Creating "art" pcbs with gimp and kicad - online, 15 Jan, 2pm

I’ve slowly been getting better at importing art into kicad over the years I’ve been using it. Kicad has been making it easier too. I can now do the basics of a pcb in about 30 mins or so, seems like a skill others should have.

I’ll cover one method of taking a image from the internet, pre-processing it in gimp and importing it into kicad. There are other tools to help with this, I won’t be covering them as I don’t use them.

No pcb design or kicad experience is necessary to attend, I won’t be covering gimp or kicad in any detail but if you’re ok with that, this is something anyone can watch and understand.

This will probably take an hour or so, I’ll record it for those that can’t make it. If you want to follow along you’ll need a pc with kicad 6 and gimp installed. We’ll use the image at Christmas Ball Png Transparent Image - Png Transparent Christmas Balls PNG Image | Transparent PNG Free Download on SeekPNG

Basic agenda is

  • what do I mean by an “art” pcb with examples
  • pcb physical structure - substrate, copper, solder mask and silk screen
  • scaling the image in gimp
  • generating the copper and silk layers in gimp
  • generating the solder mask layer in gimp
  • generating the board outline in gimp
  • creating kicad project and footprint library
  • importing the images into kicad as footprints
  • placing the footprints into the pcb

Workshop is free, please respond here so I can make sure someone will be there. Thanks.


I’m in! Thanks so much for doing this @TomKeddie !!

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I’m in as well. Sounds fun.


Sounds interesting. I’m in too.


Hi Tom, thank you so much for sharing, I would love to participate as well.


I can’t make it that day, but I’m super interested. Very relevant to a small project with @mike that’s been backburnered for too long. Please do post the recording when done, and… would it be okay to ping you with some followup questions post-facto if I have any?

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Sure, feel free.

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SO SO COOL, count me in!

Bump, this is today at 2pm. Zoom link in the post above.


Here are a couple of links from the presentation, I’ll upload the recording when it’s ready.

PCB Shopper

Monarch Butterfly


Joe Grand’s big pcb

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The recording is at

The gituhub repo with the correctly scaled files is at GitHub - TomKeddie/prj-vhs-2023-pcb-art


Thanks for the presentation Tom!

It was informative and useful. It was cool to see what you can create with this type of process. I hope to get a chance to try this out someday.


Sorry I missed this - got super busy today. Thanks for doing this Tom and for the links!