Kicad Footprint Generator

creating kicad footprints using python scripts

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This repository contains scripts to generate custom KiCAD footprints using python, and a framework which allows us to create custom KiCAD footprint. A big bunch of footprints of the KiCad library was developed using this framework.


Licence: GNU GPLv3+

Maintainer: Thomas Pointhuber

Build Status Code Climate Documentation Status

Supports: Python 2.7 and 3.3+


I started drawing a bunch of similar footprints for KiCAD, like connectors which are mainly one base shape, and different amount of pins. To be able to update/improve those footprints quickly I decided to write my own footprint generator Framework, to allow simple creation of easy as well complex shapes.

This is my second approach (the first one can be found in the git history). This solution should be able to be easy to use, to read and also be easy to expand with custom nodes.


This framework is mainly based on the idea of scripted CAD systems (for example OpenSCAD). This means, everything is a node, and can be structured like a tree. In other words, you can group parts of the footprint, and translate them in any way you want. Also cloning & co. is no problem anymore because of this concept.

To be able to create custom Nodes, I separated the system in two parts. Base nodes, which represents simple structures and also be used by KiCAD itself, and specialized nodes which alter the behaviour of base nodes (for example positioning), or represent a specialized usage of base nodes (for example RectLine).

When you serialize your footprint, the serialize command only has to handle base nodes, because all other nodes are based upon the base nodes. This allows us to write specialized nodes without worrying about the FileHandlers or other core systems. You simply create your special node, and the framework knows how to handle it seamlessly.

Please look into the Documentation for further details

KicadModTree        - The KicadModTree framework which is used for footprint generation
docs                - Files required to generate a sphinx documentation
scripts             - scripts which are generating footprints based on this library


Install development Dependencies update_dev_packages

run tests tests

Example Script

from KicadModTree import *

footprint_name = "example_footprint"

# init kicad footprint
kicad_mod = Footprint(footprint_name)
kicad_mod.setDescription("A example footprint")

# set general values
kicad_mod.append(Text(type='reference', text='REF**', at=[0, -3], layer='F.SilkS'))
kicad_mod.append(Text(type='value', text=footprint_name, at=[1.5, 3], layer='F.Fab'))

# create silscreen
kicad_mod.append(RectLine(start=[-2, -2], end=[5, 2], layer='F.SilkS'))

# create courtyard
kicad_mod.append(RectLine(start=[-2.25, -2.25], end=[5.25, 2.25], layer='F.CrtYd'))

# create pads
kicad_mod.append(Pad(number=1, type=Pad.TYPE_THT, shape=Pad.SHAPE_RECT,
                     at=[0, 0], size=[2, 2], drill=1.2, layers=Pad.LAYERS_THT))
kicad_mod.append(Pad(number=2, type=Pad.TYPE_THT, shape=Pad.SHAPE_CIRCLE,
                     at=[3, 0], size=[2, 2], drill=1.2, layers=Pad.LAYERS_THT))

# add model
                       at=[0, 0, 0], scale=[1, 1, 1], rotate=[0, 0, 0]))

# output kicad model
file_handler = KicadFileHandler(kicad_mod)

Usage Steps

  1. Navigate into the scripts directory, and look for the type of footprint you would like to generate. For example, if you wish to generate an SMD inductor footprint, cd into scripts/Inductor_SMD.
  2. Open the *.yaml (or *.yml) file in a text editor. Study a few of the existing footprint definitions to get an idea of how your new footprint entry should be structured.
  3. Add your new footprint by inserting your own new section in the file. An easy way to do this is by simply copying an existing footprint definition, and modifying it to suit your part. Note: You may have to add or remove additional parameters that are not listed.
  4. Save your edits and close the text editor.
  5. Run the python script, passing the *.yaml or (*.yml) file as a parameter, e.g. python3 Inductor_SMD.yml. This will generate the *.kicad_mod files for each footprint defined in the *.yaml (or *.yml).
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