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KiCad + FreeCAD Class 1 NOTES

A project log for Introduction to KiCad and FreeCAD

HackadayU online course for PCB design using KiCad & mechanical design using FreeCAD. You need basic electronics / engineering skills.

Anool MahidhariaAnool Mahidharia 07/07/2020 at 18:472 Comments

Additional Notes for Session 1 : KiCad + FreeCAD


GIT REPO

Here's a link to my GIT repo for review.

https://github.com/wyolum/HackadayU_KiCad_FreeCAD

VIEW FOOTPRINT IN SCHEMATIC LIBRARY BROWSER

In EEschema Library Browser, if you see only the schematic symbol but not the footprint, check this setting :

PREFERENCES > PREFERENCES > Eeschema > Show footprint previews in library browser (check)

USE REPETITION FOR SPEED

If you have a bunch of repetitive actions to be done, such as placing incremental net labels, or the same length of wire connected to a succession of pins on an IC, then

BUSES

We looked at a super simple example of how busses can be used, it wasn’t exactly an appropriate use of the feature, since the same result can be achieved just by using Net Labels. But for example, if you have a more complex circuit, where there is a 16-bit data bus on a micro-controller labelled PD0..PD15, that needs to be connected to a memory device with 8 pins labelled ADR0..ADR7 and the other 8 pins labelled DAT8..DAT15, then the BUS feature solves the problem.

The pins then get connected like so :

PD0 > ADR0

PD1 > ADR1

.....

PD7 > ADR7

PD8 > DAT8

PD9 > DAT9

.....

PD15 > DAT15

Here's a screenshot of how that looks

IGNORE SCHEMATIC SYMBOL

If you'd like to add a symbol on the schematic which should not be placed on the PCB, then add a "hashtag" to it's REFERENCE (example - #U4 instead of U4, and it will not be put on the PCB)
This can be used to show where off-board parts such as a Motor, Fan, Solenoid etc connect to a screw-connector on the board, for example.

KiCad CHEAT SHEET

Handy KiCad cheat sheet for reference, in several languages
https://github.com/KiCad/kicad-doc/tree/master/src/cheatsheet

And here's the link to the KiCad forum if you'd like to give feedback to the author
https://forum.kicad.info/t/cheatsheet-for-kicad/5247

Discussions

Anool Mahidharia wrote 07/08/2020 at 05:44 point

Thanks, @Varun Mehta 

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Varun Mehta wrote 07/08/2020 at 01:31 point

Thanks for a good first session, Anool! Since you're in IST and I'm in EDT, I think it's great to use pre-recorded sessions for the bulk of course content. I've used KiCad for some tiny projects before, but even in session one I learned a few tips that are helpful. I'm looking forward to the rest of the course!

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