KiCad Vector Graphics Importing PNG Files

This is just my collection of quick steps – so I will have something to go off next time after forgetting this process…

  • Design file in Corel draw or Inkscape
  • If you need to export reference PCB outline or pins, export Gerber files, use GerbV (Not the Gerb View built into kicad) which can export SVG files of Gerber layers.
  • Such that layers are on different colors – can simulate real colors of PCB but they must have different brightness values
  • Use “Bitmap to Component” function of Kicad to read the PNG file and determine which brightness you want.
  • Anything white in the preview will be exported as the layer – this is confusing at first.
  • If you need a layer that is not the top silkscreen you will have to do a find and replace on the resulting mod file. – if bottom silk you can “flip” once in the footprint editor
  • Find: F.SilkS Replace: B.CU = make all the objects from this MOD file into Bottom Copper layer items.
  • Then use the footprint editor to “import” your module
  • You can “Mirror” the object if necessary at this stage if it is supposed to be on the bottom copper layer but you designed it not looking from the top of he PCB.
  • “Save” to put the module in a library for use in your designs.
  • Assign a single pin part in your schematic with this new footprint and update your PCB layout and you should have your part!!

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