For the people who are doing PCB designing, hobbyist or professionals, there are so many PCB designer softwares available. Most popular among them are diptrace, orcad, eagle, kicad etc. This tutorial is mainly for those people who haven’t tried out any professional pcb designer software yet.
Here is a quick guide, which will help you to get started off with kiCAD. In this tutorial we will be considering a simple astable multivibrator circuit using 555 timer IC. We will be designing a pcb for this well known simple circuit. Let me tell you upfront that I’m not an expert in pcb designing. My intension is only to explain you the necessary steps required in kicad to convert a simple circuit diagram to a gerber file, and also some tips and things to be taken care while doing the designing.
I’m here doing a complete design process and at the same time explaining the steps for you with the help of screenshots of the same. I request the reader to do the same steps in your PC from the beginning to the end for this single example, and next time you will be able to do it on your own.
The kiCAD software mainly has the following utilities:
Eeschema - Schematic editor
Cvpcb - Components to modules
Pcbnew - Pcb editor
Gerbview - Gerber viewer
The main window of the kicad looks like this:
Your recent project might have been listed in the project tree. To start a new project select the “New Project Descr”
The most important thing that you should take care of is that, all the files generated by while doing the project should be saved in a single folder, and the title of all the files should be the same.
So let us save this new project in our project folder. The extension should be .pro
After you have saved the project, the main window will look like this: