← Back to team overview

kicad-developers team mailing list archive

Re: Pads on Silkscreen?


On Thu, 22 Jul 2010, Brian F. G. Bidulock wrote:

What can be the practical use of this feature?

For printing the PCB layout. Without pads and small component it's
difficult to keep track of the components. The 'force hidden' option is
useful too: many designator are usually hidden on the silk because
they're too small, but when preparing a layout to print they're useful.

Also, note, the some silk processes (i.e. *actual* silk screening) have
a rather coarse resolution (they usually only guarantee features bigger
than 0,2mm) AND an aligment tolerance to the board of 0,1-0,2mm, too.
So usually board manufacturers *erase* the silk to have a 0,2 mm
clearance outside the pads (the solder mask is usually used for

If your board maker doesn't clip the silk you can: a) ensure that there
are no silk traits near the unmasked area or b) use a CAM tool for clip
them (gerbtool or cam360 or something similar) or c) suffer soldering
troubles when you get silkscreen paste over your pads :D

I also have done a quick shell script to put together the
silk/mask/drawing postscript plots to have a nice color printout of the
board (or just to distill it into a pdf), if you want it.

Lorenzo Marcantonio
Logos Srl