This ebook was last updated on December 31, 2019, to cover changes in KiCad 5.1.5. It includes several new chapters, recipes, and updates.
Printed circuit boards (PCB) are, perhaps, the most undervalued component of modern electronics. Usually made of fiberglass, PCBs are responsible for holding in place and interconnecting the various components that make virtually all electronic devices work.
The design of complex printed circuit boards was something that only skilled engineers could do. These engineers used to expensive computer-aided design tools. The boards they designed were manufactured in exclusive manufacturing facilities in large numbers.
During the last 20 years, we have seen high-end engineering capabilities becoming available to virtually anyone that wants them. Computer-aided design tools and manufacturing facilities for PCBs are one mouse click away.
KiCad is one of those tools. Perhaps the world’s most popular (and best) computer-aided design tool for making printed circuit boards, KiCad is open source, fully featured, well-funded and supported, well documented. It is the perfect tool for electronics engineers and hobbyists alike, used to create amazing PCBs. KiCad has reached maturity and is now a fully featured and stable choice for anyone that needs to design custom PCBs.
This book will teach you to use KiCad. Whether you are a hobbyist or an electronics engineer, this book will help you become productive quickly, and start designing your own boards.
Are you a hobbyist? Is the breadboard a bottleneck in your projects? Do you want to become skilled in circuit board design? If yes, then KiCad and this book are a perfect choice. Use KiCad to design custom boards for your projects. Don’t leave your projects on the breadboard, gathering dust and falling apart. Complete your prototyping process with a beautiful PCB and give your projects a high-quality, professional look.
Are you an electronics engineer? Perhaps you already use a CAD tool for PCB design. Are you interested in learning KiCad and experience the power and freedom of open-source software? If yes, then this book will help you become productive with KiCad very quickly. You can build on your existing PCB design knowledge and learn KiCad through hands-on projects.
This book takes a practical approach to learning. It consists of four projects of incremental difficulty and recipes.
The projects will teach you basic and advanced features of KiCad. If you have absolutely no prior knowledge of PCB design, you will find that the introductory project will teach you the very basics. You can then continue with the rest of the projects. You will design a board for a breadboard power supply, a tiny Raspberry Pi HAT, and an Arduino clone with extended memory and clock integrated circuits.
The book includes a variety of recipes for frequently used activities. You can use this part as a quick reference at any time.
The book is supported by the author via a page that provides access to additional resources.