KiCad Like a Pro

3rd edition

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A book and video course for the world's favorite open source printed circuit board design software.

Since KiCad first appeared in the PCB CAD world in 1992, it has gone through 6 major versions and evolved into a serious alternative to commercial products. I have been using KiCad almost daily since version 4 when I published the first edition of KiCad Like a Pro.

In this eBook and video course, I have packed almost everything I have learned as a KiCad user and electronics instructor. I have organized all this knowledge in a way that will make it easy for you to learn KiCad.

The eBook

Fully updated for KiCad 6

I wrote this book so that you can use it as a learning guide and as a reference source.

I have tested all examples, descriptions and procedures on KiCad 6.0.

If you have never used KiCad and have little or no experience in PCB design, you should read this book it in a linear fashion. The first few chapters will give you the fundamental knowledge on which you will build your skill with the projects later in the book.

If you have a good working knowledge of PCB design, but you are new to KiCad, you can learn about the KiCad fundamentals in in the middle of the book, and then continue with the projects.

To get the full benefit of the book, you should consider the complementary video course. This course spans over 30 hours of high-definition video, with detailed explanations and demonstrations of all projects featured in the book. The video lectures capture techniques and procedures that are just not possible to do so in text.

Covers the latest KiCad version

The KiCad development team released KiCad 6 RC1 in November 2021, and 6.0 in December 2021. This is the largest release of KiCad ever. KiCad 6 is full of improvements and new features, including a new file format, a refreshed user interface (with a new theme editor), a new schematic editing paradigm, field name templates and text variables, and much more. 

I wrote this book using KiCad 6.

Project-based learning

We learn best when we learn in context. Projects provide a context so that learners can understand not just how to do something, but also why it is done in a particular way. This book uses the project-based learning method to help you learn simple and complicated concepts and techniques. Use the book to guide you through these projects, experience the process of creating the boards yourself. Be in control, and be satisfied that you own your learning.

  • In project 1, design the simplest possible working PCB: an LED and resistor circuit.
  • In project 2, design a power supply that plugs in your breadboard. Use it to power your breadboard projects.
  • In project 3, design a 4x8x8 LED matrix display, your first 2-layer PCB.
  • In project 4, design an Arduino clone board that has a real-time clock and an external EEPROM. Practice layout in 4-layer, and use Git for version control.
  • In project 5, design an ESP32 clone. Design a layout in a confined space using the full arsenal of the KiCad toolbox.

Just learn

Learning should be a straight-forward, rewarding experience for you. This is why I have filled this book with clear instructions, triple checked, verified and illustrated.

Be illuminated, not confused.

Looking for a sample?

View a free section the web version of this book.

Recipes

This book contains numerous recipes of the most useful workflows and activities in KiCad. Find what you need quickly, and get on with your project.

Examples include:

  • Creating copper fills.
  • How to use Text Variables (new in KiCad 6).
  • How to add a custom logo to the silkscreen.
  • How to create rounded corners.
  • How to use an external autorouter.
  • How to use Field named templates (new in KiCad 6).
  • How to use Git for version control.
  • How to use the SPICE circuit simulator.

These and many more are all covered, with examples.

Online resources

As a reader of this book, you are welcome to use its online resources:

  • A discussion forum where you can interact with the author and other readers (available if you enroll in the Community tier.)
  • A Github repository with all book project files.
  • An errata form, where you can let the author know about any problems with the book.
  • A Help Desk where you can request assistance for any account or billing issues.

Multiple formats

This eBook is available in a bundle that contains three formats:

  • Web (read in your browser, searchable).
  • PDF (printable).
  • MOBI (works with Kindle readers).
  • EPUB (works with most eBook readers).

eBook features

  • Over 1,000 A4 pages (PDF).
  • Over 1,000 images.
  • Over 110 chapters.
  • 65 "How to" recipes.
  • Web, PDF, ePub and MOBI.
  • Printable (DRM-free).
  • 5 Projects.
  • Lifetime updates for this edition.

The video course

Fully updated for KiCad 6

This video course will teach you KiCad so that you can use it in your commercial or hobby projects. It takes a practical approach to learning that combines "how-to" content with complete start-to-finish PCB projects.

If you are new to PCB design, this course will help you get started from the ground level. If you are an experienced PCB designer, this course will help you transition to KiCad 6 from another tool or an earlier version of Kicad.

To get the full benefit of the video course, you should consider the complementary eBook. This eBook contains more than 1,000 pages and 1,000 images, with detailed step-by-step instructions from every lecture in the video course. You can use the eBook as a quick reference source as well as a learning guide to support the video course.

Follows the methodology and content of the book

The video course is designed as the perfect companion of the eBook. Its adds video to enhance your learning.

Perfect for hands-on "seeing is believing" learning

The combination of video and text is powerful. Video is perfect for hands-on "seeing is believing" learning. It's almost as good as looking over my shoulder as I design a PCB.

You can see every click, every select, every key typed, in real time. But the book contains the detail and the depth that the video doesn't.

Plus, the eBook is perfect as a quick resource. You can search and jump to any part of the eBook in seconds, and find the answer you are looking for that is relevant to your project

Content

The course contains all of the projects  and recipes of the book, in video.

Keep your book handy for quick referencing.

The book plus the course give provide you with an amazing learning resource for KiCad.


Looking for a sample?

View a free section the web version of this book.

You can also download a free PDF sample.

Online resources

As a student of this course, you are welcome to use its online resources:

  • A discussion forum where you can interact with the author and other readers (available if you enroll in the Community tier.)
  • A Github repository with all course project files.
  • A Help Desk where you can request assistance for any account or billing issues.

Course features

  • 30+ hours on-demand 1080p video.
  • 250+ lectures organized in 14 sections.
  • 5 projects so that you learn while you actually create PCBs.
  • Study at your own pace. There is no formal start and end date.
  • Lifetime access.

Clear seeing and hearing

All videos are recorded in HD (1080p) and crystal-clear sound for distraction-free learning.

Ready to learn?

You can enroll to our courses in one of three options: Solo, Community, and Mentor. For more information, please see this explainer page.

ebook ONLY

eBook only, in four formats

  • Web, read in your browser, searchable.
  • PDF (printable)
  • MOBI (works with Kindle readers, community & mentor tiers only)
  • EPUB (works with most ebook readers, community & mentor tiers only)
  • Over 600 A4 pages (PDF)
  • Over 1,000 images.
  • Over 110 chapters.
  • 65 "How to" recipes.
  • 5 Projects
  • Free lifetime updates for this edition

SOLO

Once-off payment, best for self-sufficient learners on a budget.

Price in your currency:
...
Once-off.

COMMUNITY

Best for the social learner: become a member of the course community.

Price in your currency:
...
Once-off.

MENTOR

Get one-on-one live meetings with a mentor, learn to master.

Includes eBook and video course.

US$399

course ONLY

Get the video course only

  • Fully updated for KiCad 6
  • Full access to KiCad Like a Pro 3e
  • 25+ hours on-demand video
  • 250+ lectures in 14 sections
  • 5 projects so that you learn while you actually create PCBs
  • Study at your own pace. There is no formal start and end date
  • Lifetime access

SOLO

Once-off payment, best for self-sufficient learners on a budget.

Price in your currency:
...
Once-off.

COMMUNITY

Best for the social learner: become a member of the course community.

Price in your currency:
...
Once-off.

MENTOR

Get one-on-one live meetings with a mentor, learn to master.

Includes eBook and video course.

US$399

Please see our refunds policy.

What some of our students say

Thanks for saving me during the COVID pandemic with the book and the course!

Hi Peter,
Well is all started in March 2020 with the pandemic. A little history first. I have been teaching Electrical Engineering for over 30 years and when the pandemic hit we all had to leave campus and head home to zoom classes. Just then my lab technician sent out and email about free PCB classes. I haven’t done much PCB work in many years and thought it was about time to get back into it. Well I tried the “free course” and it was extremely rigorous and all 300 participants could choose what EDA tool to use (Altrium, Eagle, KiCad,etc…). I chose the KiCad section along with 147 participants learning KiCad. It was a major up hill climb but I was determined to complete it. The “free” course materials went over very general topics of the entire PCB process, which I was very grateful for and to learn from, but it was up to each participant to “master” their EDA tool.
I saw and went through every YouTube video I could find and learned the basics of KiCad but it still wasn’t enough to complete the “free” course. Then I ran across your book and it was a Godsend! I immediately jumped in and went all the way through the 3 projects. If it wasn’t for your book, I probably wouldn’t have completed the “free” course. Only 6 out of 147 participants in the KiCad section completed the course and received the final manufactured PCB. That was back in last September 2020.
I then went back to zooming my classes over the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters and when the Spring semester was completed, I decided to get back into the PCB swing of things and signed up for your course.
As an electrical engineer and an academic (34 years) I was amazed at the organization, thoroughness, attention to detail, and professional presentation your course was designed to be. It was an absolute pleasure working through all of the projects, each one increasing the both the level of complexity and the learning skills acquired. Getting the boards manufactured and sent back completely functional felt like a “feather in the cap for me!”
I am currently signing up for other Tech Explorations courses and can’t wait to dive in to them like the KiCad course.
Many, many thanks for keeping me sane and productive during the pandemic!
Dr. John J Helferty
Temple University
Electrical and Computing Engineering Department


Excellent library of documentation for micropython

This course is composed of dozens of bite sized projects for the ESP32 using MicroPython. Each project has an excellent header with links to a wealth of documentation about the concepts of the project. It’s one of the best collections of documentation resources I have seen for working with the ESP32. I highly recommend this course.


Good course.

I had tried KiCad before, on my own, and didn’t end up using it – used Eagle instead. I wanted to try KiCad again but thought some instruction might be helpful. My first impression may have been that the course was slow moving, but after doing a significant part of it, I realize that Peter’s presentation was thorough with suitable repetition for retention. I am understanding the workflow, unlike my previous attempt at KiCad, and retaining the information well. Good examples for working through.


An oasis in a desert of wanna be's

OMG ! Peter is an awesome teacher. He is amaaazingly thorough, clear, and concise. I got the “KiCad Like a Pro” book and then, before I started the book, got the video course. The video course is cheap at twice the price! I’m very critical and usually don’t write reviews, but this course was so good, I had to let everyone know. Kudos Peter, and thanks.

What will you learn?

Learn practical PCB design skills, built on a solid foundation

Introduction to PCB design

Learn about the basics of PCB design, the design process, the KiCad capabilities. Gain an understanding of the schematic and layout design, and how those are implemented in KiCad. Understand how your board layout is manufactured into a professionally finished product.

Schematic and layout design

Creating a PCB starts with the schematic design, in which you describe the circuit using symbols. The work concludes with the layout, in which you design the specifications of the board. Learn how to do this in KiCad for circuits and boards of any complexity and size.

Project-based practical skills

Learn KiCad by working on three real-life projects. With each project, you will learn new skills. Create single, to double and quad-layer boards, manually or automatically routed, with rich features that are both practical and beautiful.

Design principles & concepts

PCB design is engineering and is informed by principles that make designs better in terms of performance, reliability, and manufacturability. This book discusses many of those principles and shows you how to apply them in practice.

Full table of contents

Book

Showing update contents of the 3rd edition.

Introduction
What is a PCB?
The PCB design process
Fabrication
Installation
An example KiCad project

Getting started with KiCad 6
Introduction
KiCad Project Manager (main window)
Overview of the individual KiCad apps
Paths and Libraries
Create a new project from scratch
Create a new project from a template
KiCad 6 on Mac OS, Linux, Windows
Major Differences between KiCad 6.0 and 5.0

Project: A hands-on tour of KiCad - Schematic Design
Introduction to schematic design and objective of this section
Quick intro to the design workflows
The finished KiCad project and directory
Start KiCad and create a new project
1 - Start Eeschema, setup Sheet
2 - Add symbols
3 - Arrange, annotate, associate
4 - Wiring
5 - Nets
6 - The Electrical Rules Check
7 - Comments with text and graphics

Project: A hands-on tour of KiCad - Layout
Introduction to schematic design and objective of this section
Quick intro to the design workflows
The finished KiCad project and directory
Start KiCad and create a new project
1 - Start Eeschema, setup Sheet
2 - Add symbols
3 - Arrange, annotate, associate
4 - Wiring
5 - Nets
6 - The Electrical Rules Check
7 - Comments with text and graphics

Project: A hands-on tour of KiCad - Layout
Introduction to layout design and objective of this section
1 - Start Pcbnew, import footprints
2 - Outline and constraints (edge cut)
3 - Move footprints in place
4 - Route (add tracks)
5 - Refine the outline
6 - Silkscreen (text and graphics)
7 - Design rules check
8 - Export Gerbers and order
The manufactured PCB

Design principles and PCB terms
Introduction
Schematic symbols
PCB key terms

Design workflow and considerations
The KiCad Schematic Design Workflow
The KiCad Layout Design Workflow

Fundamental KiCad how-to: Symbols and Eeschema
About this section
Left menu bar overview
Top menu bar overview
Right menu bar overview
Schematic editor preferences
How to find a symbol with the Chooser
How to find schematic symbols on the Internet
How to install symbol libraries in bulk
How to create a custom symbol
How to associate a symbol with a footprint
Net labels
Net classes
Hierarchical sheets
Global labels
Hierarchical labels and import sheet pin
Electrical rules and customization
Bulk editing of schematic elements

Fundamental KiCad how-to: Footprints and Pcbnew
Introduction
Left menu bar overview
Top toolbar overview
Top toolbar Row 1
Top toolbar Row 2
Right toolbar overview
Right menu bar main buttons
Right menu bar overview - Appearance
Layout editor preferences (Preferences window, PCB Editor)
Board Setup
Board Setup - Board Stackup
Board Setup - Text & Graphics
Board Setup - Design Rules and net classes
Board Setup - Design Rules - Custom Rules and violation severity
How to find and use a footprint
Footprint sources on the Internet
How to install footprint libraries
Filled zones
Keep-out zones
Interactive router
Length measuring tools
Bulk editing
Create a footprint, introduction
Create a new library and footprint
Create a footprint, 1, Fabrication layer
Create a footprint, 2, Pads
Create a footprint, 3, Courtyard layer
Create a footprint, 4, Silkscreen layer
Use the new footprint
Finding and using a 3D shape for a footprint
How to export and test Gerber files

Project: Design a simple breadboard power supply PCB
Introduction
Schematic design editing
1 - Setup
2 - Symbols
Edit Component values
3 - Arrange, Annotate
3 - Associate
4 - Wiring
5 & 6 - Nets and Electrical Rules Check
7 - Comments
Layout editing
1 - Setup
2 - Outline and constraints
3 - Place components
2 supplemental - Refine outline
4 - Route
5 - Copper fills
6 - Silkscreen
7 - Design Rules Check
8 - Export and Manufacture

Project: A 4 x 8 x 8 LED matrix array
Introduction
Schematic design
Schema 1 - Setup
Schema 2 - Symbols
Schema 3 - Arrange, Annotate
Schema 3 - Associate
Schema 4 - Wiring
Schema 5 - Nets
Schema 6 - Electrical Rules Check
Schema 7 - Comments
Schema - Last-minute edits
Layout design
Layout 1 - Setup
Layout 2 - Outline and constraints
Layout 3 - Place components
Layout 2 supplemental - Refine outline
Layout 3 supplemental - Move footprints to back layer
Layout 4 - Route
Layout 4 - Copper fills
Layout 5 - Silkscreen
Layout 6 - Design Rules Check
Layout 7 - Manufacture
Bonus - 3D shapes
Bonus - Found a bug in the schematic! (and fix)
The assembled and working PCB

Project: MCU datalogger with build-in 512K EEPROM and clock
Project - Introduction
Create the new project and create new Git repository
Schema 1 - Setup
Schema 2 - Symbols
Schema 2 - Create a second sheet for the connectors
Schema 3 - Arrange, Annotate
Edit Component values
Schema 3 - Associate
Schema 4 - Wiring of sheet 1
Schema 4 - Wiring of sheet 2
Schema 5 - Nets
Schema 6 - Electrical Rules Check
Schema 7 - Comments
Git, setup in a 2-layer PCB branch
Layout 1 - Setup
Layout 2 - Outline and constraints
Layout 3 - Place components
Layout 2 - Outline refinement
Layout 4 - Route
Layout 4 - Copper fills
Layout 4 - Routing improvements
Layout 5 - Silkscreen
Layout 4 - Fix new routing violations
Layout 6 - Design Rules Check
Layout 7 - Manufacture
3D shapes
Merge 2-layer branch to main
Alternative routing: 4 Layer PCB in new Git branch
Four-layer PCB routing
Four-layer PCB manufacturing
Updating layout from changes to the schematic with Git

Project: An ESP32 clone
Project - Introduction
Schema 1 - New KiCad project and Schematic Setup
Schema 2 - Symbols
Schema 3 - Annotate and set component values
Schema 3 - Arrange
Schema 3 - Associate
Schema 4 - Wiring
Schema 5 - Nets and Net Classes
Schema 6 - Electrical Rules Check
Schema 7 - Comments
Layout - Introduction
Layout 1 - Setup
Layout 2 - Outline and constraints
Layout 3 - Place components
Layout 2 supplemental - refine outline
Layout 4 - Route
Layout 4 - Copper fills and keep out areas
Layout 5 - Silkscreen
Layout 4 - Routing improvements
Layout 6 - Design Rules Check
Layout 7 - Manufacture
3D shapes

Recipes
How to create a custom silkscreen or copper graphic
Change a symbols and footprints in bulk
Interactive delete
Find and Replace (Eeschema)
Edit Text & Graphics Properties
Edit Track & Via Properties (Pcbnew)
Text variables
Board Setup - pre-defined sizes for tracks and vias
Board Setup - Design rules violation severity
Board Setup - Custom design rules
Schematic Setup - Electrical Rules and violation severity
Schematic Setup - Electrical Rules and Pin conflicts map
Field name templates
Bill of Materials
Import components from Snapeda
The Freerouting autorouter introduction
Install and start FreeRouting on MacOS
Install and start FreeRouting on Linux Kubuntu
Install and start FreeRouting on Windows
How to use the Freerouting autorouter 2-layer example
How to use the Freerouting autorouter 4-layer example
Pcbnew Inspection menu
Single track and differential pair routing
Track length tuning
Differential pair skew tuning
Interactive router modes
The footprint wizard
Net and wire highlighter tool
Pcbnew Origins
KiCad project management with Git
Sharing your KiCad project on GitHub
Customize the editor color scheme
Import an EAGLE, Altium, or Cadstar project
The circuit simulator
Import a KiCad 5 project
KiCad project templates
Archive/unarchive and share a project
Buses

Content by contributing authors
What is the meaning of the layers in Pcbnew and in the footprint editor? (by Rene Pöschl)
Power pins in multi unit symbols (Marc Nijdam)
KLC RULE F5.3
Reference designators for electrical and electronics parts and equipment

Conclusion
Congratulations!

Video

Showing updated contents of the 3rd edition.

01 - Introduction
Why KiCad?
What is this course about?
Study guide TE
Study guide UD
Contribute to KiCad
Software and Hardware requirements

02 - Getting started with PCB design
What is a PCB?
The PCB design process
Manufacturing
Supported operating systems and installation
Example project

03 - Getting started with KiCad 6
Introduction (what is this section about?)
KiCad Project Manager (main window)
Overview of the individual KiCad apps
Paths and Libraries
Create a new project from scratch
Create a new project from a template
KiCad 6 on Mac OS, Linux, Windows
Major Differences between KiCad 6.0 and 5.0

04 - Project: A hands-on tour of KiCad - Schematic Design
Introduction to schematic design and objective of this section
Quick intro to the design workflows
The finished KiCad project and directory
Start KiCad and create a new project
1 - Start Eeschema, setup Sheet
2 - Add symbols
3 - Arrange, annotate, associate
4 - Wiring
5 - Nets
6 - The Electrical Rules Check
7 - Comments with text and graphics

05 - Project: A hands-on tour of KiCad - Layout
Introduction to layout design and objective of this section
1 - Start Pcbnew, import footprints
2 - Outline and constraints (edge cut)
3 - Move footprints in place
4 - Route (add tracks)
5 - Refine the outline
6 - Silkscreen (text and graphics)
7 - Design rules check
8 - Export Gerbers and order
The manufactured PCB

06 - Design principles and PCB terms
Design principles and basic concepts - Introduction
Schematic symbols
PCB materials and FR4
Traces
Keep-out areas
Pads and holes
Via
Annular ring
Solder mask
Silkscreen
Drill bit and drill hit
Surface mounted devices
Gold Fingers
Panel
Solder paste and paste stencil
Pick-and-place

07 - Design workflow and considerations
Introduction to the Schematic Design Workflow
Schematic Design Step 1: Setup
Schematic Design Step 2: Symbols
Schematic Design Step 3: AAA (Arrange, Annotate, Associate)
Schematic Design Step 4: Wire
Schematic Design Step 5: Nets
Schematic Design Step 6: Electrical Rules Check
Schematic Design Step 7: Comments and Graphics
Introduction to the PCB Layout Workflow
Layout Design Step 1: Setup
Layout Design Step 2: Outline and constraints
Layout Design Step 3: Place footprints
Layout Design Step 4: Route
Layout Design Step 5: Silkscreen
Layout Design Step 6: Design rules check
Layout Design Step 7: Export & Manufacture
Shape and size
Layers
Traces

08 - Fundamental KiCad how-to: Symbols and Eeschema
About this section
Left menu bar overview
Top menu bar overview
Right menu bar overview
Schematic editor preferences
How to find a symbol with the Chooser
How to find schematic symbols on the Internet
How to install symbol libraries in bulk
How to create a custom symbol
How to associate a symbol with a footprint
Net labels
Net classes
Hierarchical sheets
Global labels
Hierarchical labels and import sheet pin
Electrical rules and customization
Bulk editing of schematic elements

09 - Fundamental KiCad how-to: Footprints and Pcbnew
About this section
Left menu bar overview
Top menu bar overview Part 1
Top menu bar overview Part 2
Right menu bar overview
Right menu bar overview - Appearance
Layout editor preferences (Preferences window, PCB Editor)
Board Setup - Board Stackup
Board Setup - Text & Graphics
Board Setup - Design Rules - Constraints, sizes, classes
Board Setup - Design Rules - Custom Rules and violation severity
How to find and use a footprint
Footprint sources on the Internet
How to install footprint libraries
Filled zones
Keep-out zones
Interactive router
Length measuring tools
Bulk editing
Create a custom footprint, introduction
Create a custom footprint, 1, Fabrication layer
Create a custom footprint, 2, Pads
Create a custom footprint, 3, Courtyard layer
Create a custom footprint, 4, Silkscreen layer
Finding and using a 3D shape for a footprint
How to export and test Gerber files

10 - Project: Design a simple breadboard power supply PCB
Project - Introduction
Schema 1 - Setup
Schema 2 - Symbols
Edit Component values
Schema 3 - Arrange, Annotate
Schema 3 - Associate
Schema 4 - Wiring
Schema 5 & 6 - Nets and Electrical Rules Check
Schema 7 - Comments
Introduction to layout editing
Layout 1 - Setup
Layout 2 - Outline and constraints
Layout 3 - Place components
Layout 2 supplemental - Refine outline
Layout 4 - Route
Layout 5 - Copper fills
Layout 6 - Silkscreen
Layout 7 - Design Rules Check
Layout 8 - Export and Manufacture

11 - Project: A 4 x 8 x 8 LED matrix array clock
Project - Introduction
Schema 1 - Setup
Schema 2 - Symbols
Schema 3 - Arrange, Annotate
Schema 3 - Associate
Schema 4 - Wiring
Schema 5 - Nets
Schema 6 - Electrical Rules Check
Schema 7 - Comments
Schema - Last-minute edits
Layout 1 - Setup
Layout 2 - Outline and constraints
Layout 3 - Place components
Layout 2 supplemental - Refine outline
Layout 3 supplemental - Move footprints to back layer
Layout 4 - Route
Layout 4 - Copper fills
Layout 5 - Silkscreen
Layout 6 - Design Rules Check
Layout 7 - Manufacture
Bonus - 3D shapes
Bonus - Found a bug in the schematic! (and fix)
The assembled and working PCB

12 - Project: MCU datalogger with build-in 512K EEPROM and clock
Project - Introduction
Create the new project and create new Git repository
Schema 1 - Setup
Schema 2 - Symbols
Schema 2 - Create a second sheet for the connectors
Schema 3 - Arrange, Annotate
Edit Component values
Schema 3 - Associate
Schema 4 - Wiring of sheet 1
Schema 4 - Wiring of sheet 2
Schema 5 - Nets
Schema 6 - Electrical Rules Check
Schema 7 - Comments
Git, setup in a 2-layer PCB branch
Layout 1 - Setup
Layout 2 - Outline and constraints
Layout 3 - Place components
Layout 2 - Outline refinement
Layout 4 - Route
Layout 4 - Copper fills
Layout 4 - Routing improvements
Layout 5 - Silkscreen
Layout 4 - Fix new routing violations
Layout 6 - Design Rules Check
Layout 7 - Manufacture
3D shapes
Merge 2-layer branch to main
Alternative routing: 4 Layer PCB in new Git branch
Four-layer PCB routing
Four-layer PCB manufacturing
Updating layout with changes to the schematic with Git and gitattributes

13 - Project: An ESP32 clone
Project - Introduction
Schema 1 - New KiCad project and Schematic Setup
Schema 2 - Symbols
Schema 3 - Annotate and set component values
Schema 3 - Arrange
Schema 3 - Associate
Schema 4 - Wiring
Schema 5 - Nets and Net Classes
Schema 6 - Electrical Rules Check
Schema 7 - Comments
Layout - Introduction
Layout 1 - Setup
Layout 2 - Outline and constraints
Layout 3 - Place components
Layout 2 supplemental - refine outline
Layout 4 - Route
Layout 4 - Copper fills and keep out areas
Layout 5 - Silkscreen
Layout 4 - Routing improvements
Layout 6 - Design Rules Check
Layout 7 - Manufacture
3D shapes

14 - Recipes
How to create a custom graphic
How to change a footprint in Pcbnew in bulk
Text variables
How to import symbols, footrpints and 3D shapes from Snapeda
How to create custom sizes for tracks and vias
The Freerouting autorouter introduction
Install and start FreeRouting on MacOS
Install and start FreeRouting on Linux Kubuntu
Install and start FreeRouting on Windows
How to use the Freerouting autorouter 2-layer example
How to use the Freerouting autorouter 4-layer example
KiCad project management with Git
Getting started with Git in KiCad
Sharing your KiCad project on GitHub
Field name templates
Router modes: highlight collisions - shove - walk around
The footprint wizard
Pcbnew Inspection menu
Single track and differential pair routing
Track length tuning
Differential pair skew tuning
Pin and wire highlighter tool
How to customize the editor color scheme
Pcbnew Origins
How to import an EAGLE, Altium, or Cadstar project
How to generate a BOM (Bill of Materials)
The KiCad circuit simulator
How to import a KiCad 5 project
How to create a KiCad project template
Archive/unarchive and share a project
Vias and blind/buried/micro vias
Team KiCad development with Cadlab.io
How to build KiCad from source
The Python API
The Plugin and content manager
Polygon arcs
How to make a global text or graphic change in Pcbnew
impedance matching (reader suggested)
high-speed design (reader suggested)
best practices for PCB design (reader suggested)

15 - Conclusion
Congratulations!

Who is this book for?

I wrote this book for people with a variety of backgrounds and objectives.

  • Hobbyists that wish to design once-off boards for their projects.
  • STEM students who want to complete their science fair project with a professional-looking board.
  • STEM students who want to complete their science fair project with a professional-looking board.
  • STEM teachers who are ready to take their students past the breadboard.
  • Engineers with experience in other CAD software that are interested in learning KiCad.

If you are someone with little or no experience in PCB design, you will find this book particularly useful. I took care to make it as gentle as possible for beginners to learn without becoming intimidated by the complexity of the software or the technical language.

About the author

Dr. Peter Dalmaris is an educator, electrical engineer, electronics hobbyist, and Maker.

He is an instructor of DIY electronics and author of several technical books. Peter is also the author of “Maker Education Revolution,” a book about how Making is changing the way we learn and teach in the 21st century.

As a Chief Tech Explorer since 2013 at Tech Explorations, the company he founded in Sydney, Australia, Peter’s mission is to explore technology and help educate the world. Tech Explorations offers educational courses and Bootcamps for electronics hobbyists, STEM students, and STEM teachers.

A lifelong learner, Peter’s core skill lies in explaining difficult concepts through video and text. With over 15 years of tertiary teaching experience, Peter has developed a simple yet comprehensive style in teaching that students from all around the world appreciate.

Free course companion and sample

This PDF file is a companion to the KiCad Like a Pro 3e video course.  This download is free for any student of the course.

It contains chapters that you will need for the study of the course content.

  • 128 A4 pages (PDF)
  • Full color
  • Printable (DRM-free)
  • Information for the projects featured in the course, such as components and schematics.
  • Additional bonus recipes that are not in the course.