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KiCad 4.0.7    New  

Size:   705.06MB

License:   FREEWARE

Publisher:  Visit Website | More Programs

Release Date:   2017-09-08

Submit Date:   2017-09-08

OS:  Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 (32-Bit/64-Bit)

Downloads:   389

Popularity:   Popularity:0/10


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Editor's Rating

Reviewed on September 08, 2017

KiCad is basically a free program that lets you design schematics for electronic circuits. The application also converts your designs to PCB. Being a free program, it was developed by a team of dedicated volunteers. Recently however, KiCad got help from the experts of CERN.

CERN is a respected and prestigious Physics and Nuclear research organization based in Europe. With their involvement with KiCad, one can only expect even more improvement with the software suite.

KiCad is cross platform, written in C++, and can run on several different operating systems.

Features and Functions

KiCad is often described as easier to use compared to its counterparts.

Functions include:

  • Inspect design in 3D while laying out printed circuit board,
  • Exports to multiple formats (PDF, SVG, HPGL, Postscript),
  • Automated checking of schematic connections,
  • Automated billing of materials,
  • Speeds up the PCB layout process through a dedicated tool,
  • The design process can be completed within the same user environment:
    • Schematic capture
    • PCB layout
    • Creation and visualization of Gerber files
    • Library editing

Features include:

  • Custom components can be used for each and any project
  • Open source, maintained and enhanced by the community
  • Limitless PCB complexity for schematics
  • Vast library of symbols, footprints, and matching 3D models
  • Supports several languages including: English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and more.

The Good and the Bad

Many users have made the switch to KiCad from its many counterparts, such as Eagle to specific.

One common comment about KiCad is that it is applicable for any size board with several layers.

Users also find that KiCad requires a little getting used to, especially in creating libraries or custom components. Learning curve is not too bad though and the software is worth the investment of time.

Although it may not have a large component library, creating custom components is a breeze.

However it can be noted that there are several users who pointed out that the interface could still be improved. Suggestions vary from improving its actual appearance to making it easy to find items in their logical place.

Conclusion

KiCad is a versatile tool that can easily inspire user experience, especially since it offers 3D and Gerber viewing as part of the package. New engineers can certainly benefit from this software. I know a lot of hobbyists who prefer KiCad over other similar programs.

It can continuously better itself with more resources in global project development and strategies. By then, KiCad could even be more exceptionally useful.

Software Product Description

Downloads for other Operating Systems are available here:

http://kicad-pcb.org/download/

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