Tutorials

Trimming Silk Screen on KiCad

Last updated: May 18, 2014, 3:03 p.m.

A few connectors and the heatsink in this design are over-hanging the board.

Offending Silk Screen: A few connectors and the heatsink in this design are over-hanging the board.

Sometimes when submitting boards for cheap panelised manufacture you need to keep all of the layers of the gerber file within the size of the PCB. In some boards I find there are bits of silk screen (e.g. connector outlines) which overlap the edge of the board. As far as I can see there's no way to limit the silk screen to the edges of the board by default, but I have a work around that might be useful.

I created a temporary solder mask fill (shown in purple) around the board to subtract from the silk screen when making the gerber files.

Temporary Soldermask Fill: I created a temporary solder mask fill (shown in purple) around the board to subtract from the silk screen when making the gerber files.

As you can see the gerber files don't have any silk screen outside the PCB.

Gerbers Created: As you can see the gerber files don't have any silk screen outside the PCB.

There's an option in the gerber plotting options "Subtract soldermask from silkscreen". My solution is to use this feature and draw a temporary soldermask fill zone surrounding the outside of the board. With the fill in place, just plot the silk screen layer with the option ticked. Remember to delete the fill again before plotting the soldermask layer, otherwise that will extend outside the area of the board instead of the silk screen.

Section:
Tutorials
Tags:
kicad,
PCB

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