madparts electronics footprint generator 2.0 release
The Open Source madparts electronics footprint generator tool has been in use since its initial release at Productize. While the core functionality worked fine the library management code contained in it leaved to desire and started to be a problem when handling with the huge number of electronic parts we deal with at Productize. This is solved in the 2.0 release by removing all the library management code and simplifying the program down to its core: a powerful footprint editor and generator.
As library management is gone in the 2.0 release, this changes the workflow a bit. The program is now used to edit a single footprint only. Previously making a new footprint involved cloning an existing one in the library management part of the tool. Now a simple “Save As” from the File menu provides the same.
This also means that the ‘id’ and ‘parent’ meta data contained in the file are no longer used by the program. They are still allowed to be there but are silently ignored.
The file names and directory structure are completely up to the user now. This gives the flexibility to manage footprints any way the user wants.
A bunch of small bug fixes have been applied. Mostly concerning ‘export to kicad’ as this is the most used functionality of the tool.
The 2.0 release also introduces the 2.0 file format which adds some extra functions for generating footprints.
The BGA function rect_bga allows generating BGA footprints in an elegant way.
It works by passing it an x and y size, a single pad (ball), a distance between the pads and two functions: one for generating names for the pads and a second optional one for filtering out pads based on x and y coordinate. The following screenshot shows an example:
The paste option can be used on Pads or SMD Pads to disable the ‘paste layer’. The BGA example above demonstrates this as well.