Projektbeschreibung

KiCad is an open-source electronics CAD tool. You can create schematics and design PCBs using an extensive open source library of parts. View your resulting PCBs in 3D and export to gerbers for manufacturing.

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win32 Windows kicad-5.1.6_1-x86_64.exe (Datum: 2020-07-09, Größe: 1.16 GB)
macosx Mac kicad-unified-5.1.6-0-10_14.dmg (Datum: 2020-07-09, Größe: 1.22 GB)

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2020-09-16 11:15
Rezensionen von cflin

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KiCAD is a superb tool. In order to take full advantage of KiCAD, people should realize that, thanks to its open source nature, it has a very rich ecosystem. I would like to address some of the points Chuck brings up in his posting of 2020-05-09, below. There are excellent add-on scripts for teardrops, RF layout, autorouting, part generation from datasheets (e.g. KiPart). KiCAD also has a very usable constraint manager Even BOM generation (KiPart) may be possible by a script, but recently all the major distributors (Digikey, Mouser, Newark,..) started employing ant-scraping technologies on their web sites, which prevents KiCost from compiling cost information for the BOM. KiCAD's 3D capabilities are superb, thanks to the KiCADstepUP script, which essentially marries KiCAD to the also open-source and highly capable mechanical CAD FreeCAD. KiCADstepUP (which is a FeeCAD script) facilitates easy push-pull between the two packages and can read KiCAD pcb files and footprints and push pcbs and footprints to KiCAD flawlessly, and also comes with handy tools which help align 3D files to footprints. There is also a database manager for KiCAD on github, but unfortunately it is not UTF-8 compatible (but neiher is OrCAD). At work, I use OrCAD and Allegro. They do not scale very well with large projects either (they are trying to, but crippling bugs in their relevant tools decrease their reliability) and they are full of annoying bugs (and Cadence charges an arm and a leg for them!). Two wrongs don't make a right (certainly Allegro has more tools available, so more opportunities for bugs to creep in) , but please get the facts straight because there is a lot of misinformation out there about (against) KiCAD.
Stärken
Open source, rich echosystem of add-ons (KiCADstepUP for 3D, KiCost for programmatic BOM generation, RF layout tools, via stitching tools, autorouter...). Fast response by the developers themselves on the KiCAD forum. Very rapid development (CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which operates the world's largest atom smasher, adopted KiCAD in 2013). pcb is highly scriptable in Python. Active efforts to interface KiCAD to the open-source QUCS RF simulator, FreeCAD mcad, LTspice, and, to a lesser extend, open-source openEMS 3D electromagnetics simulator.
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Lack of a UTF-8 compatible library manager (there is one which is not UTF-8 compatible). Lack of ODB++ support (this is a very closed standard, though). Padstack could be better (but this is expected to change in the upcoming version 6). The At the moment, file conversion only from Eagle is nearly flawless (but the file structure of closed-source software is closed, so it is not easy to write translators for them).

2020-09-11 07:01
Rezensionen von Audio_IT_Guy

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Years ago, I got a degree in EE. I used this degree in my career for several years, then hit a dry spell. To make myself more marketable, I got a second degree in Digital Media (DM), with an emphasis on audio engineering and video production. Ironically, the best university around for both these degrees was the same one. Fast forward a few more years, and I landed a job at at my Alma Mater as an adjunct instructor. Until this, I hadn't needed a schematic cad system in ages, not since the days of Orcad and Pspice for DOS. Now, however I suddenly found myself needing one again. One of the classes I've been given to teach is an electronics for audio engineers class. This class didn't exist when I got my DM degree. Somehow, the department seems to think that I'm the only teacher they have that's qualified to teach this, right down to creating the curriculum!
Stärken
It's FREE. It is fairly intuitive to learn and use. It has a decent part creation / editing tool.
Schwächen
Importing libraries from other, commercial systems is not easy.

2020-09-05 07:22
Rezensionen von Chuck

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Does not scale well with large projects, becoming more of a hindrance than an aid. Just pay the license to the commercial software and save yourself the trouble of having to constantly duplicate information, fish for part models, write simulation pipelines, and hand check every last little detail about your schematic that the software could have reasonably done.
Stärken
* open source * it's own formats are supported by distributors * active development (for now)
Schwächen
* no database backed schematic and layout * cannot simultaneously view and edit schematics and layouts with others * no integrated version control concept, Git is ill suited for ECAD projects * no 3D viewer for schematics and layouts * limited number of PCB layers * mangles SPICE netlists * no PSPICE support * no IBIS simulator * no EM simulator * no Verilog-AMS simulator * no Verilog support * no export or import to common commercial formats, like OrCAD or Altium * no features to avoid creating duplicate projects for testing subsystems * no constraint checker for any design information * no automatic SPICE/S-Parameter/IBIS model generation * ngspice results viewer is very rudimentary * despite review process, regulators and other parts that come with the preinstalled catalog are sometimes backwards from their SPICE models * claims of an automatic footprint associator are misleading: it will only automatically associate by the "value" field of parts (i.e. no power rating or tolerance, other arbitrary info support) * automatically generated symbols for KiCAD projects are often ugly and misleading: it would be much better for everyone if a 300-pin FPGA just looked like its footprint on the schematic; instead we get six or ten separate 60 or 70 pin rectangular squares with pins that are usually only numbered, not named * automatic symbol generation from datasheets is nonexistent * automatic part information pulling from datasheets is nonexistent * no checking to make sure that parts from distributors actually have all their information filled out that was available, permitting lazy generators that don't embed the freely available models that may be available for the part * no central, internet backed database that is integrated into the software for getting modules, parts, sheets, etc * the module API is mostly useless
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