SMD parts and Ground Planes

How are you supposed to connect smd ground pads with the ground plane on a different layer?

I have a 2-side board with a mostly continuous ground plane on the bottom. Once I’ve completed routing everything non-ground on the top side, the ground connections to smd parts are still not connected (as would be expected).

Here are things I’ve tried.

Option 1: vias. If I put a short trace on the top and then a via, they still show as not connected even after redrawing the ground plane. It sort of works but makes how would you know if you routed everything if it still shows 50 unconnected nets.

Option 2: fake pad. I saw a suggestion somewhere to create single through-hole footprint that is simple 1 pad. Then add this to the pcb directly, not to the schematic. This sort of works but seems like a hack.

Option 3: vias and bottom traces. Place a short track and then a via from the smd pad. Then continue the trace on the bottom until it connects to another ground pad on the bottom. Sort of works but you end up with funny extra traces (that fill when you repour the bottom) and is a pain on complicated boards that already have traces on the bottom.

Is there a simple way to complete the connection between the ground plane and the smd pads?

What KiCad version are you using? If I have understood correctly vias to planes (your option 1) don’t work in 4.0.7. But they work in daily builds and in the upcoming v. 5.

Vias from tracks or pads to planes work fine.
Vias between two planes (stitching vias) are not supported.

That’s strange. Could you post a screenshot about this?
If you start the trace at the center of the pad (pcb_new should snap to it) and place a via connected to this trace, it should connect to the zone.

Is it possible that you did not give the correct net to the zone? (net of the pad and the zone need to be equal)
Do the clearance settings allow the zone to connect to the via? (Zones have their own settings. They do not use the global settings found under the drc and dimensions settings dialogs.)

This is only needed for stitching two copper zones together.


Thanks. Yes option 1 does seem to work. I was confused because the rats-nest wire remains if there are others nearby that still need to be connected.

Sorry for the false alarm

Honestly your “false alarm” just saved my day. I was having the same problem. It wasn’t until i read this that i knew to connect all of them.