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The KiCAD Central

All you want to know about KiCAD. Whether you're a starter or a power user, there should be something for everyone here shortly.

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This aims to be a one-stop community resource for KiCAD from helpful pro tips to beginner tutorials to useful links

We've just started, this description would change soon.

New here? Considering KiCAD for your next project? Join here and open up the group messaging channel where you can discuss with other KiCAD users.

Been on Hackaday.io for a while? Using KiCAD for your circuit work? great! You might want to contribute resources to this project or help others out on the project channel.

A few years ago EAGLE free version was the most used tool by hobbyists and newcomers was probably more than enough for their needs - 8x10cm, 2 layers. With the proliferation of affordable PCB fabs like OSHPark, Seeed people are willing to venture beyond what the free version offered, dabbling with 4 layers, making it bigger in size, all .

KiCAD is a free and open source EDA that has improved leaps and bounds in the past few years. Once it was not as usable but EAGLE was (hence EAGLE was widely adopted), it has been successfully able to catch up to the point that it is just a matter of a different workflow when choosing between the two, not in terms of functionality.

Hence there isn't a better time to adopt KiCAD if you're new to the PCB design world and learn a tool that will grow with your needs and not impose artificial limitations, and we're here to help and support you.

Join to chat or view helpful links, videos and posts. If you know KiCAD, add yourself here and help build this one stop resource.

  • Importing board outlines - tips and tricks

    Arsenijs12/16/2016 at 07:47 0 comments

      Say, you have a vector drawing in your favourite drawing software. You need that to become your board outline. For that, you need a DXF drawing. What are other requirements?

      1. Proper dimensioning is a must. - it'll be hard (if not impossible at all) to scale the outline once it's imported, even more so if you want to have precise dimensions. When using online vector-to-DXF converters, know that they can omit/change the dimensions of the output, leaving you with a tiny or huge outline.
      2. KiCad requires specific DXF format with limited set of features used. When exporting drawings from your vector drawing software, you might need to use another tool to prepare your DXF before exporting (or not - it all depends on the way your drawing was created)

      Say, you have a Chrismas tree vector in Inkscape.

      It's correctly dimensioned and you export it in DXF, then import in KiCad:

      Spooky. Somebody stole our Christmas tree along the way, leaving only a stump. Let's bring the Christmas tree back!
    Read more »

  • KiCAD Links

    Kumar, Abhishek08/26/2015 at 11:29 1 comment

    Homepage

    http://kicad-pcb.org/

    Ofiicial forum

    https://forum.kicad.info/

    Tutorials (web)

    Link placeholder

    Tutorials (video)


    Useful Utilities

    http://www.compuphase.com/electronics/kicadlibrarian_en.htm - KiCAD Librarian.

    http://kicad.rohrbacher.net/quicklib.php - KiCad Quick Library. This one is my (Abhishek's) personal favourite, allows me to generate new schematic libraries for most of the ICs pretty easily.

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Vaibhav Bansal wrote 05/10/2016 at 09:48 point

Hi Abhishek,

I just submitted some PCBs to frtizing fab. Which one of Seeed or OSHPark (assuming you have used both services) would you suggest for the next iteration ?

Thanks for KiCad advice. Although I would suggest that other first timers like me could start with Fritzing *if* they wish to opt for an easier learning curve.

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Vikas V wrote 10/09/2015 at 04:14 point

Isn't this similar to kicad.info from Chris Gammell ?

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Adam Vadala-Roth wrote 09/10/2015 at 05:09 point

Great idea, looking to leave Altium behind permanently.................................

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