What are my options for auto routing?

I’ve just finished drawing my schematic and compiling all of the required libraries in order to move to a PCB. But it seems there is no longer any method for auto routing is that correct? I can probably route my board by hand it’s just nice to put some effort into laying out the components properly and then hitting the auto route. The free auto routing program no longer seems to work.

You have to load the autorouter locally. The author had legal issues, I believe.
See this topic:

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The autorouter no longer works. Presumably the KiCAD one was not worked on to a point it could be used ?

Did you read the entire linked thread? The autorouter has to be installed separately. At least one person in that thread got it working with 4.0.2.
It’s really a standalone application. It does NOT produce very good results, something most autorouters have in common. The push and shove router available in OpenGL view mode will give you much better results

I admit I have never tried the Kicad builtin auto router, I use Freeroute running standalone. There are some prebuilt binaries on github https://github.com/freerouting/freerouting, I’ve also built from source using Netbeans.

I have seen reports that say Freeroute “just doesn’t launch”, unfortunately when apps don’t run and leave no trace it’s hard to debug. Possibly there is a problem with permissions or Java versions.

However, I found the effort to get Freerouter running was worth it, because I can’t manage without it!

Which autorouter in openGL mode ? Last time I tried to run the astandalone freerouting it faild to launch. It’s actually the best autorouter I have ever used.

It’s called Interactive Routing.
There are options under Preferences - Interactive Routing, where you may want to enable “Shove”.
You select a ratsnest track and the tool helps you place it

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Autorouting was important 25 years ago when I had triple height Eurocards stuffed full of random 74HC logic at a few MHz clock. These days components are much denser internally, with relatively few connections between them (except PC motherboards!). The placement is the important phase. Look at your ratsnest and see if it can be simplified by rotating, flipping, moving components or even swapping sub-parts.
Some computer assistance to placement would be nice, some sort of genetic/crystallization annealing algorithm to minimise net “weights” perhaps

Ah yes, the old “my way is better than your way” argument :slight_smile:

If people want to use autorouting, why not let them? What difference does it make to you?

Guiding people through is time consuming enough without getting into endless debates about which is “the best way”. Everyone has their own preference. Live and let live?

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I am not saying that autorouting is wrong. I would not remove it
It is no longer the essential it was in the days 19" racks full of boards of of glue logic and 64k memory chips for most of us

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Sure, that’s your opinion, but the question asked was “How do I do autorouting with KiCad?” not “Tell me your opinion on whether autorouting is essential nowadays or not”. :slight_smile:

To be fair, he answered that question first and in a second post… the banter of you two about autorouting - now and then was informative and nice cherry on top of a thread that fulfilled it’s purpose I’d say.

On a really unrelated topic:
Forum seems to calm down on weekends, no?

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Whatever. I find the autorouter essential for my purposes and I don’t care about other people’s opinion.

I will have a look at the options in Ki CAD. Auto routing is nice to have but I’m not one of these people who expects to throw the components on the board and let the auto route deal with it. I used to use dip trace and although the auto route they are is not brilliant I did lay out a board and did an experiment. 1st I just chucked the parts onto the board. Then I ran the auto route and there was a lot of wasted space with tracks going all over the place. Then I replaced all of the parts and checked their physical connections on the schematic to make sure that parts were logically placed and close together. Then I ran the auto route again and the result was my board was now two thirds the size. I also find an auto route are useful to make minor tweaks to the positioning of my components or major tweaks if I have got it wrong and not realised. I would rather not spend hours rooting a board only to find that a component should be on the other side and have to rip up many tracks. With the speed of auto routers it easy to get a preview and then delete tracks and rearrange parts and then run it again. Granted this takes a while but I find it less stressful and quite quickly I end up with an optimum layout and the auto route fulfils most of my requirements I will then go around and tidy up. If I’m doing a power board then I will sort out the power side of it by hand and then let the auto route sort out the signals.


Anybody has idea about this?

It doesn’t seems to be a fake video, but i don’t have this option on my KiCAD installation.
(Version 4.06 on Linux)

Please DO NOT cross-post the same message in two or more topics!

This Forum has enough activity that your message will be seen if it’s in only one thread. If your comments are truly pertinent to more than one thread, post it in one thread and then post a link in the second thread, directing to the first. Like this:



I deleted the other post now.

PS: IMHO the youtube video either shows a macro or some special developer version at work.


So now you have ruined my excellent, carefully constructed example? That’s the best piece of work I’ve done so far this week.


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Mea culpa. Took me 3 mins to find the undelete button though :wink:

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It seems somebody else talking about this feature in this post:

anybody has further information about this?