Suggestion for generation of rectangular and circular board outlines

I’m not sure if this has been covered before, but when you need to generate a regular rectangular, or circular board outline, I feel it would be a great improvement of you could just have a drop-down menu, where you just enter the size of the rectangle sides, or diameter of the circle.

I find that using the drawing tool is very fiddly and time consuming. :confounded:

Roger :relaxed:

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bugs/wishlist items need to be pointed there (as KiCADinfo is ‘just’ frequented by some of the devs, but not an official support forum, afaik):

Wishes need to be tagged with wishlist and you need to make sure that this particular feature isn’t listed already by someone else (use the search over there) so you could just vote for that wish and add thoughts if you have any.

PS: pretty sure that better coordinate input, even CAD like has already been listed over there…

PPS: don’t be upset if you get shut down by the devs, the group is not that big and already has their plate filled for the next 10 years.

I second that suggestion. Hopefully that feature will be included in Version 5.

Creating a correctly sized rectangular board outline should take 10 seconds, not 10’s of minutes using a line drawing tool. The rectangular box drawing tool is in all the other packages (eeschema, part creation, footprint creation, etc)

Unlikely, v5 features are officially frozen.

I don’t think eeschema or footprint creation have a rectangle tool.

I did figure out a sneaky work-around:

When creating a rectangular PCB, set a custom grid size to the desired X*Y such as 17mm * 24mm and there you have easy grid to snap to.

However, the maximum it seems to allow for a grid size is 50mm (sound rather arbitrary), and I need a 88mm * 435mm board, so that breaks down into a grid size of 244mm x 1529mm.

Thus setting grid sizes of 44mm x 29mm, I can count two grid points across and 15 grid points down, all done under 2 minutes (including the integer factoring). Not as fast as it could be, but a handy trick.


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If you press space key, it sets the relative origin, then it’s very easy to create a box with the desired size. Usually I set the grid to 1mm or 5 mm first. Takes about 10 seconds.


A part using the grid, which is very useful for so simple outlines, you may find these tools useful when creating more complex board edges:


Thanks Bob.

It used to be you could set pretty much any size for the grid, which helped a lot to overcome a lot of limitations in KiCad (outlines, arrays etc.) At some point it was changed to 50mm. I had a bug report about it sitting for more two years. Thanks to Jean-Pierre Charras nothing has been done about it, although just about everybody else thinks it was a bad move. You can try to vote it up, for the good it may do.

Look at this commit yesterday

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Yay! :thumbsup:

LOL, my comment is the last one there. For some reason I didn’t see the previous recent comments when I wrote it so it came in too late. In general the developers have been very responsive when I have reported something, it’s almost amazing, sometimes they seem to have read my mind before I have decided to report something and fixed it beforehand.

It takes just one developer to have the same itch as you

Couldn’t find a definitive answer here, is it possible now with v5. to create a small circular board (40mm) with a circular track around the board?
10mm circular hole in the centre of the board

it is definitely possible, but not so straightforward.

EDIT: took me 1min to do:

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Though creating PCB shapes is easy, I have a variety of shapes I often use so, I made several Templates with the shapes, which include Margins for Keep-out zones (for my CNC Milling needs…).

• Create a board shape add comments, Dim’s, whatever…
• Tweak existing Worksheets, if desired (for
schematic and pcb)
• Take screenshot to use as Logo, if desired
• Make a Template folder
• Copy your file to the new Template folder
• Create the necessary “meta” folder and items… (screenshot)
• Link the Template folder to the Path…

Do a little homework on creating the items and setting folder paths…

Then start a project using the Template

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 10.12.58 AM

Any tips?
I am just transitioning from ver 4 to 5.

Select the Edge.Cuts layer and draw two circles with the same center, it helps if you set a big grid size >1mm, after you are done, edit the properties of the circles to define the radii (radiuses, radiusss :stuck_out_tongue: ) that you want (40mm and 10mm), then your board outline is ready.

The round track was a hack but depending on your application it can be acceptable, I draw a circle in a layer (Drw, Cmts, Eco, etc.) with the desired radius and edited its properties to make it thicker and send it to a cooper layer.

I say it is a hack, because the track is not a track, is a drawing in the copper layer, without net, but if that is all you need, it suffices.

I hope this helps.

If you really want circles made of tracks you have several options (this is the “not so straightforward” part)

You can “abuse” the rounding tracks plugin from @maui and @jsreynaud, you’ll need to layout a track in square form, the side should be the same size as the desired circle diameter (here 10mm)

Then, for each pair of sides, round the corner to the size of the radius of the circle (here 5mm)

Repeat a couple of times and you have a circle, select the whole circle track and assign a net to it, ready!

Option #2, use the python script from @Joan_Sparky, it will write your track information on the command line, you will need to edit your PCB file and paste the tracks, it is messy but works nicely.

Option #3: You can use @maui StepUp tools to bring your track design back from FreeCAD as a footprint. Example from the man himself.

I hope this helps.

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Great! Thanks, I will give it a try as soon as I can get to it.
Actually I do need some very small drill holes and pads, 8 radially .