Zone grid filling

Bug #594023 reported by lomarcan on 2008-10-31
This bug affects 16 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
jean-pierre charras

Bug Description

Sometimes a solid fill is not the right thing (tm) to do. It would be useful a cross hatched filling, specifying the hatch pitch/density.

Something like seen in

damunix (damunix-users) wrote :

Yeah I think that this should be in Kicad PCBNEW software. It gives a better look'n feel to the board.

another example :

noone (noone-users) wrote :

This feature is critical for a successful PCB layout program.

Agent24 (tda7000) wrote :

I would also like to see this feature implemented.

I make PCBs myself using the toner transfer method and a laser printer usually fails to print large solid blocks.
If the zone could be filled with a crosshatch pattern, it would make the printer's job a lot easier, and the resulting printout better quality.

Stephen Eaton (seaton) on 2010-07-05
Changed in kicad:
status: New → Triaged
Agent24 (tda7000) wrote :

Has anything happened regarding this?

I'm working on a design which could do with some crosshatched zone fill...

Jan Cablik (cablikj) wrote :

For capacitive touch sensors, the hatch fill with presettable hatch density is absolutely necessary to decrease parasitic capacity between touch pads and ground plane.

Joonas Reunamo (joonas-reunamo) wrote :

This kind of filling with pattern is indeed a useful thing to have.

Additionally would be nice to have a "via filling" for connecting layers with a grid of vias with user defined horizontal and vertical pitch.

Agent24 (tda7000) wrote :

Agreed, via stitching would be a good feature, but I think it requires a separate ticket

firewalker (firew4lker) wrote :

It would be a nice feature indeed.

tenkai (tenkai-kariya) wrote :

This is a common feature on other PCB applications. I am VERY disappointed that it is not available in PCBnew! This is a critical feature for capacative touch sensors! I dont know what im going to do now.... :(

firewalker (firew4lker) wrote :

If you really need it, the answer is simple and straight forward. Switch to another PCB tool.

Nick Østergaard (nickoe) wrote :

... or pay someone with the skills and the appropiate programming and communication skills to make the developers merge it.

Wayne Stambaugh (stambaughw) wrote :

Please, lets not be to harsh on Tenkai. He is correct in that hatched zone fills are very useful. It's certainly something that should be on our radar. Unfortunately, we limited by manpower and this feature is low on our priority list.

firewalker (firew4lker) wrote :

Speaking foe my self I don;t consider my answer harsh. He "sounded" frustrated, puzzled and anxious to find a solution.

Agent24 (tda7000) wrote :

Could this be implemented by users via the scripting console?

arkhnchul (arkhnchul) wrote :

i think, it is possible to play with brush style for polygons filling in gr_basic.cpp and see if bitmap stipple will work. Surely it cant be optimal. I'll try to see will it be suitable at least for toner transfer method.

tenkai (tenkai-kariya) wrote :

I was very puzzled that hatched ground fills are not available, as they seem like a very basic feature. Capacitive touch panels are becoming more and more prevalent and I consider this to be a basic feature.

What support do you guys need to get this to work? I am a programmer and could potentially assist on this, but KiCad is a large project and I would not know exactly where to start. Could someone point me towards the current source code for ground fills?

Anyone have any other ideas how this could be implemented? My workaround was to take my ground plane, export a gerber file, use Adobe Illustrator to vectorize the gerber file, convert the solid plane to a hatch plane, use bitmap2component to import a 1200dpi png, use the online web .mod resizer to resize it back down to 300dpi so the lines were not all munged up, and then had to manually edit the text files to get everything on the correct layer, and create a footprint for it.

The biggest issue with something like this is that importing a 1200dpi (which is necessary to get bitmap2component to render the lines properly) is that the resulting .kicad_mod file has WAY more vectors than necessary, and when I import the file into pcbnew it gets all kinds of bogged down.

This is not a viable workaround for any ground fills that are larger than 5"x5" as PCBNEW freezes for seconds at a time whenever the footprint is moved.

Does anyone have any idea when this might be implemented in the roadmap? I am willing to assist in making this happen, Wayne, any ideas?

arkhnchul (arkhnchul) wrote :

>they seem like a very basic feature
as i can see, nope. Currently zones is simple closed polygons, and changing it to crossed polylines breaks entire system. Filling zones with texture only changes their look in pcbnew.

>Anyone have any other ideas how this could be implemented?
i think it will be much easier to create tool which generates custom capacitive area as component footprint

Guys who want to contribute to Kicad code are welcome, but they have to subscribe to the dev mailing list.

Filling a zone with hatched areas is not very complicated.
But filling a zone is not just (by far) a matter of painting areas.

Filled areas connect items (pads, tracks).
The complicated thing is how to detect connections between the filled area and these items without spending a lot of time in calculations (roughly as fast as now for non hatched areas)

Bob (paradenker) wrote :

Looking for this feature, too ;)

muzaffer (muzaffernizam) wrote :

may be we can see in kicad v6.

cool feature

tags: added: pcbnew
Wayne Stambaugh (stambaughw) wrote :

As soon as 5.1 is released, I'm sure this will get merged into the development branch.

firewalker (firew4lker) wrote :

Nice! Thanks you!

Changed in kicad:
milestone: none → 5.1.0
Seth Hillbrand (sethh) wrote :

Nick, changing this to 6 as it requires a file format change.

Changed in kicad:
milestone: 5.1.0 → 6.0.0-rc1
Changed in kicad:
assignee: nobody → jean-pierre charras (jp-charras)
status: Triaged → Fix Committed

Already committed? Is this feature be available on next Nightly? (Already did the file change?)

Jon Evans (craftyjon) wrote :

Yes, this is now in master so it can be tested in the next nightly (but it will be released in 6.0, not in a 5.x release)

Wayne Stambaugh (stambaughw) wrote :

Please note that if you use hatched zone files, the files will not be compatible any previous stable release of KiCad.

Nice, glade to ear.
I am wait few features that I track here to give some feedback.

On 4/1/2019 2:57 PM, Wayne Stambaugh wrote:
> Please note that if you use hatched zone files, the files will not be
                                        ^^ fills ^^
> compatible any previous stable release of KiCad.

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