Electronics > KiCad

Project organisation

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This is what I want to have:
1 main schematic sheet containing interconnections (cabling, wire truncs, solitary components, ie limit switch) between different sheets each containing a (partial) schematic and eventually subsheets. Hierarchical sheet structure you say? Not really.
Some of the included schematics appear multiple times and are "reused, existing assemblies" having fixed component references, the included schematics are finally realized on different PCB's.
As far as I know hierarchical sheets demand each component on the different schematics to have a unique component reference in the design. Using multiple times the same "sub-assembly" results in disaster: you cannot reassign comp references on existing boards! Furthermore it seems impossible to assign parts of the schematics to different PCBs?

Is there something I do misunderstand or must I reread the f.. manual?

Unless there's some trick I don't know about, you will have to create a component for each of these "reused, existing assemblies", and manage those separately.  Instantiate those "components" on your top-level schematic as needed.

Can you be a bit more explicit? I'm not 100% sure I understood what you want to do.

But if the question is, can one use a single hierarchical schematic (sheet) and "instantiate" it multiple times in another sheet, it certainly is supported and works wonders. You just need to name each instance in the parent sheet with a different name, but point to the same schematic file. One easy way of doing it is to create a hierarchical sheet, and then just duplicate it using Ctrl+D.

KiCad automatically assigns different references to parts in each instance when you annotate the schematic. Modifying the sub-schematic will impact all instances.
Pretty powerful. Used that recently.

The basic architecture of KiCAD is "one project = one PCB".
Hierachical sheets are not really intended for multi-PCB designs, but for documentation clarity for one PCB.
There are workarounds, but none are nice.
@SiliconWizard's suggestion can work, but will not get around the multi annotations of the symbols. But I've no better idea, sorry.

Yes, as to multiple PCBs with only one project, that's not possible. KiCad is not architectured to do this. Any manual attempt at circumventing this limitation is going to bite you in the ass.


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