pcb-rnd knowledge pool


Importing Kicad eeschema netlists into pcb-rnd

eeschema by Erich S. Heinzle (VK5HSE) on 2017-02-20

Tags: howto, file format, format, KiCad, eeschema, convert, load, import, schematics, menufile

node source



Abstract: How to import netlist+footprint data from KiCad's eeschema. This feature allows the schematics author to use KiCad and the PCB layout engineer to use pcb-rnd in a team.


Taking further advantage of the pcb-rnd 's modular architecture, a new import module to allow KiCad Eeschema netlists to be imported has been developed.

A fundamental motivation behind these import/export efforts is to grow the FLOSS EDA ecosystem, by enabling greater sharing of existing efforts within the intellectual commons.

The modularity of pcb-rnd is such that a sample pack consisting of a schematic, screenshot and exported netlist, is usually sufficient to implement a new import module.

This was done for KiCad's Eeschema, and an import module was soon working.

Here's an example schematic in Eeschema, the schematic editor used by KiCad:

Here's the netlist export dialog being launched:

The default netlist export format is selected:

And after using the file:import menu item in pcb-rnd:

We get the new layout, and after rearranging, end up with:

The Kicad Eeschema import plugin is now available and enabled by default in the svn , and is expected to be in the next formal pcb-rnd release.

Further import plugins are planned for other schematic layout tools. If you have a tool you'd like to use with pcb-rnd, get in touch at http://repo.hu/projects/pcb-rnd/ and if it isn't a closed binary format, we should be able to make it happen pretty quickly.