KiCad 5.1.2 on Windows 10
I saw this topic posted by another user but didn’t find a solution. When importing graphics I’d like to import some custom tracks with reference to a particular board shape. The tracks are straight lines. What would be the reason KiCad doesn’t allow importing shapes onto the front and back copper layers?
KiCad 5.1.2 on Windows 10
DRC does not support graphic elements on copper layers.
From what I know it is a conservative attitude.
KiCad has been a pretty incomplete and only very partialy and crippled solution until only a few years ago. All the developers are doing a tremendously wonderful job in the last handfull of years, but it’s a pretty small team and lots of the development is done in the free time as a hobby.
At the moment KiCad has some trouble in distinguishing graphics on copper layers, and they mess up with the DRC errors. You can easily create shorts by putting graphichs on a copper layer, and if this can not be detected by the DRC, then you have a high probability of creating a defective board.
Keep in mind that the interactive router is quite aggresive in shoving stuff aside to make room for just an extra via or track. And if it can not keep track of graphics on copper layer that WILL create shorts without you noticing.
A few montsh ago (Probably with V5.1.0) a capability was added to add custom graphics to pads. You may have success in first importing your graphics on a technical layer, and then convert it to a custom pad and put it on a copper layer.
Import and export of graphics is also clearly not finished / polished yet.
I sort of expect this functionality to be integrated into KiCad into some future version, but have no idea when. Probably multiple years.
Some time ago Wayne Stambaugh promised to make some kind of roadmap for future version. This may appear on that list someday…
(Rene posted wile I was typing).
IIRC @JeffYoung added support for DRC on complex shapes.
So it probably is in the Nightlies
I thought about accomplishing this an alternative way by importing the lines onto a layer like Dwgs.User, then modify the layer property to Front or Back Copper. I’m realizing now, though the line is on the copper layer it’s not registering as a track.
My third, and maybe only option is to use the imported graphic end points as reference points, route actual tracks on top of them, then delete the reference lines.
Custom pads where added in v5.0 and yes this would work.
one can even use arc segments this way.
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