Category Archives: KiCAD

Transform Kicad Design To Patchwork For Isolation Routing

Tuning a desktop router and your board designs for isolation routing can be a bit tricky, with thin traces usually being the first victim. For simple prototype boards you usually don’t need tightly packed traces, you just want to isolate the nets. To do this with a minimum amount of …read more

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Posted in cnc, custom PCB, engraving, etching, KiCAD, milling, software hacks, Tech Hacks, voronoi | Leave a comment

Designing 3D Printed Enclosures for KiCad PCBs

If you’ve used KiCad before, you’re certainly familiar with the handy 3D view that shows you a rendered view of what your assembled board would look like. But as [Vadim Panov] explains, you can take this capability a step further. With a few extra tools and a little bit of …read more

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Posted in 3D printed enclosure, freecad, KiCAD, PCB design, tool hacks | Leave a comment

Altium has its 2kicad Moment

Around these parts we tend to be exponents of the KiCad lifestyle; what better way to design a PCBA than with free and open source tools that run anywhere? But there are still capabilities in commercial EDA packages that haven’t found their way into KiCad yet, so it may not …read more

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Posted in altium, altium designer, altium importer, hardware, importer, KiCAD, open hardware | Leave a comment

Can Solder Paste Stencils be 3D Printed? They can!

[Jan Mrázek]’s  success with 3D printing a solder paste stencil is awfully interesting, though he makes it clear that it is only a proof of concept. There are a lot of parts to this hack, so let’s step through them one at a time.

First of all, it turns out …read more

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Posted in 3d Printer hacks, how-to, KiCAD, openscad, solder paste, solder stencil, tool hacks | Leave a comment

DeepPCB Routes Your KiCAD PCBs

Computers can write poetry, even if they can’t necessarily write good poetry. The same can be said of routing PC boards. Computers can do it, but can they do it well? Of course, there are multiple tools each with pluses and minuses. However, a slick web page recently announced deeppcb.ai …read more

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Posted in autorouting, KiCAD, machine learning, pcb | Leave a comment

KiCad Action Plugins

The last two years has been a particularly exciting time for KiCad, for users, casual contributors, and for the core developers too. Even so, there are many cool new features that are still in process. One bottleneck with open-source development of complex tools like KiCad is the limited amount of …read more

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Posted in Action Plugins, eda, Hackaday Columns, KiCAD, python, tool hacks | Leave a comment

A New KiCAD Tutorial Hits the Scene

KiCAD has a rightfully earned image problem regarding beginners. The shiny new version 5 has improved things (and we’re very excited for v6!) but the tool is a bit obtuse even when coming from a electronics design background, so we’re always excited to see new learning material. [Mike Watts] is …read more

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Posted in arm, ATSAMD, hardware, how-to, KiCAD, learning, Microcontrollers, tutorial | Leave a comment

Bit Preserve: A Sanctuary For Modern Captures Of Vintage Schematics

Vintage parts may be documented, but that doesn’t mean they’re particularly useful or accessible. If the phrase “eyestrain from unsearchable, badly-scanned PDF datasheets” makes your lower eyelid twitch in sympathy, read on.

While [Bald Engineer] was researching how he might make a portable Apple II, he was delighted to find …read more

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Posted in apple II, Apple IIGS, bit preserve, cons, KiCAD, KiCon, repository, retrocomputing, vintage | Leave a comment

Laser Cutting Wooden Pogo Pin Test Jigs

Now as far as problems go, selling so many products on Tindie that you need to come up with a faster way to test them is a pretty good one to have. But it’s still a problem that needs solving. For [Eric Gunnerson] the solution involved finding a quick and …read more

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Posted in birch, hardware, inkscape, KiCAD, laser cutter, Pogo pin, Test jig, tool hacks | Leave a comment

KiCad Gets Banana For Scale

Over the years we’ve seen KiCad grow from a niche, somewhat incomplete, but Open Source PCB design suite to a full-featured extravaganza of schematics and board layouts. We’ve plumbed the depths of keys and kais and queues and quays, and KiCad just had its first conference last weekend. While we …read more

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Posted in banana, banana for scale, KiCAD, software hacks | Leave a comment