PCB Guide Part 5 - Creating the PCB

Now that the schematic is finished and footprint data has been exported, we can begin with the PCB.

Step 8. Preparing the PCB

From the KiCad menu, open the PCB file.

First, let's adjust the grid so it's fine tuned for making keyboards.

On the left pane, switch the units to mm.

In View -> Grid Settings, set the custom grid size to 0.79375mm (19.05/24). This value is just fine enough for placing diodes, and just rough enough for easily placing switches.

Set the fast switching values to custom and 5mil.
This allows fast grid switching by holding Alt+1 and Alt+2.
5mil is a value well suited for routing.

Test grid switching by holding the key combinations Alt+1 and Alt+2 in PCB editor. You will see the grid switch.

Time to import data from the netlist.
Click the read netlist button. Press read current netlist, then close.

Doing so will barf out all the components onto the PCB.

First, let's position our switches.

Switch to Grid 1.

Click the component MX1, and hit M to move.
Protip: Press M without the cursor over the component to make sure the cursor is locked to the center of the footprint rather than to a pad of the footprint.
Protip 2: Use ctrl+f to select a component if too lazy to find it with your eyes.

Place it down on a blank place on the PCB.

Now, place the rest of the switches so the order matches the schematic, and so the outline overlaps perfectly (This should be easy with grid 1.)