pcb-rnd knowledge pool


Using existing pcb layouts as footprint element libraries in pcb-rnd

fp_board by Erich S. Heinzle (VK5HSE) on 2017-06-06

Tags: howto, footprint, library, lib, file format, format, fidcad, convert, menufile

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Abstract: Tutorial to using an existing design (in any board format pcb-rnd can load) as a footprint library.

  Recent additions to the modular import and export code in pcb-rnd have allowed for existing pcb layouts to now be used as footprint element libraries.

This is likely to be of use in computer labs, organisations maintaining multiple seats with version controlled design elements, and also handy for distributing design element libraries generally.

The preferences dialogue allows various sources of design elements to be specified, such as using fp_wget for gedasymbols.org , the EDA agnostic edakrill repository, local directories, scripted elements in pcblib, and now board layout files.

As shown in the screen shot, the path to the file is prepended with


Here is a simple example of the library window (key sequence: {w l}) insert subcircuit dialogue box, with a native pcb-rnd lihata (.lht) board layout being used as a source of footprints on a new layout:

The code allows any supported board format to serve as a source of design elements; here is another example of the insert element dialogue, this time using a board layout in gEDA PCB's (.pcb) format:

Testing of this new feature with more exotic board types would be appreciated, such as Kicad and Eagle layouts, so that any corner cases can be identified and dealt with.