Remove solder mask from track for high current


#1

I have a high current signal and I would like to add some extra solder to increase the current carrying capacity. How do I remove solder mask from just that track?


#2

I think the only way to do this for a whole track is to manually draw a hole in the mask layer.

Using the “Add filled zones” tool on the appropriate mask layer (top or bottom depending on where your track is), draw an outline around the track that you want exposed. Because the mask layers are “negative” layers, anywhere that is part of the filled zone will actually be a hole in the mask.

I’ve used this technique for connecting RF screening cans and it seems to work well.


#3

Thanks, I think that’s right, but KiCad won’t let me. I select “F.mask” from the layer drop down in the toolbar. Then I select add zone, which pops up a “Non Copper Zone Properties” dialog, but the “Layer selection” box is empty. I’m using a nightly build of KiCad so it may just be a bug, or I’m doing something wrong.


#4

Those are the right steps. There should be no circumstances where that layer selection box is unpopulated, sounds like a bug in your build.


#5

Thanks. I reported a bug here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/kicad/+bug/1373468


#6

I see no mention of OS in your bug report?


#7

Oops, updated the bug report with my OS (Kubuntu 14.04)


#8

Add filled zone and done.