Author Topic: Multi-board project?  (Read 8456 times)

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Offline obiwanjacobi

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Multi-board project?
« on: March 21, 2016, 06:10:05 pm »
What is the best/easiest way to have one (hierarchical?) schematic file and have multiple board layout files?

The project involves a stack of 10cm x 10cm (modular & cheap!) boards connected by a ribbon cable...
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Offline Thor-Arne

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 09:44:46 am »
KiCad doesn't support multiple boards for a single schematic project directly.

What I have done in these cases is to create the schematic and then create a new project for each sub-schematic.

Note that the annotation will be over all the sub-schematics in the project, not ideal if you have identical modules.
 

Offline obiwanjacobi

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2016, 04:52:05 pm »
Hmmm, sound horrible.  :palm:

Thanks, I will give it a try.
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Offline easyw

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 03:51:10 pm »
KiCad doesn't support multiple boards for a single schematic project directly.
What I have done in these cases is to create the schematic and then create a new project for each sub-schematic.
Note that the annotation will be over all the sub-schematics in the project, not ideal if you have identical modules.
is that similar to that approach?
http://altiumdesignerblog.blogspot.it/2011/05/multi-board-design-projects-in-altium.html
Since all of the schematics are in the same project, their net connectivity will be extant throughout the design.
thanx
Maurice
 

Offline Thor-Arne

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2016, 05:08:19 pm »
KiCad doesn't support multiple boards for a single schematic project directly.
What I have done in these cases is to create the schematic and then create a new project for each sub-schematic.
Note that the annotation will be over all the sub-schematics in the project, not ideal if you have identical modules.
is that similar to that approach?
http://altiumdesignerblog.blogspot.it/2011/05/multi-board-design-projects-in-altium.html
Since all of the schematics are in the same project, their net connectivity will be extant throughout the design.
thanx
Maurice

Yes, it's quite similar.

The nets isn't automatically connected between the different schematic files, nets is connected with hierarchical pins in the root-schematic. The problem is that when you make a new project to use with the sub-schematics all hierarchical pins is invalid so you must make the connection afterwards.
 

Offline obiwanjacobi

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2016, 06:15:08 pm »
If KiCad wasn't that particular about its files and project structure, this would be a nice way to do it.

Anyway, I've got it to work and it will do. Thanks!  :-+
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Offline timofonic

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2016, 01:27:51 pm »
Would be hard to add multi-board support to KiCad? I wonder what the KiCad developers would opine about it :D
 

Offline bson

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2016, 05:49:11 pm »
You don't have to use the braindead IDE-style projects wrapper.  Just put your design in a directory and add schematics, pcb layouts, documentation, and netlists as needed; put common components, footprints, and firmware in subdirectories.  Or structure it however it makes most sense.  The project stuff adds absolutely nothing and just gets in the way, making it difficult for instance to edit two layouts side by side to make sure their mounting holes and a mezzanine connector lines up, or any number of other common uses.
 

Offline timofonic

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 03:07:57 pm »
Some IDE features are very convenient. Look at Vim and Emacs, for example. There's tons examples, for sure.

NeoVim aims to modernize Vim, they havee interesting ideas and want to use Lua (a small and very efficient scripting language) instead VimScript.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2016, 10:25:32 pm »
What about hierarchical sheets?  I have a 2 board project that I'm working on and just used that, is that not what it's for?  Basically it's a project going on perf boards and it's just easier to split it up than trying to cram everything on a single board. So I got the MCU stuff on one board and power stuff on the other.

The "main" sheet is the general layout of wires and switches going to each board, then each sheet within is a board.  The labels are basically going to be the terminal blocks. The layout will also act as wiring instructions if it needs to be rewired "in the field".
 

Offline Thor-Arne

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2016, 07:15:52 pm »
Hierarchical sheets is just the schematic, when you generate the netlist it will use everything in the schematic project. This means that when you import the netlist in pcbnew it will be a single board project.
Hierarchical sheets is just meant to make the schematics more readable.

If you want to make multiple boards you can open each of the sub-sheets in eeschema standalone (not from the project manager) and generate the netlist for each schematic file, this will allow you to create several pcb's from a hierarchical sheet.

Note that you are responsible for adding/placing appropriate connectors to connect the different pcb's.
 

Offline timofonic

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2016, 02:58:50 am »
Are there plans to improve this? No more kitchen sink solutions please, there's gEDA for that.
 

Offline Thor-Arne

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2016, 06:46:58 am »
Are there plans to improve this? No more kitchen sink solutions please, there's gEDA for that.

It is working as intended, no "improvements" needed.
One project - one PCB.

I don't think any of the developers want to invest time and effort into this while there is way more important things to work on.

The workaround is for those that insist to not follow the workflow.
 

Offline onesixright

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Re: Multi-board project?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2016, 06:13:47 am »
Maybe this could help you.

I had a similar question how to make 2 layouts (1 THT and 1 SMD) with based on schema. What i end-up doing (KiCAd 4) is creating folders.

I have now in the "root" folder my schema. Then two folders THT and SMD, in each i placed the net and kicad_pcb file. That seems to work.

In the schema tool generate your net list and save it in the sub-folder.

One you have your first layout you can choose File -> Save as (in pcbnew) and place it in your sub-folder. I then removed all components and reread the net list.

Now there is one issue, and thats the association. I ended up doing it twice. So if you need to change something in your schema you need to redo that.
 


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