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I'm new to PCB design and want to make an adapter board from an SMD QFP52 package to DIP. Apparently QFP52 is not very common so I cannot find it in the library.

There appears to be no pre-existing footprint for this in the standard library in KiCad.

But is there an easy way of specifying that this is quad package, and the size is such and such and the pin size is this and pin spacing is that and it gives me a footprint? Or do I have to manually add the pads and align them?

I thought of going through the process of create a schematic first, generate a net list, generate the footprints which as far as I understand is a common workflow. But there's no 52 pin component in the schematic library and also this looks like an overkill for my simple breakout board.

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The workflow in Altium which I got used to for 2 years was that when you make a custom component, you make all the stuff at once - the schematic symbol, then a footprint, and assign pins etc. which makes sense to me.

The workflow in KiCAD which I've been using now for about 1-2 weeks is totally different. You do the schematic, and have schematic libraries, and then you make a net list and assign footprints. The footprints may not exist yet, so you can make them at this point if you have not already made them. You can do altium-like workflow if you try really hard, but KiCAD does not make it easy, and documentation/YouTube videos are all using old versions so you can never really get a good concrete way of doing things. That is the glory of an ever-changing open source project.

There is a magical footprint wizard which has an icon up the top in the footprint editing program in KiCAD. The footprint wizard was useful to me to make SIP pin headers quickly. There IS a QFN footprint maker in the wizard, but maybe not a QFP - have a look.

Otherwise I suggest you learn how to make a footprint pad-by-pad, and using the datasheet by the manufacturer and their "suggested pay layout" which is almost guaranteed to be there, or it's a standard footprint diagram you can get from elsewhere.

The easiest way to do it in KiCAD is to set the "user grid" to the correct X and Y pitch so that you can just plop down the first set of pins, and then change the grid again to get you to the side set of pins, and then top, and then the remaining side. The problem with KiCAD is it's hard to measure stuff, and the grid settings are so awkward to get to, but you always have to use them - there may be hotkeys you can bind.

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