Getting started with the world’s best open-source PCB tool
The latest iteration of KiCad, the world’s best free-to-use Printed Circuit Board tool, is packed with features usually found only in expensive commercial CAD tools. This modern, cross-platform application suite built around schematic and design editors, with auxiliary applications is a stable and mature PCB tool. KiCad 6 is a perfect fit for electronic engineers and hobbyists.
Here are the most significant improvements and features in KiCad 6, both over and under the hood:
- Modern user interface, completely redesigned from earlier versions
- Improved and customizable electrical and design rule checkers
- Theme editor allowing you to customize KiCad on your screen
- Ability to import projects from Eagle, CADSTART, and more
- Enhanced bus handling
- Full control over the presentation of information by the layout editor
- Filters define selectable elements
- Enhanced interactive router helps you draw single tracks and differential pairs with precision
- New or enhanced tools to draw tracks, measure distances, tune track lengths, etc.
- Enhanced tool for creating filled zones
- Easy data exchange with other CAD applications
- Realistic ray-tracing capable 3D viewer
- Huge community of contributors that make KiCad better every day
- Rich repositories of symbol, footprint, and 3D shape libraries
This book will teach you to use KiCad through a practical approach. It will help you become productive quickly and start designing your own boards. Example projects (e.g., a simple breadboard power supply and a PCBA 4×8×8 LED matrix array) illustrate the basic features of KiCad, even if you have no prior knowledge of PCB design. The author describes the entire workflow from schematic entry to the intricacies of finalizing the files for PCB production and offers sound guidance on the process. Further full-fledged projects, of incremental difficulty, will be presented in a second book, together with a variety of advanced recipes.