Intro to KiCAD

Hackerspace LA Meetup – July 6, 2016

kicad_logo_final

KiCad is a free software suite for electronic design automation (EDA). It facilitates the design of schematics for electronic circuits and their conversion to PCB designs. KiCad was originally developed by Jean-Pierre Charras, and features an integrated environment for schematic capture and PCB layout design. Tools exist within the package to create a bill of materials, artwork, Gerber files, and 3D views of the PCB and its components.

KiCad uses an integrated environment for all of the stages of the design process: Schematic capture, PCB layout, Gerber file generation/visualization, and library editing.

KiCad is a cross-platform program, written in C++ with wxWidgets to run on FreeBSD, Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Many component libraries are available, and users can add custom components. The custom components can be available on a per-project basis, or installed for use in any project. There are also tools to help with importing components from other EDA applications, for instance EAGLE. Configuration files are in well documented plain text, which helps with interfacing version control systems, as well as with automated component generation scripts.

Multiple languages are supported, such as English, Catalan, Czech, German, Greek, Spanish, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovene, Swedish, and Chinese.

Resources

Download KiCAD/official site: http://kicad-pcb.org/download/

Beginner guide:  http://docs.kicad-pcb.org/stable/en/getting_started_in_kicad.pdf

Official KiCAD Documentation: http://kicad-pcb.org/help/documentation/

Curated list or tutorials and other resources: http://kicad-pcb.org/help/tutorials/

Curated list of video tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLro2LhzvRdB6IgB0NqzSgFvdevPtdklTf

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