Special Layers for flex PCBs

I’ve got a design that I’m putting on a flex PCB. The manufacturer (PCBway) has options for putting stiffener and double sided tape on the board in specific places. To do that I need to specify where they need to go, and I am pretty sure I need to show where in my technical layers. (I’m getting my info from Carl Bugeja on youtube, he made a comment about it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CElr-PUjUoi/)

It seems however, that KiCad doesn’t support any new layers except copper layers. Is there any way around this? My whole design is on kicad, and not having those two things available is going to increase the part count and decrease the durability of the final product.

Just use a non-copper layer which isn’t used for anything else. You have to give a note to the manufacturer about it.


Alright, well that’s an idea, I’ll stick it on the adhesive layers. Still it’d be nice to be able to define or rename layers to avoid confusion.

There are (weirdly) still some holes in the Gerber file format.
As far as I know it’s not possible to define such features, just as with V-grooves and some other less maintstream technologies for PCB’s.

This means they have to be hacked in, and communicated to the PCB manufacturer manually, which costs time and leaves room for errors.

But concerning KiCad.
Some layers you could use for this are Dwgs.User, Cmts.User. Eco1.User Eco2.User, and possibly also the F&B Fab layers if you do not use them for anything else, and indeed the adhesive layers could also be used.

In KiCad-nightly V5.99 there already is an option built in to make new layers, and to rename layers. It’s unlikely KiCad V5.1.x will ever get any new features, so for KiCad V5 you’re stuck with it’s current limitations.


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