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KiCAD PCB Design Workshop Feedback

Imagine, you've built a few electronics projects. Perhaps a few kits, with all the parts and a ready made Printed Circuit Board (PCB) included, maybe a few projects on a breadboard with Dupont wires, perhaps even with an arduino, and maybe you even realized a design of your own on a raster board. Now you want to proceed to the next level: Create your own professional looking printed circuit board. So you looked at what tools are available that are both free as in free beer AND free as in freedom, and no doubt you have come across a program called KiCAD. KiCAD is a professional quality PCB design suite.

Starting with KiCAD can be daunting. You'll have to learn a new vocabulary. You'll have to learn a bit about generic PCB manufacturing technology. You'll have to learn how to deal with the capabilities and requirements of a specific PCB manufacturer, and how to work these into a design that can actually be manufactured. But most importantly, you will have to learn how KiCAD works and adopt a workflow.

We will start with a presentation of about 30 minutes to introduce The goals of the workshop(*), Concepts, Vocabulary and a Workflow. Then you will have about quarter of an hour to install KiCAD on your device (BYOD) and find a mate with whom to work through the guided tutorial in about 60 minutes.

The workshop goes through the process of making a basic PCB design from start to finish. You start with creating a project and enter a schematic with symbols and connections between them. Then you will select footprints for each of the parts, create an outline for your PCB, place the footprints on the PCB and draw the wiring between pins. Next you will generate the files that you can send to your PCB manufacturer to actually make your PCBs. Besides the basic tutorial, there are "side trails" explaining how to add symbols to your own symbol library, how to add footprints to your own footprint library, how to verify schematic designs, how to set design rules for a project, how to verify PCB designs, how to add power planes, how to use KICAD to make multiple PCBs in one project and how to use KiCAD to create PCB's with more than two layers.

(*) (The main goal is "to make a PCB design for an electronic circuit using KiCAD", NOT "to design an electronic circuit", NOR "compare KiCAD to $OTHER_DESIGN_TOOL")

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Metadata for KiCAD PCB Design Workshop

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Schedule for KiCAD PCB Design Workshop

  • Sunday, Aug 6th, 2023, 16:00 (CEST) - Sunday, Aug 6th, 2023, 18:00 (CEST) at Workshop Room