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KiCad and FreeCAD Hack Chat

Anool Madharia

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Anool Mahidharia will be joining the Hack Chat on Wednesday, April 24 at noon PDT.

Time zones got you down? Here's a handy time converter!

Join Hack ChatThe inaugural KiCon conference is kicking off next week in Chicago, and KiCad aficionados from all over the world will be gathering to discuss anything and everything about the electronic design automation platform. As you'd expect, Hackaday will have a presence at the conference, including a meet and greet after party. There'll also be talks by a couple of our writers, including Anool Mahidharia, who'll be taking time out of his trip to the States to drop by the Hack Chat to give us a preview of his talk, entitled "Fast 3D Model Creation with FreeCAD".

Join us for the KiCad and FreeCAD Hack Chat this week with your questions about KiCad and FreeCAD. If you've got some expertise with electronic design tools, make sure you come by and contribute to the discussion too - we'd love to hear your insights.

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

    Lutetium04/24/2019 at 20:12 0 comments

    John12:42 PM
    im loving kicad v5. Ive been very frustrated in the past, but this time around i went from 0 experience to a fully laid out board in ≈6 hours

    Anool Mahidharia12:42 PM
    Awesome, John

    John12:43 PM
    what parts of EEschema need work?

    Anool Mahidharia12:43 PM
    Library management (similar to PCBnew) is still work in progress.

    morgan12:43 PM
    *cough* scripting *cough*

    Anool Mahidharia12:44 PM
    Dev's were concentrating on polishing of PCBnew, which is more critical for the final output.

    Anool Mahidharia12:44 PM
    Yeah, scripting, too

    Jan12:44 PM
    a major difference is the CTRL+E command in PCBnew now. pre 5.1 it changed the part in its library.

    Jan12:45 PM
    now it opens the footprint editor too, but only a local copy under the projects name

    morgan12:46 PM
    Jan, that makes sense to me, anytime I make a change to a global footprint I save it as a local version

    Marcus D. joined  the room.12:46 PM

    Anool Mahidharia12:46 PM
    I've always advocated creating custom project libraries for each project for symbols as well as footprints. I embed these libraries within the project folder itself, so the project is completely portable and doesn't depend on external libs.

    morgan12:46 PM
    if it's a real fix, submit a PR

    Jan12:48 PM
    @Anool Mahidharia so you copy all your footprints needed to that new library in advance?

    Marcus D.12:48 PM
    Hey has anyone ever seen a build of a homebrew ethernet controller?

    Anool Mahidharia12:48 PM
    Yes.

    Tillo12:48 PM
    How easy is it to copy footprints into those libraries? And how about the parts in the official libraries?

    Anool Mahidharia12:49 PM
    For EEschema, I rename the .cache library, and use that for symbols. For PCBnew, I use the archive feature to create a local library.

    Anool Mahidharia12:50 PM
    From there, it's a matter of opening the .sch and .kicad_pcb files in a text editor and replacing the library path references. A quick search and replace accomplishes that.

    Christoph12:50 PM
    so basically EEschema is lacking the archive feature that PCBnew has already?

    Anool Mahidharia12:50 PM
    Christoph, yes.

    Jan12:50 PM
    "From there, it's a matter of opening the .sch and .kicad_pcb files in a text editor and replacing the library path references. A quick search and replace accomplishes that."

    really?

    Jan12:51 PM
    that is so far away from any usability, even for free software

    Anool Mahidharia12:51 PM
    EEschema is low priority on the development path. But it will happen some time soon.

    Anool Mahidharia12:52 PM
    Jan, you can do it from within PCBnew too, if that floats your boat.

    Christoph12:52 PM
    well Jan it's a feature that doesn't exist yet - of course the workaround is a hack

    Chris Ryding12:52 PM
    What's a good reference for this sort of "best practices" work flow? That's such a rough manual process right now that I could really use a cheat sheet.

    Anool Mahidharia12:53 PM
    Chris, have you followed @Chris Gammell 's Getting to Blinky series ?

    Chris Ryding12:54 PM
    Not yet, it's on my Subscribed list. I'll check it out.

    Anool Mahidharia12:55 PM
    Also, here are links to design Review checklists that many of you may find useful

    PCBnew checklist : https://github.com/azonenberg/pcb-checklist/blob/master/layout-checklist.md

    Schematic checklist : https://github.com/azonenberg/pcb-checklist/blob/master/schematic-checklist.md

    Anool Mahidharia12:56 PM
    "Best Practises" and a Cheat Sheet are a good idea. I'll look around and see if anyone's done that already (never needed to use one myself).

    Anool Mahidharia12:58 PM
    Maybe we ought to setup a FreeCAD chatroom/project page here on .io to share info.

    John12:58 PM
    anool, do you have a youtube channel where I can learn more advanced kicad techniques? or do you have some channels/reference books/websites you can recommend?

    John12:59 PM
    (besides chris gammell - his stuff is great and ive been...

    Read more »

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 1

    Lutetium04/24/2019 at 20:11 0 comments

    Dan Maloney12:00 PM
    Looks like we're ready to go. I want to thanks Anool Mahidaria for taking time out of his trip to be with us today to chat about KiCad and FreeCAD.

    Anool, can you give us a little background on yourself and how you came to be presenting at the first ever KiCon this weekend?

    Anool Mahidharia12:01 PM
    I'm based in Mumbai India, and first used KiCad in 2010. Since then I've grown to love it , and have used it for all of our Open HW prrojects at Wyolum.

    Anool Mahidharia12:01 PM
    I can't remember the first time I used FreeCAD, but it was ver 0.12 (we're almost at ver 0.18 now). And find it pretty useful.

    Verin joined  the room.12:02 PM

    Anool Mahidharia12:02 PM
    Both, KiCad and FreeCAd have steep learning curves and quirks

    Anool Mahidharia12:03 PM
    But that goes for almost all technical SW, no matter which.

    wyojustin12:03 PM
    @Anool Mahidharia is touring the US at the moment landed in NYC, and is currently in Pittsburg, headed here to DC next.

    Anool Mahidharia12:03 PM
    So, KiCon2019 is a great beginning for us to teach, and learn, from one another

    wyojustin12:03 PM
    Oh and I think he has some KiCon thing in there too

    Greg Bushta joined  the room.12:04 PM

    Anool Mahidharia12:04 PM
    Yeah, Justin.

    Anool Mahidharia12:04 PM
    I did a KiCad bootcamp at NYCResistor earlier this month

    wyojustin12:05 PM
    So why FreeCAD? Why not Fusion360 OpenSCAD?

    Anool Mahidharia12:05 PM
    And doing KiCad and FreeCAD workshops at MakerFX makerspace in Orlando later in May

    Anool Mahidharia12:06 PM
    FreeCAD 'cause is it open source, is multi platform (fusion doesn' work on Linux) and non-binary (plain text) file formats

    Anool Mahidharia12:06 PM
    OpenSCAD is kinda difficult for me 'cause I don't come from a programming background and cannot generate CAD programatically

    Arthur joined  the room.12:06 PM

    Anool Mahidharia12:07 PM
    freeCAD fits the bill perfectly.

    wyojustin12:07 PM
    I lot of people have trouble getting started. How did you get over the hump? #aksingforafriend

    Anool Mahidharia12:07 PM
    And, I've seen it has been in constant and intensive development, just like KiCad

    wyojustin12:07 PM
    Nice

    rob_sturgill joined  the room.12:08 PM

    Anool Mahidharia12:08 PM
    I kinda learned the FreeCAD ropes on my own, stumbling along the way. But it helps to have some background in how drawings are made, and solids are sculpted to make things easy

    Jan12:09 PM
    I must admit, for me as a Inventor and SolidWorks user it was a nightmare to get going

    morgan12:09 PM
    hmm, FCStd is plaintext?!

    deshipu12:09 PM
    could have been worse, could be Blender

    Anool Mahidharia12:09 PM
    But now, there's a ton of tutorials out there so it isn't so intimidating getting your feet wet unlike earlier

    Anool Mahidharia12:09 PM
    Yes, Morgan, FCStd is plain text

    morgan12:09 PM
    oh, I somehow missed that

    Tillo12:10 PM
    So is the KiCAD libraries stuff when you use Altium at work @Jan ;)

    deshipu12:10 PM
    or anything else, really

    wyojustin12:10 PM
    Can you recomend a begining tut on FreeCAD?

    morgan12:10 PM
    also in regard to tutorials, there are several new youtubers putting out content for FreeCAD 0.17 & 0.18+, mathcodeprint is one I like

    morgan12:11 PM
    that was one problem I found trying to learn FreeCAD, the content was dated

    Anool Mahidharia12:11 PM
    Unlike KiCAD (which is a EDA designed to help you build PCBs), FreeCAD is a general CAD program, so there's mant different ways of starting off depending on what you want to do

    wyojustin12:11 PM

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnxMaGMCrWAQgwF61ISRpGw/featured

    YOUTUBE

    mathcodeprint

    Devoted to 3d Printing, Embedded Electronics, Education and Related. ( And anything else I love ).

    Read this on YouTube

    Anool Mahidharia12:12 PM
    Like, your learning path in FreeCAD will be different if you're an architect, compared to if you're building electronics...

    Read more »

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Lutetium wrote 03/08/2019 at 15:59 point

Sorry, I may have had the time wrong. Just updated for Daylight Savings Time (this weekend?!) Can you see what time it's showing up as now?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Anool Mahidharia wrote 02/23/2019 at 05:58 point

So, this shows up as 1:30 AM Eastern ! I'll be in Pittsburgh on the 24th.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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