Anyone using KICAD for their designs?

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I've been a longtime Eagle user but the continuous upgrading is starting to get to me. I played around with KICAD a couple of years ago and it looked a lot like Eagle although it wasn't as polished then. Don't know what it's like today. I was hoping they'd more or less copy Eagle. I did notice that the KICAD autorouter produced very good results on digital boards, much better than the ones by Eagle.

Has anyone used KICAD here for serious designs? And willing to post some pictures of boards?

Building my dreams!

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Define serious. [wink]

I've been using KiCAD exclusively since I started.

Eagle was just too much $ for my needs at the time, so I used KiCAD and haven't looked back.

I don't have any pictures handy, but I've successfully put 4 boards into production from KiCAD designs.

I think if you search my past posts, you'll see some designs I've put together.

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Yes, I saw a couple of your boards in your posts. Looked good. Did you route them by hand, with the autorouter or both?

Building my dreams!

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I've used Kicad exclusively for 2 separate designs. I really like it. It's free with absolutely no limitations (layers, pins, etc).

It's a bit quirky, but they all are. None of the ones I've used are intuitive. Because of this, there's a bit of a learning curve like all new tools. Now that I've gotten used to it, I can go through the entire process pretty fast.

I have only hand routed my PCBs. I don't like the way the autorouters do things. So, I have no experience here.

I will post some photos if you like of the finished PCBs.

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devils4ever wrote:

I will post some photos if you like of the finished PCBs.

Yes please.

Building my dreams!

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bigpilot wrote:
I was hoping they'd more or less copy Eagle.

I pray that nobody ever, ever copies Eagle. Having used Eagle, as well as many other packages, I just don't think that's a good idea!

So, if you find it to be entirely different from Eagle - don't hold that against it.

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I checked the website and saw that it appears to only run on XP or 2000. Anyone know about Windows 7?

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I ran it on windows 7. Worked pretty nicely. Had a hard time making pads for the SMD parts I had on hand and switched back to freepcb. I think kicad is something I could get to like with some guidance.

If you don't know my whole story, keep your mouth shut.

If you know my whole story, you're an accomplice. Keep your mouth shut. 

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bigpilot wrote:
devils4ever wrote:

I will post some photos if you like of the finished PCBs.

Yes please.

Here's my latest one.

Attachment(s): 

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bigpilot wrote:
Yes, I saw a couple of your boards in your posts. Looked good. Did you route them by hand, with the autorouter or both?

I've handrouted everything so far; when I started with KiCad, there wasn't an auto-router that worked.

The last board, post the availability of the auto-router, were so simple it took me an hour to layout, route and QA, so I didn't bother with it.

TR

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devils4ever wrote:
bigpilot wrote:
devils4ever wrote:

I will post some photos if you like of the finished PCBs.

Yes please.

Here's my latest one.

Looks good!

Has anyone routed a more complex digital board? Multilayer boards?

Building my dreams!

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devils4ever - it doesn't look like you've got much creepage distance in the transformer area. You need to separate the mains voltages from the low voltages - if I'm assuming correctly.

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Kartman wrote:
devils4ever - it doesn't look like you've got much creepage distance in the transformer area. You need to separate the mains voltages from the low voltages - if I'm assuming correctly.

I'm not sure what you mean by "creepage distance". Do you mean I need to add more space around the transformer/main voltages?

I tried to place all the line voltages at the upper end of the board and all the low voltages at the bottom of the board.

Thanks for the review! :wink: