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Exporting for use in KiCad

Message 1 of 3
159 Views, 2 Replies

Exporting for use in KiCad

I need to be able to export objects to KiCad. Obj, Stl and Stp/STEP all work fine. But I find that getting a Top down view of an object exported is a serious expedition. There is no simple way to do this. Sure I can export an Object as a DXF. This is easy enough to import. But then that DXF comes with layers. So whatever lines are imported are doubled up in a way that would take hours to manually erase. I exported to Drawing as this has worked before to eliminate extra dimensions. But KiCAD wont see DWG files. Exported the object as a PCB, that kinda worked but the resulting DXF is now missing its holes even though the PCB was generated perfectly with holes.  Are you kidding? Why does this NEED TO BE HARD? It's is really as if some one thought through every way that one might try to export to KiCAD and deliberately made it foul.


I do not expect KiCAD to export KiCAD files. But I expect to be able to export files in a standard way that can be imported by other software and I do not expect the results to vary depending on what window I export from. IE missing holes, or doubled up lines, even extra dimensions that don't belong in a 2D file.


Attempts to export as a Graphic also failed as the resulting exported graphics were crude at full scale, and the line edges were not sharp looking more like they had been drawn by children than a computer. Certainly not Vector quality.


I learned to ISO in drafting in highschool, 20 years ago. Back when AutoCad2000 was new. I dont see how it can be so hard to export a draft based on what is seen on screen. ASIS, sharp line drawing, 2D nothing more nothing less.

I need to do one of two things.

  1. Import a complete 2D layout directly into KiCAD PCB editor from Fusion360 as is Top Down as a hairline sketch, a DRAFT.
  2. Import each object as a footprint that can be used later in other PCB works.
    1. Holes serve as alignment points. Holes missing is not an option.
    2. Line accuracy is a must for exported objects, these are being used for RF.
      1. There is no room for interpretation, 1.001mm must equal 1.001mm, not approximately 1mm.
      2. If the export looks like it was drawn by children, it is worthless.
Message 2 of 3
in reply to: rflulling

Hi @rflulling,


I hope this message finds you well. I think you have this backwards, there's no attempt to foul import to KiCAD. Autodesk developed the DWG and DXF standards therefore what you are exporting from AutoCAD or Fusion or whatever other Autodesk tool you are using is a properly formatted DWG or DXF file.

Now, as someone who worked on a DXF importer prior to Autodesk I can confirm that outside of Autodesk few if any importers implement the DXF and DWG standards completely, choosing to focus on the most commonly used features of those standards. In my particular case, the importer I worked on had about a 75% success rate and couldn't support SPLINES. This is likely what is causing problems for you, my best guess is that the KiCAD team either rolled their own importer or used one of the existing open source importers which like I mentioned above can't properly handle a fully featured DXF or DWG.

So it would seem that the issue needs to be brought to the KiCAD team to improve their import tools for DXF or DWG. 

How did you do the image export? If you are using Fusion 360 already, would you consider using the Electronics functionality within it? Would likely be more efficient.


Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.


Best Regards,

Jorge Garcia
​Product Support Specialist for Fusion 360 and EAGLE

Kudos are much appreciated if the information I have shared is helpful to you and/or others.

Did this resolve your issue? Please accept it "As a Solution" so others may benefit from it.
Message 3 of 3
in reply to: jorge_garcia2

Previously, we had trouble submitting files to a vendor. They used autocad
1998-2000 dxf. However fusion ignores that most of the machining world is
still working on pure 2d files and generates something with 6sides. I
confirmed this while trying to figure out why it wasnt working. Needless
the vendor lost patience and refused to work with us. My mistake for using

Currently. I have tried every variant of the export. Trying to generate a
drawing then export that. Trying to export directly from the object file.
And yes, converting the object to a pcb then trying to export. The later
works, but holes are lost on import.

I was able to get my work done by exporting from the master file. Then
export from pcb. Line up the two. Purge everything but the holes I needed.
The alignment is critical. I was then able to copy the resulting work into
footprints. Very round about. But it worked.

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