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 End of track shape
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markpsu

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2021 :  14:23:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The end of the tracks are rounded. This has always been desirable until now. I have a special circumstance where the ends of the tracks need to be squared off (flat). Does anyone know how to change the end of track shape?

edrees

United Kingdom
664 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2021 :  14:59:03  Show Profile  Visit edrees's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Terminate the track onto a suitable sized square/rectangular (single sided) pad with no drill hole (with or without solder resist as you please)?

Edited by - edrees on 23 Feb 2021 15:08:35
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markpsu

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2021 :  16:47:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Edrees, that should work but I need every track on the board to end this way and there are a lot of tracks. I thought there might be something in preferences to change this but don't see it.
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edrees

United Kingdom
664 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2021 :  19:42:45  Show Profile  Visit edrees's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm not aware of any such "Preferences". Hopefully, someone may correct me if I'm wrong. Just checked with KiCAD and that too has rounded track ends.

There must be a good reason for rounded track ends, maybe 'cos it reflects the "Light-Pen" plotter nature of the Gerber format (tracks are "drawn" as opposed to pads that are "Flashed")?
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Iain Wilkie

United Kingdom
960 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2021 :  19:44:29  Show Profile  Visit Iain Wilkie's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This from Peter Johnston back in 2013 ...... Quote

Square ends to tracks basically isn't going to happen because of a fundamental problem. In order to create Gerber files the tracks have to be drawn. The ONLY shape which is the same width regardless of the direction of measurement is a circle, so that's what has to be used to draw tracks.

If rectangular or square pads have to be drawn at an angle, the Gerber output has to use macros because apertures can't be rotated to random angles. That's why square apertures can't be used for tracks. It would get horrendously messy!

We're happy to listen to suggestions, but as far as I know it's a problem which is general.
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edrees

United Kingdom
664 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2021 :  19:56:29  Show Profile  Visit edrees's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Iain for that info from Peter. My hunch was correct!
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markpsu

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2021 :  21:04:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, thanks for the feedback. I wouldn't use the squared ends in production (because right angles = bad) but the squared ends would be helpful when modifying the design in RF modeling software, the rounded ends make adjustments difficult. So, I doubt this would be an in demand feature but certainly would make my life easier.
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