An Open Source Electronics Design Automation Suite
KiCad is an open source software suite for Electronic Design Automation (EDA). The programs handle Schematic Capture, and PCB Layout with Gerber output. KiCAD is a set of softwares and a project manager:
- Kicad: A project manager;
- Eeschema: A Schematic Capture. With the schematic editor you can create your design without limit; there are no paywalls to unlock features. An official library for schematic symbols and a built-in schematic symbol editor help you get started quickly with your designs;
- Cvpcb: footprint selector for components used in the circuit design. CvPcb is a tool that allows you to associate components in your schematic to component footprints used when laying out the printed circuit board. This association is added to the net list file created by the schematic capture program Eeschema;
- Pcbnew: A PCB Layout and Board Editor. Make professional PCB layouts with up to 32 copper layers. KiCad now has a push and shove router which is capable of routing differential pairs and interactively tuning trace lengths;
- 3D Viewer: KiCad includes a 3D viewer which you can use to inspect your design in an interactive canvas. You can rotate and pan around to inspect details that are difficult to inspect on a 2D view. Multiple rendering options allow you to modify the aesthetic appearance of the board or to hide and show features for easier inspection;
- Gerbview: Gerber viewer (photoplotter documents). GerbView is a Gerber file viewer (RS274X format), and is also able to display drill files from Pcbnew (in Excellon format). It accepts up to 32 files (Gerber and/or Drill files) Files can be displayed using a transparency mode or stacked mode.
Three utilities are included:
- Bitmap2Component: component maker for logos. It creates a schematic component or a footprint from a bitmap picture;
- PcbCalculator: A calculator that is helpful to calculate components for regulators, track width versus current, transmission lines and so on;
- PlEditor: A Page Layout Editor.
With the project manager, Kicad, you can choose or create a project and launch Eeschema, Pcbnew and so on. This electronic workbench is free of charges and is open source (GPL3 license). It is useful for everybody working in electronic design (schematic diagrams and Printed Board up to 32 coppers layers. For more information see official main page.
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