[Solved]Create color areas with solder mask

Hi, In what level and how do I determine the font color.
What level does the wise imprint come from and how do I make the cutout for the solder stop.

The problem will be that most PCB fabs will only offer one silkscreen colour for a given job because to print multiple colours requires multiples passes = more cost. And if you choose non-white you may have to pay more and wait longer.

I believe higher Gerber levels can specify silkscreen colour in the files, but as mentioned, the fab may not offer it.

This has nothing to do with solder mask. Silkscreen printing is a separate layer. Openings in the solder mask are for exposing copper (or actually the chosen copper finish). In your picture above you need a soldermask opening (which may come with the pad), and a silkscreen free area. There is a setting in the Plot dialog Subtract soldermask from silkscreen which is probably intended to do this.

I got this email.
So I did something wrong!

For the extra openings in the B-Paste layer, are you sure to add solder mask openings on them to make them exposed? It seems the pads and solder mask openings are correct. Please check it again.

But how do I do it right now?

Do you really need paste layers? Are you going to apply your own solder paste through a stencil and do reflow soldering?

No I do not need it. I actually just wanted an inscription area (square) with writing. So white square with writing in board color.

Ok, then don’t generate the paste layers. As for holes in the silkscreen you just have to make a white square with text holes all in the silkscreen layer, then the soldermask colour will show through. I’ve never done this but I’m sure it’s possible in the last resort by importing graphics into the silksceen layer.

That’s exactly the real problem. Anyway, the way I solved it didn’t work.

If you look at the source for the KiCad logo which has fg and bg reversed for the Ki which is in a .kicad_mod file, you’ll see that the generator is pcbnew. So maybe some one else will explain how to make what you want with pcbnew. I’m guessing a combination of polygons and fills, all on the silkscreen layer.

new problem When I create a new footprint, I cannot save it. Save As doesn’t give me an option to do this in the project folder. So first I have to push some buttons I don’t know anything about.

Distribution directories are not writable for good reason. Even if you managed to bypass permissions and save a footprint there it would be overwritten by upgrades. Search for documentation on making your own footprints, which involves first creating your own writeable footprint directory and then registering it in the footprint library table.

After several messages in this thread it was still unclear to me what you actually need. This quote makes me think you need silkscreen, just like retiredfeline says in his next message.

As far as I can see, the “white” rectangles in the first screenshot aren’t white but gray. It means they are in the Paste layer. Paste is for pads only, and here you shouldn’t need them – unless you actually have large rectangle pads to attach a connector or some other component.

You also say “how do I make the cutout for the solder stop”. Why solder stop (mask layer)? If you actually need silk, you don’t need to use the mask layer.

“How do I determine the color” – what do you mean, that you want different color on the actual physical board, or you need to see a certain color in the 3D view? Like r.f. said, controlling different silkscreen colors depends on the manufacturer, not all manufacturers do it, and there’s no standard way to communicate about it.

“So white square with writing in board color”. I suppose you need a silkscreen rectangle with text as “knockout”, i.e. there’s no silkscreen in the characters and the underlying board – or actually mask – color is revealed. That’s not easily possible with KiCad 6 default features, but you can install the KiBuzzard plugin with the Plugin&Content Manager. When you refresh plugins in Tools → External Plugins, it appears as “Create Labels”. That should do it.


It looks like you need to create a smaller rectangle (KiBuzzard label) with the text, and then manually add the silkscreen around the pads. Unfortunately there’s no easy way to remove pad area, with a clearance, from a silkscreen polygon or zone. The easiest way to do it which I can now find is to create a zone in the silk layer around the pad and add a cutout to it.

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If the pad has to be inside of the white square it is more convoluted as eelik explained, but if you only need what KiBuzzard offers, here is an example of what you can get:

EDIT: Just to mention that each of those labels, is created as a footprint, where the label has been drawn on the silkscreen

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So I have it now. I created two footprints, one for a rectangle pin and one for an oval pin. And finally, insert KiBuzzard text. I thank you all.
TerminalBlock_Altech_AK300-2_P5.00mmRectanglePin.kicad_mod (2.4 KB)
TerminalBlock_Altech_AK300-2_P5.00mmOvalPin.kicad_mod (4.3 KB)

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Did not know that KiCad was designed by CE :+1:

The CE marking is mandatory for all products manufactured worldwide that are marketed in the EU. I don’t want to, but it can’t hurt either.

Tatsächlich? Wer hätte das gedacht. :rofl:

Nur mal so, ich habe gehört, dass manche Zollbeamte auf solche Logos stehen. :joy:

Könnse sich Kreuzweise :rofl:

Man, am I on the hose. I just realized what you meant yesterday.