3.4 / 5 (12 votes)

1. Main Features

  • Edit schematics and create custom symbols
  • Design printed circuit boards
  • Inspect designs in a 3D interactive canvas

2. Software Overview

KiCad is an open source software suite for electronic design automation (EDA). It can edit schematics, design printed circuit board (PCB) layouts, and inspect designs in an interactive canvas.

KiCad provides a variety of EDA tools such as Eeschema, PcbNew, Bitmap2Component, GerbView, and 3DViewer. Eeschema is a schematic capture editor that features custom symbol creation, hierarchical schematic sheets, and an electrical rules check to automatically verify schematic connections. The PcbNew tool allows you to quickly lay out your board pushing forward traces in the way as you draw or rerouting your track around obstacles.

The Bitmap2Component enables you to convert images to footprints for PCB artwork and GerbView allows you to view designs in the Gerber format. KiCad's 3DViewer lets you instantly inspect your design in an interactive 3D view when laying out your PCB. You can rotate and pan around your design to inspect details.

KiCad is used to design, edit, and inspect PCBs. It features a suite of tools that provide different functionality such as editing schematics, designing PCBs, and viewing 3D designs. The software compares favorably with CadSoft's EAGLE application, however, KiCad does come with a steep learning curve so be willing to invest some time.

3. Supported File Types

Primary file extension:
.PRO - KiCad Project
Other file extensions used by KiCad:
# File Extension Name
1 .BRD KiCad PCB Design File
2 .PRO KiCad Project
3 .SCH KiCad Schematic File

Updated: January 28, 2016

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