VIAs thermal relief


#1

I am trying to figure how to get a via that is going to be connected to a ground layer to have some thermal relief. The reason I am asking is that the printer we have at our school only does holes it doesn’t have through hole plating. So for each VIA I have to connect it manually from the bottom to the top by adding a small wire in the VIA itself and then soldering it from the top and the bottom. Now some VIA on my board for some reason didn’t come out with thermal padding, actually I think the only ones that didn’t do that were the ones that were connected to the ground plane.

This makes it hard to solder because I have to heat up the whole ground plane around the VIA for me to get the solder on it, and sometimes because its open the solder just leaks every where.

I was hopping if someone could help me with this and tell me how I can manually add thermal relief for those VIAs.


#2

I’m not aware of an easy way to do this. My understanding it that Pcbnew always solid pours vias.

The rough way would be to make your different via sizes as footprints so that you can edit the way they’re poured over in the edit zones dialog.


#3

There is currently no way to do this.

Someone requested this earlier this year and none of the developers wished to implement it since it is a very rarely needed option.


#4

Is there anything I can do to manually fix this that is easy?


#5

I suppose you could make a “via” footprint that is just a single through hole with thermal relief. Then instead of placing a via you just place that footprint.

That is the easiest thing I could think of.


#6

I see, is there a guide on how to do the thermal relief part? To be honest with you I have not made any footprints yet myself usually I find them online or use something that is close to my parts.


#7

Yeah, check this thread from earlier: Protip: nicer via stitching

You just need to set the through hole to thermal relief when you are making the footprint. Pretty easy to do.

I definitely recommend you learn how to make footprints. It really isn’t that hard and it is a super valuable tool to have!


#8

I’d say the easiest fix is to not actually connect it to a plane, instead have it go to another trace on the bottom side. Then have all of those wires go back to a “star ground”. That should at least make the soldering a bit easier, though it may have some signal path implications.