Author Topic: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD  (Read 3428 times)

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Online splin

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2019, 01:36:32 pm »
Even if a student does have free access to Altium, their time may well be better invested in learning Kicad - if they go to work for a large company they will get trained up to use whatever tools they use.

Smaller companies OTOH are much more likely to use Kicad and potential employees with Kicad skills will be relatively more valuable given the lack of a large training budget. Smaller companies are likely to use Kicad not only because of cost but because there are likely far more graduates around with Kicad skills - if not now,  that must be changing rapidly as Kicad is seen to be a serious tool.

And why does my bl**dy tablet keep substituting Kicad with Lucas???  It only has one letter in common!!!   |O
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2019, 01:39:15 pm »
Kicad and lucas share 2 letters, and the other 3 are only off by 1 key either side, the fun world of autocorrect  :)
 

Online splin

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2019, 02:25:45 pm »
And why does my bl**dy tablet keep substituting Kicad with Lucas???  It only has one letter in common!!!   |O

Kicad and lucas share 2 letters, and the other 3 are only off by 1 key either side, the fun world of autocorrect  :)

Hmm.  Seems I can't count any better than I can spell.   :palm:
Perhaps I need an auto-correct plug-in brain module...
 

Offline reboots

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2019, 06:20:20 pm »
With kicad, I have done a few hybrid-flexible PCB's, curving traces is dead easy, and teardropping takes a few minutes if you use scripts from the forum, or a few minutes more if you cheat with using filled zones, there is very little that I have ever come stuck against,

Quick aside, what's your workflow for curving traces in KiCad? Support for curved traces is, believe it or not, a major reason I continue to use CadSoft-era Eagle.
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2019, 09:08:24 pm »
Select Trace - Right click window - tick "free angle mode"

Then from there you lay traces as you want, and tidy up with some intermediate traces to smooth the curve, Kicad can auto-delete old segments, so as I do it, it deletes the previous corner, leaving me with my rounder trace, iterate twice and you have a smooth curve,

That or if you know how your curve should fit, just lay trace to the curve you where planning.

ADC 23 in the picture is one I free-handed while laying, the iterations are mostly just me allowing the tightest possible packing for my spacing rules, as it warns you when traces go against your spacing rules.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 09:15:20 pm by Rerouter »
 
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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2019, 09:56:05 pm »
For curved traces you could also export it as Specctra DSN from KiCad, which you can then import in TopoR for auto routing, which I did with this board:



I know, not optimized with pin swaps (it is a FPGA), but it is just a quick breakout board and it works. Looks like a Zen garden :)
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
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Online EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2019, 11:21:45 pm »
Nope, RS20 nailed it.
Who cares if a startup uses Altium or not? it's not going to magically make their project better or more viable, or faster, or easier or whatever.
There is practically nothing that Altium can do that you can't ultimately do with free or low cost tools.
Sure Altium might automated things better, maybe making it a bit faster, or maybe making it a bit easier, but not having Altium is not a showstopper.
Any skilled PCB/product designer can use any tool to produce the same end result. Heck, I could still use AutoTrax for DOS if I really had too.
And if you are a startup that has to learn PCB design from scratch then you have more problems than just what PCB design tool you can afford.

I mean, you might not care, but Altium certainly cares if a startup uses their tools. Otherwise why do the sales people always talk about that? And why did they create their lower cost tools?

Trust me, I know, I've been using Altium for almost 30 years, I've worked there and I was in the room when the founder (then CTO) Nick Martin ignored the advice of the CEO at the time and decided to "turn the world of electronics design upside down" by slashing the price of Altium by 75% overnight and said "We can never go back to high priced tools".

But don't underestimate the penetration of Altium, it's not something that KiCAD or any other tool is going to up-end overnight, or even within a decade.
If I was a PCB design professional again I would not be using KiCAD, I'd be paying top dollar for Altium, and so would most other professionals doing medium to high end work.
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2019, 11:25:37 pm »
May I ask why on the last point. What do the expensive tools do to benifit me in the long run? Again I never used them. Just jumped to free early on.
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2019, 11:57:31 pm »
May I ask why on the last point. What do the expensive tools do to benifit me in the long run? Again I never used them. Just jumped to free early on.

Probably most of whats listed here:
https://www.altium.com/documentation/19.0/display/ADES/New+in+Altium+Designer
https://www.altium.com/documentation/19.0/display/ADES/NFS_19_0((Additional+Features+and+Enhancements))_AD
https://techdocs.altium.com/display/ADOH/Altium+Designer+16.0+-+New+Features+Round-up
https://techdocs.altium.com/display/ADOH/Altium+Designer+15+-+New+Features+Round-up

Its rare for people to care about "long run", its a question of short term, will this tool get my PCB design up and running faster?
 

Online Brumby

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2019, 04:00:57 am »
Once you've traversed the learning curve, you will get more done in less time, especially for re-spins.

In the commercial world, that's what will be noticed.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2019, 04:15:35 am »
May I ask why on the last point. What do the expensive tools do to benifit me in the long run? Again I never used them. Just jumped to free early on.

Dozens and dozens of small stuff that a professional PCB design engineer (someone who does PCB/EDA layout all day every day) takes for granted, things that makes your life a bit easier and your design workflow more productive, I couldn't possibly go through and list them all and see if the lower end packages can do those things. Also there is the opportunity cost. At present (and the foreseeable future), if you are contract design engineer looking for work, then having just KiCAD or Eagle on your resume is very likely not going to cut it. In fact many clients will demand you use either their own in-house tool (often Altium), or a professional level tool they have heard of and know that other contractors use (again, often Altium).
As to it being a benefit to you I can't possibly answer that question as I have no idea what you work on, who you work for, what your career path is etc etc.
 

Offline jaromir

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2019, 01:05:14 pm »
Sorry for resurrecting this old thread, but I believe this is relevant information. It all started with Kicad's project leader working at WIT full-time and developing Kicad, it seems now things may change - https://lists.launchpad.net/kicad-developers/msg42269.html
I wonder if some other big player will be interested in Wayne.
My hobby projects: https://hackaday.io/jaromir ----------- http://jaromir.xf.cz/
 
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Online EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB #62 - PCB Wars - The Rise Of KiCAD
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2019, 11:10:31 am »
Sorry for resurrecting this old thread, but I believe this is relevant information. It all started with Kicad's project leader working at WIT full-time and developing Kicad, it seems now things may change - https://lists.launchpad.net/kicad-developers/msg42269.html
I wonder if some other big player will be interested in Wayne.

Interesting, I wonder what the issues was?
 


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