Thermal reliefs by component size

Till now (my old Protel) I defined (except default) two component classes : Medium and Big.
For default I defined thermal relief width of 10mils, for Medium 20 mils and for Big 30 mils.

I have done some experiments (KiCad 4.0.7), and have same questions:

Do I have to set thermal relif width (if different than filled zone settings) separatelly for each pad connected to filled zone?
Is it possible to edit pad parameters if its footprint is locked?

I have defined one filled zone (at bottom) and there I have two throuh hole elements and each has one pad connected to that GND zone.
What decides that one (squere) pad is connected by horizontal and vertical lines) and second (circular) by 4 lines at 45 degree?

It can be given in zone, footprint or pad, the latter overriding the former.

Can’t you just try out and see what happens?

It’s some KiCad internal algorithm. Sometimes I would like to set it myself but haven’t found a way.


I can’t find at footprint level the possibility to edit thermal relief width.

Why do you suppose I haven’t done that? I have done some experiments (as I have written at the beginning). I just wonted to ask short, precision questions without too much useless speaking.
I am investigating KiCad to find the ways I will use for my typical tasks. At that moment I see that when I’ll put the GND filled zone on top I will have to left thermal relief according to small (0603, SOT323) elements as they are the most of all connected to GND. So I will have to change the relief settings for all bigger elements (if I’ll not find the way for elements than pads) connected to GND. They (like terminal blocks) are frequently locked. Designing PCB for DIN mounted box I also lock high elements (like electrolitic capacitors) to avoid incautious move of them to the region when the box is not enough high.
I have tried and failed to get to edit pad of locked footprint. Few days ago I coudn’t find the way to copy graphics in lib edit, asked and got the answer how to do that so I assume that here also may be it is possible but I can’t find the way.

Only because it sounds so trivial. Either you can edit a pad parameter (do you mean “property”?) or you can’t. Locking should affect only the position, not other properties.

In 5.0RC it’s in the footprint Properties dialog.

I have only 5.0RC installed, I’m sorry if I have given wrong information. I was quite sure that the zone connection was similar in 4.0.7.

OK, I installed 4.0.7 as a flatpak package. It seems to behave like 5.0RC. The footprint “Properties” is called “Parameters” in the legacy view/toolset mode context menu, but the dialog is identical, and Pad connections to zones can be found easily. Also changing individual pads is possible even if the footprint is locked.

Yes. I don’t think pad properties are locked but how to get to edit them. When I press ‘E’ on pad of unlocked footprint I have pad properties window opened, but on locked footprint I have footprint properties window opened. Of course I can unlock, edit then lock but I am looking for shorter way, as I’ll do it with the serie of pads.

In 4.0.7 in footprint properties I can only decide how pad connections to zone are done (like zone settings, Solid, Thermal, None) but not the connection width.

I was thinking about to look at V5 but I have spend some time looking through menu at and don’t know how to get to place I could download V5. I’ve only found some information under Contribute/Developers about getting the source, but I’ll certainly not compile anything.
Is it hidden or I’m blind?

It looks like you can use the legacy (default) canvas (view/toolset) and then open the context menu on top of a pad. There’s Pad and Footprint submenus. In the OpenGL canvas you can’t open Pad properties for some reason.

Do legacy means F9? I didn’t checked it. As the only reason I am interested in KiCad are the properties of routing under F11 I just used F11 and didn’t considered switching the view back to the old version (to tell you the truth I really forgotten that there are other views).

After F9 in context menu on pad of locked footprint I have first position “Pad 2 on… of S2” and then Edit Pad, and also pressing E gets me to Pad Edition.
This is the way I expected it is but I can’t find. Thanks.
So to make those changes for thermal reliefs width I have to temporary switch to F9.

But I have nowhere found the word “Parameters” so may be we are speaking about different things.

I found - not under Pad but under footprint I was not looking at.

I have to hammer into my head: If you suppose something should be possible but is not - use F9 :slight_smile:

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