Why is the edge-cuts layer not accessible in the footprint editor?

I guess its a niche requirement, but I’d like to construct a footprint with routed in slots for protection against flash-over. I also have some standard “mousebite” footprints that would be much easier to use if I did not have to have the routing defined in the user layer, and copy them to the edge-cuts layer at every deployment.

Since the edge cuts layer is very specifically excluded in the footprint editor, I presume there is some logic behind this, but I’d like to know that logic.

Lengthy piece of information: https://gitlab.com/kicad/code/kicad/-/issues/1970

Thanks. That seems to be a good summary of the state of play.
There seems to be two possibly three separate cases. Holes, closed routes/slots do not give major issues as they would be closed within the footprint.

Footprints intended to interact with the board edge are a more difficult problem, since they cannot be closed within the footprint. Possibly provide some facility to define a “virtual” board edge in the footprint, so that closure can be verified against that definition?

That still leaves nasty things like my mousebite footprints, that need partial routed slots. Though there is some suggestion that the existing code correctly works out the boundary of intersecting cutouts in edge-cuts.

Overall rather hopeful


I don’t know if it’s mentioned in the long story on gitlab, but a workaround is to draw your graphics on any (empty) layer first, and then move it to the Edge.Cuts layer.

That’s what I do currently. :frowning: .
And a right pain it can be for a panel with a lot of small boards joined by mousebites. I copy it down, but with the panel that I’m still grumpy about I spent a day tracking down the places I’d copied it down more than once… The 3D viewer eventually stopped reporting where it found errors, simply reporting that the board outline was not a closed shape. I eventually noticed that the DRC was still reporting the location of the errors correctly, and was finally able to close the board shape.

There are scripts that can do mousebites and help with panelisation, but I have not used them myself.

Not had much luck with them either.

Done by hand :frowning:

From discussion I understand that you are doing it in each project, but @paulvdh probably speaks about doing it once in footprint (may be by text edition of footprint file - I didn’t tried it).
As I remember it was said here at forum that even footprint editor don’t allows to use Edge Cuts it accepts it in footprint files.

If it’s actually panelization you are after, there are programs that combine Gerber files, thus independent of the PCB design software. See here for one specimen: https://hackaday.io/project/19202-small-pcbs-for-panelizing-tutorial/log/59210-panelization-using-gerberpanelizer-on-windows-linux-possible

It’s not that I did not have any “luck” with panelisation.
I just never tried to use it myself.

Maybe you can do something with: