Kicad

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KiCad software serves as a suite for EDA (electronic design automation). Jean-Pierre Charras developed this device to help engineers in the design of schematics for an electronic circuit. It also facilitates the conversion of these circuits to PCB designs. KiCad has an environment which is receptive to schematic capture and the design of a PCB layout. The software is free and comes with necessary tools that can help in creating Gerber files, bill of materials, artwork, 3D views of a PCB and all other components.

 

The KiCad has five important parts namely:

  1. KiCad
  2. Eeschema
  3. Pcbnew
  4. GerbView
  5. Bitmap2Component.

The KiCad make use of the integrated environment for each stage in the design process: PCB layout, Schematic capture, Gerber file generation/visualization, and library editing. KiCad works as a cross-platform program.  The language of KiCad is C++ with wxWidgets, and it runs easily on FreeBSD, Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.There are availabilities of several component libraries, and users of the software can also add other custom components.

 

Eeschema is another feature of KiCad which has features like custom symbol creation, schematic sheets and electrical rules checks (ERC) The Schematic symbols which are in Eeschema attach loosely to the footprints in the other feature known as Pcbnew. This loose coupling is to ensure that the symbols and the footprints are used more than once. Pcbnew is a part of KiCad which support 32 technical layers and 32 copper layers.

 

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Uses of KiCad

  1. It can help you to design a circuit which can automate your house
  2. KiCad can also facilitate the building of a camera add-on for a quadcopter.
  3. It can also help in the creation of a compact and unique alarm system

KiCad is very affordable and flexible when it comes to designing electronic circuits. Also, installation of KiCad is straightforward immediately you get your computer connected to the internet and also running Linux.