No Script, No Fear, All Opinion
RSS icon Home icon
  • EEVblog #253 – KiCAD Install & Schematic – First Impressions

    Posted on March 6th, 2012 EEVblog 11 comments


    A continuous 45min screen cast of Dave installing and running KiCAD for the first time, along with his first impressions and rants about things he finds along the way, mainly with the schematic editor portion of the program.
    How easy and intuitive is it to use the schematic editor for the first time?

    Be Sociable, Share!
    • mamut

      Dave, try doing a PCB… then you’ll see that some ideas are bad…:)

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Yeah, likely!

    • Pingback: EEVblog checks out KiCAD « adafruit industries blog

    • PChi

      Thanks for your videos. A previous one made me aware of KiCAD and I have given it a go. PCB-Pool made a double sided PCB from the gerber file outputs and it turned out well. Pity about my schematic design however.
      I agree that it would be nice to have a pdf output and I’m not sure that there is a good way to pan.
      The schematics printed out OK but the PCB layout line widths didn’t. I used GCPrevue to view, print and collate the files which got around the problem.
      I rarely design a PCB and used Vutrax previously but will now use KiCAD. The library handling and schematic / footprint arrangement is different but not necessarily wrong. I found the PCB editor OK.

    • JBeale

      I like it that KiCad is open and the CAD files are text based, so you can see what’s going on. I feel there’s a better chance of open source stuff staying usable long-term, for design reuse long into the future. I make a few mistakes, but was happy with my first KiCad PCB project: http://www.bealecorner.com/pcb/dd1/

    • Pingback: Why do free CAD programs suck so hard? | The Amateur Engineer

    • Rafael

      Inspired by your video I downloaded and started using Kicad for the first time to document a few projects I had in paper and pencil. It really works nicely and intuitively – a similar experience I had ages ago with the then so-called Protel (Altium for the younger).
      What a nice piece of software done by the author/authors. Kudos to a great tool.

    • http://None Kerusey Karyu

      Hi there. I am the author of this library with Atmel’s chips and you’re right: I’m a big fan of AVR :-).
      Unfortunately. A small library for the PIC is the result of the low popularity of these MCU in Europe – especially in my country. Kicad was originally a French program, so; do not expect too much… ;-)
      As you wish, there is a place where users can share their own library: http://www.kicadlib.org

      On the end. Thanks for the review. Maybe because of this review a couple of people also will want to know this interesting program.

      Cheers.

    • http://www.torbalscales.com/home.php?cat=254 Piotr

      How can I use Doxygen to understand Kicad Source code? Thanks…

    • Stefan

      Up to now I was unable to find a possibility to resize drawn polyline or rectangles in Kicad.
      Either I didn’t found out yet, or there is no possibility, which I think is not too unlikely if you look at the behaviour of Kicad which is very often far away from intuitive.

      Anybody tried this out? It is an absolute showstopper for me not being able to resize. I mean how often do I realize “Oh, that rectangle could be one gridsize bigger”. I don’t want to redraw that shitty symbol outline a hundred times.

      I noticed this already some years ago. I didn’t use Kicad becaus of this and similar odd behaviours of the program.
      Today I saw the video and thought “give it a try again”, but no way to resize thes things.

      I could make 10 drive time rants a la Dave because of that ^^

      • Kerusey Karyu

        Stefan, in which place do you want to resize a polyline or rectangle? In EEschema library editor, Pcbnew library editor or on the PCB?

        If you mean EEschema libedit, take a look at “Drag” (G key) command. But, point of that, there is a hit test issue: application cursor (cross) and system cursor must be *exactly* above the line.