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I'm trying to do my first PCB in KiCad and came across a few problems. Here is how far I got:

enter image description here

My questions are:

1) The LM358 socket and the capacitors I put do not have holes. Only the resistors do. I checked this by looking at the 3D model of the board. How can I make the holes appear?

2) Why do the resistors have a yellow part (which a believe are the holes) and a red one (those that seem like parallelograms)? What are they?

3) I need to put some pins in the board. For example, I need a pin to measure the OUT signal, and a pin to connect the circuit to VCC and GND. How can I insert these in the board?

4) When I export the image to print it and make the board at home, I get this

enter image description here

and there are no holes there whatsoever. I mean, I was expecting to see small circles with no cupper on them to know where to use the drill and to make the process of hole-making easier. How can I make them appear?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Use "Plot..." and select PS or PDF output for making the board, as the "Print..." function tries to replicate the screen rendering (so e.g. things unchecked in the "Render" tab will be hidden as well in the printout). \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20 '16 at 2:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ The copper area does not have holes in it because that would lead to a bad contact if the drill position is a bit off. I'd export the drill file, and create a paper that marks the drill positions, then place that atop the PCB for drilling. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20 '16 at 2:16
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The LM358 socket and the capacitors I put do not have holes. Only the resistors do.

You have selected an SMT footprint. Choose a through-hole footprint in the footprint association.

Why do the resistors have a yellow part (which a believe are the holes) and a red one (those that seem like parallelograms)? What are they?

The yellow part shows the (lack of) soldermask, which is where there will be exposed copper for you to solder to, while the red part is copper that is under soldermask.

Edit: correction. You have chosen the "Universal" resistor footprints, which are designed to be used with both through-hole and surface-mount resistors. Hence, they include pads in between the holes. The yellow simply indicates the "hole pads" which are on both sides of the board, while the red indicates the "surface" pads, which are only on one side.

If you're only going to be using through hole resistors, use footprints from the "Resistors_ThroughHole" library.

I need to put some pins in the board. For example, I need a pin to measure the OUT signal, and a pin to connect the circuit to VCC and GND. How can I insert these in the board?

You can either use test points and select an appropriate footprint, or you could use standard pin headers. KiCad provides a "Measurement_Points" footprint library that might be helpful if you go with the first option.

  1. ...I was expecting to see small circles with no copper on them to know where to use the drill and to make the process of hole-making easier. How can I make them appear?

The layer you have printed only shows the copper layers, which does not include the holes (holes are drilled through the copper layer by the board house, they don't care about holes in pads). If you want a hole in the middle, you can either modify the footprints to suit your needs, or try and combine the drill layer with the copper layer when you print.

However, you should be able to simply print the copper layer as shown, then print the drill layer and use that as a reference for where to drill.


Edit in response to further questions in comment:

I wanted to add some pin headers but I didn't know how. Should I add them in the schematic in Eeschema?

Add the pin headers in the schematic first, from the conn library. For example, if you wanted a 2x4 pin header, use CONN_02X04.

Then, go to the footprint association thing, and under Pin_Headers, select the appropriate footprint. In the case of the 2x4 pin header, you would use Pin_Header_Straight_2x04.

Then, regenerate the netlist, and pull in the updated netlist to the PCB editor.

I selected the only socket that was available having 8 pins. What do you mean then? I didn't understand.

For an LM358 socket, place the LM358 as usual, and select DIP-8_W7.76mm from Housings_DIP. DIP sockets have the same footprint as the chips they socket.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for answering. A few more questions: a) I wanted to add some pin headers but I didn't know how. Should I add them in the schematic in Eeschema? b) I selected the only socket that was available having 8 pins. What do you mean then? I didn't understand. c) I just edited my question. Could you answer the 4th question I made, too? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tendero
    Jun 8 '16 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tendero Comments are not meant for asking this type of questions, they can be removed at any time. It's better to ask one specific question instead of asking everything at once. \$\endgroup\$
    – pipe
    Jun 8 '16 at 19:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tendero See my edits in response to your comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – uint128_t
    Jun 9 '16 at 0:34

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