By purchasing this edition of Kicad Like a Pro 2nd edition, you contribute to the ongoing development of this amazing tool. Tech Explorations will donate 50% of the profit from all sales of this Special Fundraising edition to the KiCad Project.

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.

Not anymore.

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.

Dr. Peter

This has to be the best course you have offered so far.  And the others were excellent.  The amount of time your spent making KiCad Like a Pro 2nd edition is just amazing.  I learned so much about designing PCBs.  I have made two with your earlier KiCad course and one new one with this course.

I am also very happy with the Book Version of the Course and I find myself often going to the recipes section to add a symbol or to make a custom footprint.  I recommend that anyone taking this course should also purchase the book version.  It is a great reference for looking up that little trick or trying to do something outside the normal functions of the software.

As I said earlier, I think your courses are excellent because you take the time to teach new concepts.  With your background I have been able to move beyond what you taught us to add my own ideas.  I have put together a number of Arduino/Pi projects and having the ability to make PCBs instead of trying to solder protoboards has made the resulting boards/projects more reliable.

I wholeheartedly recommend this KiCad like a Pro course as well as any other course you teach.

Thank you for all you do.

Larry C

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.

An introduction: Why KiCad? 8
  Part 1: A quick introduction to PCB design 1
1. What is a PCB? 1
2. The PCB design process 6
3. Fabrication 8
4. Installation 10
5. Examples of KiCad projects 13
  Part 2: A hands-on tour of KiCad with a very simple project 21
6. Introduction to this section 21
7. Start KiCad 22
8. Schematic design in Eeschema 24
8.1. The schematic sheet 25
8.2. Mouse buttons and hotkeys 28
8.3. Eeschema buttons and menus 31
9. Layout in Pcbnew 62
9.1. The user interface 63
9.2. The layout sheet 64
9.3. Mouse buttons and hotkeys 67
9.4. Pcbnew toolbars and menus 72
  Part 3: Design principles and basic concepts 136
10. About this chapter 136
11. Schematic symbols 137
12. PCB key terms 138
12.1. FR4 139
12.2. Trace 139
12.3. Pads and holes 141
12.4. Via 142
12.5. Annular ring 144
12.6. Solder mask 144
12.7. Silkscreen 145
12.8. Drill bit and drill hit 146
12.9. Surface mounted devices 146
12.10. Gold Fingers 147
12.11. Panel 148
12.12. Solder paste and paste stencil 149
12.13. Pick-and-place 151
13. Schematic design workflow 152
13.1. Step 1. Setup 153
13.2. Step 2. Symbols 155
13.3. Step 3. Place and annotate symbols 155
13.4. Step 4. Wire 156
13.5. Step 5. Nets 157
13.6. Step 6. Electrical Rules Check 158
13.7. Step 7. Comments 158
13.8. Step 8. Netlist 159
14. PCB layout workflow 160
14.1. Step 1. Setup 161
14.2. Step 2. Outline and mechanical constraints 164
14.3. Step 3. Placement of components 166
14.4. Step 4. Routing 168
14.5. Step 5. Copper fills 169
14.6. Step 6. Silk screen 170
14.7. Step 7. Design Rules Check 172
14.8. Step 8. Manufacturing 174
15. Additional design considerations 175
15.1. Shape and size 175
15.2. Layers 177
15.3. Traces 177
  Part 4: Projects 180
16. What is this section about 180
17. Project 1: Design a simple breadboard power supply PCB 181
17.1. Walk through a simple project 181
17.2. Schematic design: Eeschema 186
17.3. Footprint layout in Pcbnew 203
17.4. Project extensions 221
18. Project 2: Design a small Raspberry Pi HAT 221
18.1. What you will build and list of parts 222
18.2. What you will learn 223
18.3. Project repository 223
18.4. Schematic design in Eeschema 223
18.5. Footprint layout in Pcbnew 234
19. Project 3: Arduino clone with built-in 512K EEPROM and clock 244
19.1. Project details 244
19.2. Project repository 247
19.3. Schematic design in Eeschema 247
19.4. Footprint layout in Pcbnew 257
Part 5: Recipes 270
20. Adding a schematic symbol library in Eeschema 270
21. Adding a footprint library in Pcbnew 274
22. Using footprints offline 277
23. Using symbols offline 279
24. Create a keep-out zone 280
25. Creating copper fills 282
26. How to calculate the width of a trace 284
26. Custom Global Design Rules and changing the width of a trace 285
27. Create custom net design rules 287
28. How to add silkscreen text and simple graphics 289
29. How to add a custom logo to the silkscreen 294
30. How to manufacture a PCB with Oshpark 297
31. How to make and test Gerber files 300
32. How to manufacture a PCB with PCBWay 302
33. Rounded corners 305
34. Mounting holes and openings 309
35. Creating a new component (symbol) 312
36. Modifying an existing component (symbol) 321
37. Creating a new footprint – manually 325
38. Creating a new footprint – using the footprint wizard 336
39. Modifying an existing footprint 340
40. Using an autorouter 343
41. How to create a bill of materials (BoM) 346
42. How to design a custom page layout 348
43. How to use hierarchical sheets 355
44. How to use differential pairs 358
45. Interactive router 362
46. Creating unique board edge cuts 366
47. Using Git for version control 370
48. Creating a multi-layer PCB 379
49. How to use buses 383
50. How to update your schematic and layout (with Git) 386
51. Starting KiCad apps individually 390
52. Creating a new version of a PCB without altering the original 392
53. Making a PCB without a schematic 397
54. How to set a text editor and why 398
55. How to install 3D shapes 400

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