KiCad Workshop

By: breedx

2015-03-16 19:39:50


Have you ever wanted to design your own PCB from scratch?  Are you curious about the design process and the tools and techniques used by pros and hackers alike?  Maybe you have some experience with Eagle PCB and want to try out a free and open source design suite...

Now's the chance to learn KiCad!

"KiCad is an EDA software suite for the creation of professional schematics and printed circuit boards up to 32 copper layers with additional technical layers. KiCad runs on Windows, Linux and Apple OS X and is released under the open-source GNU GPL v2 free of charge."

The workshop will be hosted by hardware ninja Jared Boone of Sharebrained Technology and HackRF fame.



KiCad Workshop (subject to change, and bound by time constraints)
	Features and functionality
		Large-scale examples, including HackRF and Daisho projects
		Cross platform
		Open source -- contribute! Bugs, documentation, code.
		CERN involvement -- donate!
	Goals for today:
		Know what KiCad can and can't do
		Have some idea how to do basic things
		Where to look for more help

	Multiple task-specific "apps" under a shell program
	Project creation
	Schematic capture
		Symbol creation
	Design rules checking
	Netlist generation
	Symbol:Footprint mapping (CVPCB)
		Footprint creation
	PCB design
		Footprint creation

Example project
	Designing a simple PCB from scratch

Library organization
	Symbols and footprints
	Existing libraries
	Library search paths
	Old-style libraries
	"pretty" folders
	Importing from other CAD software
	Creating a symbol + common practices
		Pin numbers and names
		Pin directions
		Multiple parts in a symbol
	Creating a footprint/module + common practices
		Grid tricks
		Package outline
		Keepout area
		Silkscreen thickness

Schematic capture
	Adding symbols
	Drawing nets
	Naming nets
	Multiple sheets
		Heirarchy, top-level page, navigating
		Connections between sheets
		Global names
	Documentation fields
	Mapping footprints to symbol instances
		Weird stuff KiCad will do / not do
	Text files everywhere!

PCB design
	Importing data
	Creating a layer stack-up
	Establishing design rules
		Trace-space separation
		Drill size
		Via size
		Annular rings
		Tenting vias
	Configuring rendering
		Layer visibility
		Different rendering modes
	Tools and tricks
		Drawing and ripping up traces
		Moving things
		Copper flood/pour
		Reference designators
		Board outline
	Fancy tools (quick demo of push-and-shove, )
	Design rules checking

Ordering PCBs!
	Final inspection/checklist
	Checking design rules
	Exporting Gerbers
	gerbview vs. gerbv to review
	Upload to OSHPark
	Review and order
	Wait and worry

More help
	Links to KiCad commnuity
		Tutorials and examples
		Gammell's site,
		Nightly builds, esp. for Mac users
		CERN's sexy-sexy new features videos on YouTube
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