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I just finished my first PCB with KiCad. Now, I need to produce it and I need the Pick and Place file. When I try to generate footprint position files the software produce the message "No footprint for automated placement". I'm using the version 5.1.4-e60b266 for ubuntu 18.04.1. How can I generate this file? How can I solve?

KiCad "No footprint for automated placement"

This is my PCB: My PCB

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  • \$\begingroup\$ finished first PCB? so you generated a circuit, checked it, ensured all footprints are asigned, netlisted, imported netlist into PCBnew, performed placement, board outline, tracked to complete ratsnets, DRC pass? generated design files? \$\endgroup\$ – JonRB Sep 8 '19 at 10:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I made a schematic, assigned fooprint to components and connected the components in PCBnew. Isn't it enough to finish a PCB? The 3D view is fine and my PCB is not so complicated. \$\endgroup\$ – Peto Sep 8 '19 at 10:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ it is fine, but you have shown no information as to what you have \$\endgroup\$ – JonRB Sep 8 '19 at 10:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm sorry. I've updated my question with PCB image. \$\endgroup\$ – Peto Sep 8 '19 at 10:33
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Pick and place, and thus the *.pos file, is relevant to surface mount technology. The automatic placement of through-hole technology is not something that is worth the money to invest in due to the volumes produced. The problem with leaded is the need to position each leg for each hole.

If you place an test surface-mount component, you will see a *.pos file can be generated as there is x-y coordinates that makes sense for such a part.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So, are you saying that KiCad cannot generate the file for through-hole technology because no one would implement that function in the software? Right? If so, can you suggest another software just to produce the .pos from KiCad file? \$\endgroup\$ – Peto Sep 8 '19 at 10:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ thats not what I am saying, I am saying it isn't needed for surface mount as pos file is for pick and place machines \$\endgroup\$ – JonRB Sep 8 '19 at 10:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ take your R1, someone needs to form the legs to meet your layout needs. this is the same for all through-hole designs. its an additional (manual) process to deal with through-hole \$\endgroup\$ – JonRB Sep 8 '19 at 10:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now I get it! Thanks a lot. \$\endgroup\$ – Peto Sep 8 '19 at 10:52
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The same problem occurred to me today using KiCad Version 5.1.4. - And I think I've found a solution to the problem:


1) Temporary solution:

KiCad: Pcbnew: 'File' -> 'Fabrication Outputs' -> 'Footprint Position (.pos) file...' -> 'Generate Footprint Position Files':

Check this checkbox in the 'Generate Footprint Position Files' dialog:

'Include footprints with SMD pads even if not marked Surface Mount'

enter image description here


2) Fix footprints:

One of my custom footprints was not marked as 'Surface Mount'. Somehow this made it impossible for KiCad to export the 'Footprint Position' file (the 'No footprint for automated placement' warning shows up and no footprints will be exported).

So, make sure that your SMD footprints are all marked in the footprint editor under 'Fabrication Attributes':

enter image description here

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