Allow to export the positions of through-hole components

Bug #1656688 reported by László Monda on 2017-01-15
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Jeff Young

Bug Description

Our contract manufacturer has recently asked me to provide a file containing the positions of every SMD and PTH component.

Normally, only the positions of SMD components are needed for pick and place machines, but this time they're about program their automatic optical inspection machine which also needs the positions of PTH components.

I'm aware of the Through hole, Surface mount, and Virtual placement options of components, and I'd like to use them the right way. However, when exporting a .pos file it doesn't seem to be possible to export PTH components. Given the above use case, a checkbox to export the PTH components too would be much appreciated.

Wayne Stambaugh (stambaughw) wrote :

I don't think this is a good idea. I can think of too many cases where you might want some through hole components included in the position file and other through hole components omitted (there are lots of THT components that require manual insertion) from the position file. An easy solution to your problem is to set the "placement type" flag in the edit footprint properties dialog to "surface mount". I realize that this is counter-intuitive but it will yield a position file that has the correct components. Otherwise, the user may to manually add or remove entries in the position file which IMO is a less desirable solution. I guess we could add a flag to indicate if a position entry is generated for a footprint independent of it's "placement type". If the current "placement type" information isn't used for anything other than generating the position file, maybe we could just change this to simple true/false setting and use checkbox in the footprint properties dialog.

Changed in kicad:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
László Monda (mondalaci) wrote :

I'd definitely not set PTH parts to SMD just to work around KiCad. That way, I wouldn't be able to export SMD components separately when needed.

An extra flag would work, but I don't see the need of it for automatic optical inspection export. The current SMD vs PTH vs virtual properties seem entirely sufficient given that the "include PTH components to .POS file" option is in place.

If one truly wants to export a subset of the PTH components then your an extra flag is justified, but I haven't personally encountered with such a scenario yet.

Jeff Young (jeyjey) wrote :

At a minimum we need to clean up the Generate Footprint Position Files and Footprint Properties dialogs so they use the same terminology.

Changed in kicad:
importance: Wishlist → Low
status: New → Triaged
Jeff Young (jeyjey) wrote :

I've fixed the terminology issue. When it gets merged it will set the bug to "Fix Committed". That might be fine, as it's not clear we were going to do anything else anyway.

But if someone wants to keep it a wish, please comment.

Changed in kicad:
milestone: none → 5.1.0
status: Triaged → In Progress
assignee: nobody → Jeff Young (jeyjey)
tags: added: export
Maciej Suminski (orsonmmz) wrote :

If your KiCad installation supports scripting then you may try out a pcbnew plugin (attached) that we use for our pick and place machines. It requires a netlist file to be in the same directory to extract additional data from component fields.

Jeff Young (jeyjey) on 2018-07-17
Changed in kicad:
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
KiCad Janitor (kicad-janitor) wrote :

Fixed in revision deed1d67b37d67295e62374b99e51bcd6c68a173

Changed in kicad:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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