Router doesn't work like it used to

I think the following gifs are more revealing than what I could try to explain. There’s something weird with the routing “precition”, it doesn’t work like it used to, it gives some weird track shapes.


What is your kicad version?

Nothing weird about it. You just tell the router with some extra clicks which way to go.

It wouldn’t be too much to expect KiCad to avoid 90° corners if 45° would be available.


possibly CERN can think about a gloss feature what automatically corrects the trace to shortest length

Another example:


You always had to hit the [/] key to change the preference of 45deg tracks vs horizontal/vertical track being the first from where you are…?!

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I would still expect the program to give the most probable choice by default. Why should I be made to hit a key in 50% or 5 %of cases if I could do it in 1% or 0%?


yeah I also find the routing obnoxious, like 80% of the time I use D to clean it up. Didn’t know it used to be smarter.


Your mouse movements are either quite erratic or you work on a very coarse grid which could be part of the reason why kicad behaves this strangely. (But it could also be an artifact of the screen capture program in which case ignore my comment.)

This is on a 0.05mm grid. I can see that the path chosen is perhaps better as it increases clearance, but I would prefer routing follow my mouse path, or at least continue the straight line.

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Something has changed about the way routing works. I have worked with Kicad extensively for the last few years and this is new. The mouse movement seems erratic because you cannot see the clicks. In the first example, I would click in that middle point between the two pads and jump to pad 1, and I would expect the trace to follow my movement and not do that weird 90 degree shape. It’s the exact opposite behaviour than expected.


Also, adding clicks along my desired path does not help, in fact makes things uglier… using drag on the resulting track it is happy to do what I want though??


A click normally fixes the last direction change instead of the current end point. (at least this was the behavior in 5.0) This means the interactive router is not really meant to be used with defining single segments. If one wants that much control then the highlight collision mode might be better suited (it replaces the legacy router which could be what you remember as it was the default under kicad version 4.)

To be clear: I do not argue that the kicad interactive router is without faults. Just guessing what the reason for the reduction in quality could be. (I personally like kicads interactive router more than eagles)

There’s an option to enable/disable the pad optimization. You might try that. Also, this would make for a good bug report. Please create one with the associated videos and include your KiCad version information from Help->About KiCad->Copy Version information

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I have notice that this happens more often when the shove or walk around option are enable, because of this I mostly use highlight collision mode.


When you report a bug which is discussed in the forum, please add a link to the forum discussion:

EDIT: I meant add a post here in the forum with a link to the bug report. It’s not so important in other direction because bug reports should be mostly self-contained anyways.

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I find this autorouting behavior to be very annoying as well. It causes a layout to take more time just fighting the autorouter’s desire to place 90 degree corners on things that have a clear line for just one or two 45 degree bends. The tracks often end up with many unnecessary segments and bends in them.

The interactive router is not perfect. But if one is prepared to learn how it works then one can get quite a lot more out of it than the manual mode.

It took me one or two boards till i got fully used to the interactive router (i experimented quite a bit with the router in this time and was prepared to throw away early attempts and redo them with the experience i already got. Not to change how the trace was looking but to experience how it can be done more efficiently than in my first attempt.)

It is a skill that i would not be able to explain to anyone not even when sitting next to them. However i would never go back to a fully manual router. The interactive router makes me much more efficient.

So my tip: don’t simply dismiss it before you invested the time into learning how it works. And a small tip: don’t use the left click (fix current point) feature too much and use a small grid.

yeah, but why is it so much easier to get a “nice” (yes, it’s subjective) result dragging an existing track around than when using the interactive router?

I don’t think what I’m looking for requires any magic algorithms…