- Drill: Circular, desired via drill size (0.3mm in my example)
- Size X: Desired via diameter (0.6mm in my example)
- Copper: All
- Uncheck all other layers (F.SilkS, F.Mask, B.Mask are checked by default)
- Set both reference and value to Invisible. I usually also make them tiny so they don’t bother me even if I have hidden text set displayed.
- Set “Pad connection” to “Solid” (this is on the second tab of the pad properties).
Here’s what I have:
You may want to save these to a library on your system, though they’re quick enough to make that I don’t always bother.
- Click the “Insert footprint into current board” button on the top toolbar:
- Grab the via from where it was inserted at the upper left, and edit it. Set the net name to the name of the net you want to stitch.
Now you’ve made a single stitching via. There’s no need to repeat this for the others, as long as you’re using GAL/OpenGL! To manually place a few, click on one that already exists on your board, and press Ctrl-D to duplicate it. If you want to make an array of them, right-click one of them, select “Create array”, and set your array properties. Here’s a stitching array I made quickly:
These are “proper” stitching vias! They don’t need traces to keep them connected, so they can be placed anywhere in big groups easily. Push-and-shove won’t move them, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally losing parts of a good stitching array without noticing.