Author Topic: KiCAD setup  (Read 1025 times)

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Offline Harjit

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KiCAD setup
« on: May 24, 2019, 08:05:10 pm »
I've been using Altium 99SE and am moving to KiCAD.

While there is a lot of information out there on KiCAD but since I'm not currently a user, it is hard to tell what to pay attention to and what to ignore.

I will be using Fusion 360 to create PCB outlines and then I'd like to import them into KiCAD. I'm kind of set on Fusion 360, as opposed to FreeCAD, because I've built up many parametric components in it and don't have the appetite to redo it and learn a new CAD program.

I would love some pointers on setting it up. Also, how to setup the schematic and PCB libraries.

I'm not in favor of creating a unique library part for every resistor and capacitor value. I'm totally fine with having a resistor or capacitor symbol and then setting up the part parameters. I've read the great thread on the pros and cons and this is just the way I want to go.

Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 08:12:28 pm by Harjit »
 

Offline sokoloff

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Re: KiCAD setup
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2019, 12:05:29 am »
Install it. Go through the process of making a basic board. Very basic. Just to teach yourself the KiCAD way of addressing schematics, netlists, component mapping, PCB layout, etc.

When you get stuck, search on YouTube for a specific helpful video. (Chris Gammell [Contextual Electronics] has made many, but there are others as well.) Consider following Chris's "Getting to Blinky" series, which I think was last updated for KiCAD 4, so it's not a perfect match, but it's a good starting point.

I went from having a little bit of Eagle experience many years ago, but never using KiCAD to having a completed simple board design for a Nano, a battery, some APA102 LED chains, a remote control sensor, and a few sockets in the span of an evening. Boards worked first spin as well. I started with the Blinky video series, even though I was using KiCAD 5.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy2022BX6Eso532xqrUxDT1u2p4VVsg-q

The KiCon conference also just happened and there are a lot of videos from that that might be helpful as well.
 

Offline Harjit

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Re: KiCAD setup
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 04:00:21 pm »
There seem to be many libraries - KiCAD, Digikey, free ones from SnapEDA, PCBLibraries, etc. Any of these to use / avoid?
 

Offline sokoloff

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Re: KiCAD setup
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 04:08:48 pm »
Use any of them that you want when you're first starting, but be sure to 100% check the specific parts you're going to use.

I don't trust anyone else's chip libraries and tend to make my own parts for one-off ICs. I admit that I don't validate the footprints in the KiCad library on small passives, so there's a "consider doing as I say, even though I admit to not doing it on small passives and similar two-pin SMDs."
 

Offline Warhawk

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Re: KiCAD setup
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 05:39:59 pm »
I also use my own libraries but those which come with KiCad are quite good. I would start there. I liked Protel 99SE but I believe that KiCad v5 has made it to the same level (even higher in some cases) and is worth learning. Good luck.

Offline Doctorandus_P

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Re: KiCAD setup
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2019, 02:34:13 am »
KiCad can import DXF graphics into the "edge.cuts" layer as board outlines.
Because DXF has never been properly standarised there are many incompabible versions though, and not all can be read by KiCad.
Some use LibreCAD to export the board outlines in a DXF dialect KiCad can understand.

If you have Gerbers of an existing design, then you can "back import" a lot of info from gerbers into a KiCad PCB.
It's far from complete of course because a lot of info simply is not present in Gerber files, but board outlines (including hole locations) and all tracks can be back-imported into KiCad.

Better support for SVG files is also coming. I've read that it's (mostly?) implemented in current nightly builds, but that its "hidden"
 

Offline MitjaN

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Re: KiCAD setup
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2019, 07:09:06 am »

Better support for SVG files is also coming. I've read that it's (mostly?) implemented in current nightly builds, but that its "hidden"

Look at https://forum.kicad.info/t/is-import-svg-comming-in-5-1-0/15802/6
 


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