Tutorial: Create and Modify a PCB Card Printer File from Kicad to Inkscape to use on LaserPrinter.

Before creating .svg file from Kicad, you should know...

It's very important that you set correctly the PCB Card's components design on Kicad at first. To set those, follow the next steps in the link Kicad Design Rules .


First, fillzone important settings on Copper Zone Properties:

The spoke width has to be as wide as possible:

Save the file on .SVG image format using the next settings: -File / Export SVG File-:

  • File Option: One file per layer.
  • Print Mode: Black and white.
  • Copper Layers: F.Cu and B.Cu
  • Indicate the Output Directory.
  • Press Plot.

Must be careful when fill the Export SVG file window. Next images show the how modify these setting correctly:



This completes the KiCAD settings and a SVG image will be saved. The next process parts are made on InkScape program.

On InkScape

Open the SVG image with InkScape from the file directory:

$inkscape Three-phase\ bridge-B_Cu.svg

Select the image margin and delete it (Supr). It should show like that:

The next step is select all the objects for export them to Bitmap:

To export the Bitmap, go to -File / Export Bitmap- or using the command Shift-Ctrl-E. The Export Bitmap window could take a while to open:

Choose the “Selection” tab and type 4000 dpi under Bitmap size. The bigger the dpi the better the quality, but the longer it takes to process the image. If the dpi is too low, the resulting image will be pixeled and later in the process the vectorization may not work as expected. If the dpi is to high (5000dpi), InkScape will refuse to import the image.

Press the Export botton. Then import the PNG file using -File / Import- or the command Ctrl+I. Open it:

In the Link or embed image option, select embed (Always):

Then select the -Path / Trace Bitmap- or using the command Shift+Alt+B:

Set Mode tab:

Set Options tab:

Set Credits tab:

Leave the default options untouched and press OK.

Drag the new vector image (it is over the imported Bitmap image):

Press F2 or ¨Edit Paths by notes¨ just to check that is was correctly traced. The vector image will be full of points:

Now select the normal mouse pressing F1 or ¨Select and Transform objects¨:

Select the traced image and break it (Ctrl+Shift+K):

Go to -Objects / Fill and Stroke and press ¨x¨ on the Fill Tab (No paint):

Flat color under ¨Stroke paint¨ tab:

On ¨Stroke style¨:

  • Width=0.001 in

Combine the vectorized image: Ctrl+K. If the image dissapears or turn all white, adjust the fill, stroke and width again.

Select the original SVG image and take note of the hight and width on px:

Select the new vectorized image and change its hight and wight to the original SVG image size (again ckeck the stoke, fill and width):

It is likely that the resizing of the image did not go all well, so if the number are not exactly what they should than resize it again:

  • Wrong:

  • Correct:

It is strictly necessary that the sizes match because the real PCB need to fit front and back sides (in case of dual side PCBs) as well with the components.

Now, you can delete the original SVG image and the bitmap image:

Finally, save the pdf file and ENJOY.

Documentation by Sebastian Chinchilla Gutierrez 2014/08/22 16:26
Part of Project Graduation Degree

DokuWiki: Dannier Castro León 2014/08/22 16:31

  • tutorials/from_kicad_to_inkscape_laserprinter/media.txt
  • Last modified: 2016/02/26 11:55
  • by amora