USB-C shield through hole DRC error: clearance & net bridging issue

Hi all,

New to Kicad but almost finished with my first PCB and it’s been pretty great so far!
I’m having an issue with a USB-C surface connector, where there are 4 shield through-hole pins, which I just want to solder, but not connect to anything.

In the diagram, I marked them as “No connect”, and in the PCB layout, I get quite a few errors I’m not sure what to do about. This is a Digi-Key component from which I imported the component and footprint from here (second one).

My back copper layer is filled up, but you can see on the screenshot that there’s space around the through-hole, so it doesn’t look connected to ground at all (and thus, not connected to anything like in the diagram).

I’d appreciate any pointers on how to fix this, as this is the second USB-C connector footprint I try to use and both resulted in very similar errors!

Let me guess – this is a footprint from a third party and you don’t know how it has been made. This is pretty typical for footprints made by certain services.

I only see two errors. One for “annular with” (repeated for each of the 4 pads) and the other for a clearance violation with a polygon. I am not sure why you have a polygon under that connector. Polygon implies it is a graphical item (from PCB Editor / Place / Draw Graphic Polygon) For copper features you should use: **PCB Editor / Place / Add Filled Zone. You can right click on the Polygon, and then from the context menu select: Create from Selection / Create Zone from Selection, but you should check what that polygon is first. And where / which item is that polygon? Is it on a hidden layer? Or maybe it’s part from a badly defined footprint you got from some 3rd party library?

As I mentioned, yes this is a third-party footprint for the component.

You are right @paulvdh, it looks like there was a stack of weird polygons for some reason. I removed all of them and made the pad a proper oval. They look identical in the 3D view of my PCB but now KiCad is happy.

@eelik since you mention this is typical, do you always assume component footprints provided are wrong and start from scratch? Or you use them as a base and fix errors as they pop up?

If I find a footprint which has correct dimensions I may use it as a base. But even if it doesn’t give errrors, it’s important to double check everything. For example, I downloaded a footprint for a THT connector which was made from the bottom view and had pin numbers mirrored. To be fair, the services which make tons of footprints make that kind of mistake less often than some random internet users, and IIRC that footprint was made by a random user but was provided from a service. The services rather create systematically problematic footprints because they use some format which they convert to other formats, and in many cases the result isn’t 1:1 or has clear bugs in used shapes, layers or item types.

Some people categorically refuse to use footprints made by someone else. If you’re not that strict, you have to learn to be very suspicious.

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