Author Topic: KiCAD PCB Design  (Read 7140 times)

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Offline hendorog

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Re: KiCAD PCB Design
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2018, 03:38:27 am »
This issue was reported by me about half a year ago :D: https://bugs.launchpad.net/kicad/+bug/1753153

Curious what one commenter there was worried about, so I installed KiCad. It has a "clarify selection" dropdown.
So I can't see why there be any reason to not have an option to allow plane selection.

There is no need to clarify if there is only one item close, so the plane would force you to always clarify every time you tried to do something.

That would be a PITA.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: KiCAD PCB Design
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2018, 05:47:41 am »
It would.
 

Offline bson

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Re: KiCAD PCB Design
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2018, 07:29:13 am »
This issue was reported by me about half a year ago :D: https://bugs.launchpad.net/kicad/+bug/1753153

Curious what one commenter there was worried about, so I installed KiCad. It has a "clarify selection" dropdown.
So I can't see why there be any reason to not have an option to allow plane selection.
You don't want to have to clarify what you clicked on every time there is a fill zone!  Because that's going to be almost everywhere.

Better to make it select a fill zone only when there are only fill zones.  If there is anything other than a fill zone, ignore the fill zone.  Could also select the top most fill zone, then next time clicked select the next fill zone down, and so on, until the bottom is reached, then return to the top.  (Assuming there's nothing else.)

This would make it quick to select a fill zone (there generally aren't that many, I think at most I've had three in any one place - two inner planes and an oscillator ground pour on the top) yet never create ambiguities when selecting other kinds of objects.  There's hardly ever a shortage of empty spaces to select a fill zone underneath!

 

Offline bson

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Re: KiCAD PCB Design
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2018, 07:33:32 am »
In general also, I'm not a fan of the "clarify" menu.  I'd rather just have it automatically pick the next one in the list if I keep clicking; showing it visually is usually more meaningful than a bunch of text.

Oh, and on delete with automatic selection, don't ask me to clarify.  Just delete the whole list.  If I want to delete one specific item I can explicitly select it first.
 

Online thm_w

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Re: KiCAD PCB Design
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2018, 08:28:41 pm »
You don't want to have to clarify what you clicked on every time there is a fill zone!  Because that's going to be almost everywhere.

Better to make it select a fill zone only when there are only fill zones.  If there is anything other than a fill zone, ignore the fill zone.  Could also select the top most fill zone, then next time clicked select the next fill zone down, and so on, until the bottom is reached, then return to the top.  (Assuming there's nothing else.)

This would make it quick to select a fill zone (there generally aren't that many, I think at most I've had three in any one place - two inner planes and an oscillator ground pour on the top) yet never create ambiguities when selecting other kinds of objects.  There's hardly ever a shortage of empty spaces to select a fill zone underneath!

Yes that would be a good solution.
You could also check if its filled or unfilled, and only select if filled, seems like this option could work similar to Altiums shelve polygons. Generally if I'm not specifically working on planes I have them all shelved.
 

Online Bassman59

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Re: KiCAD PCB Design
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2018, 09:31:20 pm »
When they have Back-annotation functional In V6 this will close the additional step of updating in to "cvpcb" the footprint assignment step that is currently in place, to keep the netlist and PCB telling the same story.,

You do not have to use CvPCB at all. And that's been true for at least the three years I've been using Kicad.

Here is the story. Back when the project first got started, it was a schematic editor and a PCB layout editor, and they were separate programs with separate libraries. (This is also why the user interface between schematic and PCB is inconsistent, and that's being addressed by the developers.) The way the workflow went was you'd place symbols on your schematic, wire it all up, and change values as necessary. So you'd change a generic NPN transistor to the 2N2222A and you'd change a generic op-amp to NE5532, and you'd change a generic resistor to 1k, and so on.

Before you could do the layout, you needed to map each symbol to a desired footprint. This is where CvPCB came in. It would show you a list of the symbols in the design, and let you choose from your PCB libraries a footprint for each. When that was all done, you had to back-annotate the footprint choices to the schematic. This would populate each symbol's "footprint" field with your selections. Then, in the schematic editor you generated a netlist for the layout, which you would then import in the layout program, which pulled in the footprints and all of the connectivity was there.

The key there was the backannotation. Once you selected a footprint for a part in the design, you didn't have to do that again. If you added parts, you needed to run CvPCB again to map footprints to those new parts. (Of course copying an existing backannotated symbol worked as you'd expect.)

The problem with that process is that it's stupid. Professionals would never go through that process of placing generic symbols on a schematic and then editing symbol values to something real (for a BOM) and then use another process to match symbols to footprints. The chance of error is near 1.

A bunch of users realized that you could create symbols in a schematic library that had the footprint field populated. And when the idea of footprint library tables was introduced (with Kicad 4), that field could also indicate the library in which that footprint could be found. (This eliminated the ambiguity about which SOIC-8 footprint the user really wanted.) So these users started created libraries of so-called "atomic parts," in which the symbols have proper names (OP275GSZ and not OPAMP), specific footprint callouts, and a name/part number to be used by the BOM generator.

In other words, you create the part symbol once, with your chosen footprint included, and you use it everywhere. CvPCB is not necessary.

Now this idea of "atomic parts" libraries is standard for Kicad 5. Kicad 5 does have some legacy libraries available, but pretty much all of the libraries have been reworked so a specific part symbol has a footprint and a 3D model.
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: KiCAD PCB Design
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2018, 12:01:23 am »
From a manufacturing stand point, the only gripe I have with KiCAD is you cannot use true power planes,
On the PCB CAD packages I have used this is a simple matter of choosing a thinner trace for the polyfill. I doubt Kicad will be any different.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online Bassman59

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Re: KiCAD PCB Design
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2018, 11:39:55 pm »
From a manufacturing stand point, the only gripe I have with KiCAD is you cannot use true power planes,
On the PCB CAD packages I have used this is a simple matter of choosing a thinner trace for the polyfill. I doubt Kicad will be any different.
nctnico is correct. You have to make sure the trace thickness for the fill doesn't violate your design rules.
 

Offline pointhi

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Re: KiCAD PCB Design
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2018, 10:00:34 pm »
Just a short note: the zone selection is now fixed :)

* https://github.com/KiCad/kicad-source-mirror/commit/6a6d580a1c245d64a8e28914f6f68a9acfd7fa3e

I think the 5.1.0 release will be very nice from a UX standpoint. Actually, most of the work is UI related.
 
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