Seeking Arduino Pro Mini footprint

Lurking about on my hard-drive is

I didn’t put this stuff here, but it seems to indicate that KiCAD knows about the Arduino Pro Mini board. However, try as I might I cannot find anything about the board in Cvpcb.

Do the files in the image include the foorprint for the Pro Mini, and, if so, how do I get the info into Cvpcb? I don’t know what I should be looking for or how to add it.


There’s no need to start a new thread for the same topic.

This is indeed the template project I was talking about in the other thread. You can open it with the KiCad main project window menu or toolbar button. Or probably you can just copy the whole project folder to another location and open the .pro file with KiCad.

Do you mean “pcbnew” because that’s the name of the board editor. Or do you mean you want to attach a footprint to a symbol? That’s what CvPcb does.

Anyways, the footprints are in the .pretty folder. Each .pretty folder is a footprint library and may have one or more footprint files. This one has three footprints, one for each pin row. Therefore they are unfortunately incompatible with your nice symbol. In this template project each row is represented as one symbol.

I felt the old topic was losing focus on the original ask which was how to get a footprint for an Arduino Pro Mini board into a layout.

All right, I have it ‘open’ and have the footprint in Pcbnew.

How do I get it from there into a specified library?

This footprint is (Windows 10)
C:\Program Files\KiCad\share\kicad\template\Arduino_Mini\Arduino_Mini.kicad_pcb

Symbols have the suffix .kicad_mod and they live in a folder with a name like MyStuff.pretty. What do Footprints live in and how do I put this footprint somewhere where I can use it?

That’s a PCB, not a footprint. (A footprint is a single component. A PCB is a collection of footprints and traces that make up a board.)

Those are footprints.

Symbols live in pairs of files that end in .lib and .dcm. The .lib and .dcm files always go together. And unlike footprints, which are one footprint per file, multiple symbols can live in a single file.

What you have is a template, which is a starting point for your own project. In KiCad you should be able to choose File > New Project > New Project from Template.

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Confuseder and confuseder! :tired_face:

I want to create a new board. I am in Pcbnew. I go
Add Footprints --> LMC in drawing area --> get Load Footprint dialog --> Then
(1) Select by Browser --> can’t find Arduino_Pro_Mini or
(2) type in ‘Name’ box ‘Arduino_Pro_Mini’ --> Error: No footprint found

How do I get this infernal footprint into Pcbnew?

To use a template, you need to be in the main KiCad window (project manager), not PCBNew. Then just choose “File > New Project > New Project from Template”.

To use a footprint, you would do exactly what you tried doing.

But based on the rest of this thread, I’m pretty sure that you do not have a footprint for the Arduino Pro Mini. What you have is a template. A template is the basis for starting a new project.

If you want a footprint for the Arduino Pro Mini, it looks like there is one here.

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Sorry to be dragging this out, but AFIK I am the only person in Perth who is using KiCad. If there was someone at my shoulder they would have said, “Oh, Do this!” about a week ago and the problem would have been solved. As it is I am stuck with wading through waist-deep confusion. :exploding_head: I am sure it will all seem very simple once I get it sorted out. Thanks for staying with me.

I have come to the conclusion that I have this process all wrong. (Amazing what comes to mind when you get away from the computer for a while.) What I need to do is to attach the footprint to the symbol (kicad_mod) then in the schematic click on ‘Generate Netlist’. Then in Pcbnew I can import the netlist and Robert should really be my Father’s Brother! Does that sound logical? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Trouble is attaching the footprint (which I have downloaded: pro_mini.kicad.mod’) to the symbol.

In MyProj.sch: RMC on symbol --> Edit Component --> Footprint --> Select --> Library Browser --> can’t find the Library. So I’m back with the same question, "How do I make the kicad_mod file accessible? :anguished:

You need to put the .kicad_mod file in a .pretty directory, and then add that directory to your fp-lib-table.

Well, we finally got somewhere, thanks a lot, but not home yet. I have this schematic

which gives me this

(1) That footprint for the Arduino Pro Mini is a bit odd compared to the actual beast
It’s odd, but it’ll do. The positions of the pins in the two rows of 20 are right.
(2) More importantly, there is no power (3.3V) connection to the Pro Mini. Is there something wrong in my schematic, or perhaps a problem with naming conventions?

Thanks again

Sorry, I should have attached this in case of investigation. (18.2 KB)

This footprint looks like a mirror image of what you probably want. There was a whole long thread about that subject. It’s basically a matter of whether you want to attach the Pro Mini face-up or face-down.

Also, it is strange that the footprint contains some but not all of the pins for the FTDI header at the end. You might want to edit the footprint to get rid of those.

Your symbol for the Pro Mini has no pin numbers. Pins in the symbol are matched to pads in the footprint by pin number. The ~ below should instead be one of the numbers from the footprint.


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I think actually the FTDI header is missing (it’s not needed except on the Arduino Mini itself) and there are 3 extra pins that some clone Minis have. Of course, the footprint can be adapted to user needs.

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Oh, I see. In that case, maybe it’s not a mirror image after all. (If these extra pins are on the end opposite the FTDI header.)

But there is still the issue of 3.3V and GND not getting any ratsnest lines (and therefor presumably not connected).

I’ve been avoiding dumping my Arduino symbols and footprints because I don’t have them documented well, but here you go… (1.5 MB)
They should work in v4.x as that was the last KiCad version that they were saved in. But I can verify that the footprints are compatible with the schematic symbols. The linked datasheets for the symbols are the official schematics of the boards for reference.

For the Pro-Mini I have 3 versions (schematic symbol and pcb footprint):

  1. ARDUINO_Pro-Mini = All the pins except the FTDI pins (this includes the off-grid analog pins).
  2. ARDUINO_Pro-MiniALL = All the pins including the FTDI pins and the off-grid analog pins.
  3. ARDUINO_Pro-MiniDIP = Only the side pins that would fit into a bread board.

All the power pins are type “Power input” on the Pro-Mini. (Some of the other Arduino boards have some of the power pins as outputs, expecting them to be used providing power to the attached curcuitry…)

All the footprints additionally have 4 variants, for hand soldering you will probably want to the the …U variant as those have oval pads with the drill offset to one side to give a fairly large copper pad for your iron tip. I included a file “My Standards.TXT” that have more details on where I got my pad and component geometry dimensions.

Copy the contents of the library folder to your user libraries location and the contents of the modules folder to your user footprints location. Then add the libraries and footprints like any other libraries and modules.

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