Author Topic: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?  (Read 525 times)

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Offline djos

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KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« on: August 14, 2019, 01:12:17 pm »
I've been using Diptrace for over a year and really like how intuitive it is to use - however, I had been using the free version with a 200 pin limit and this prevented me from designing more complex projects. So I decided to try the main options again.

I put days of effort into learning Eagle but despite appreciating some of the very cool advanced functionality, I just couldn't get comfortable with its horrid counterintuitive UI and workflows.

So I decided to try KiCad v5.x and have spent the last few days tinkering with it and watching a great video series to learn its finer points. Anyway, I'm hooked, v5.x is fantastic! KiCad has really come a long way IMO compared to the v4.x version I tried a while back. The only thing it really seems to lack is an auto-router - this isn't a deal-breaker for me as I prefer to route traces myself for the most part.

What do you folk think of v5.x?

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Offline boB

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 03:23:32 pm »

Did they add zooming in and out by the mouse wheel in the exact same way that Eagle does it ?

When I tried Kicad 4 I think, it was close but not quite as good as Eagle in that aspect I didn't think.

Zoomed from a corner instead of where the cursor was in the center or something like that.

K7IQ
 

Offline bpiphany

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 04:05:56 pm »
I'm already on Kicad 6, but as far as I remember the wheel zoom always zommed in centered on where the mouse pointer was. After the first zoom the pointer moves to the center of the screen (so that the next zoom step is centered on the same point). The zoom used to behave a bit wonky if you were outside "the sheet" if I'm not mistaken. That behavior seems to be gone now.

Zooming out seems a bit weird at the moment though... But also only when doing it outside the sheet.

I don't know if any of that can be OS specific. I'm on Ubuntu 18.04.
 

Offline djos

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 05:05:32 pm »

Did they add zooming in and out by the mouse wheel in the exact same way that Eagle does it ?

When I tried Kicad 4 I think, it was close but not quite as good as Eagle in that aspect I didn't think.

Zoomed from a corner instead of where the cursor was in the center or something like that.

This is the default in v5.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.

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Offline djos

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 05:10:59 pm »
I don't know if any of that can be OS specific. I'm on Ubuntu 18.04.

it does this on Windows and macOS too.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.

Visit my Tindie store for Tandy 1000 Adapters for EX, HX, SX, SL, TX & TL etc
 

Offline pointhi

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 02:33:15 am »
There is an option called "Center and warp cursor on zoom", where you can modify zoom behaviour. Just look into the Prferences.
 

Offline bpiphany

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 03:17:03 am »
There is an option called "Center and warp cursor on zoom", where you can modify zoom behaviour. Just look into the Prferences.

That's cool. I think I may even prefer the non-centering zoom. However zooming out beyond 0.95 messes the centering up, with or without re-centering selected (on my version 6.0.0-unknown-dd938b0~86~ubuntu18.04.1)
 

Offline MarkF

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019, 03:54:15 am »
I've been using Diptrace for over a year and really like how intuitive it is to use - however, I had been using the free version with a 200 pin limit and this prevented me from designing more complex projects. So I decided to try the main options again.

Request the FREE for Non-Profit license.  It gives you 2-layers and 500-pins.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 03:56:42 am by MarkF »
 

Offline djos

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 06:47:53 am »
I've been using Diptrace for over a year and really like how intuitive it is to use - however, I had been using the free version with a 200 pin limit and this prevented me from designing more complex projects. So I decided to try the main options again.

Request the FREE for Non-Profit license.  It gives you 2-layers and 500-pins.

TBH After falling in love with the Ki-Cad way of doing buses, I could never go back.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.

Visit my Tindie store for Tandy 1000 Adapters for EX, HX, SX, SL, TX & TL etc
 

Offline james_s

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 06:54:33 am »
I'm in love with the fact that KiCAD is FREE with absolutely no crippling or artificial limits of any kind. No license file, no registration, no phone home, no subscription, I can't imagine doing it any other way now.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2019, 07:09:23 am »
I'm already on Kicad 6,

Could you tell us what the main new features of the 6.x versions will be?
 

Offline djos

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2019, 07:09:28 am »
I'm in love with the fact that KiCAD is FREE with absolutely no crippling or artificial limits of any kind. No license file, no registration, no phone home, no subscription, I can't imagine doing it any other way now.

Yeah, that is very impressive too.  :-+
The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.

Visit my Tindie store for Tandy 1000 Adapters for EX, HX, SX, SL, TX & TL etc
 

Offline djos

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2019, 07:11:55 am »
I'm already on Kicad 6,

Could you tell us what the main new features of the 6.x versions will be?

The roadmap is here: http://docs.kicad-pcb.org/doxygen/v6_road_map.html
The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.

Visit my Tindie store for Tandy 1000 Adapters for EX, HX, SX, SL, TX & TL etc
 
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Offline electrode

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2019, 07:52:21 pm »
I had a similar revelation to you last year when I gave KiCAD another chance. I've also never looked back, and prefer it even to Altium.

For instance, the footprint libraries are amazing. Go to add an electrolytic capacitor, and the footprints are sorted perfectly by diameter and pin pitch. No going to some website to download a library and then trying to add it to path, etc.
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2019, 08:04:48 pm »
Re an autorouter, you can still export a file for an external autorouter, the one that was included in the older versions had some licensing issues and was removed from being included in the distribution, but I've personally never used it.

Been using kicad for small scale production for the past 3 years, so I would say it is certainly usable for business purposes, Its still growing, and there are still a number of things left to polish, but most of the major ones are being addressed with V6, and there is not much preventing workarounds at the moment, (Copper arcs that are assigned to nets is growing to be a more important one for me)
 

Offline bpiphany

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Re: KiCad v5.x - finally ready for primetime?
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2019, 12:28:57 am »
I'm already on Kicad 6,

Could you tell us what the main new features of the 6.x versions will be?

Someone else posted the roadmap, I don't really keep track. I slipped into using the nightly builds (after compiling myself) back when you pretty much had to to stay sane. I don't update very frequently, and I haven't had any huge meltdowns along the way. I'm only a hobby tinkerer, so it's not the end of the world to me if I would need to update again in a few days if everything broke.

I haven't really kept up to speed lately. There always seem to be new (and improved) functionality from time to time, which however frequently requires some work to update library connections and things.
 


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