JavE - Convert Images to KiCad Modules

JavE's image2ascii converter can be used to convert images to electronic modules for the GPL'd crossplatform software KiCad. So you can convert your in order to place them on PCBs.

Step-by-step instruction

1. Image

Pick your favorite image for your logo. The image should not be too large.
source image
High contrast images or even black/white images work best. Valid image file formats include gif, png and jpg.

2. Install JavE

3. Start JavE

A double click on jave.bat or jave.jar should get you there.

4. Run the Image2Ascii Converter

Either pick the Image2Ascii Converter from the Quickstart dialog or select Tools > Image2Ascii Converter from in the main menu:
select the Image2Ascii converter

5. Load your image file

select the image file to be converted

The converted file will now be displayed as Ascii-Art (that's what the Image2Ascii Converter actually is for):

Ascii-Art converted image

6. Select the KiCad converter

Since Ascii-Art is not what we are looking for now, go to the tab Conversion and select the algorithm KiCad electronic module instead:

KiCad converter algorithm

In the result area you can already see the source code of the resulting module file.

You can specify the name of the module and its width:

KiCad converter settings

7. Tweak the image settings

In order to get the best result from your image, select the Image processing tab and tweak the settings. You can see a black/white preview of what the logo will look like:

image processing

8. Quit the Image2Ascii dialog and save the file

  • Click OK to close the Image2Ascii Converter
  • When being asked to set the image as watermark, selecto No
  • Save the text file as .mod file:
    save KiCad module file

9. Use the image in KiCad

You can now use the resulting .mod file in KiCad - just like any other module:

resulting KiCad module


Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions for improvements!
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© Markus Gebhard (markus@jave.de), 2000 - 2010
last modified: May 22, 2010