Click "Place Hierarchical Sheet" and drag the bounding box to the desired size as shown. Edit the Sheet Info menu changing the file name to the existing schematic drawings name, this drawing should be in the same directory as the root schematic. The sheet name is an arbitrary value which can be any name of your choosing. After placement of the Hierarchical Sheet one can click within the sheet border to access the schematic drawing. If Hierarchical Labels have not been made on the sheet now is the time to make these connections. A Hierarchical Label works like a regular schematic Label with one difference: they connect two schematic sheets.
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If you really get stuck please use the comments section on the right. We always want to improve our tutorials to make them easier.
Use this version to follow along. A main navigation window will display where you will be able to open all the periphery programs like schematic capture and PCB layout. Click the image for a closer look The KiCad project window looks quite empty and sad. This setup allows my laptop and work computer to sync without hassle. Once the four files are located in a local directory try looking in your downloads folder for Click the image for a closer look What are all these files? These four files are all you need to share a KiCad design with a fellow collaborator.
You may also need to share a footprint file, which will be explained more later on in this tutorial. You may have had your first critical-judgment-eye-squint.
Why is there a file to define which footprints go with which schematic components? The schematic will load with lots of components with question marks i. KiCad is missing the link to the devices within this schematic. This will open a new window. In the image below you can see that the project file contains information about where it should look for "Component library files".
Each project has its own connections to different file structures. We need to tell this project where to find the symbols for this schematic. This file contains all the schematic components. Now close and re-open the schematic to refresh. No more?? For more information about using schematic component libraries across multiple computers, check the next subsection about the "user defined search path.
This is the local relative path to a Dropbox folder. It allows me to share libs between computers and between GitHub repos without having to reassign the libraries every time I open the project on a different computer. For now, you should continue with the tutorial.
In the future, you may want to revisit this if you use KiCad across multiple computers. Editing a Schematic If I get you to do nothing else, I will get you to learn the keyboard shortcuts! Yes, you can click on the equivalent buttons. However, the speed and efficiency of KiCad really shines when muscle memory kicks in so start memorizing.
Esc - Escape mode or whatever command in progress and return to normal pointer mode. Use liberally to undo any mistakes. Make sure to save often! This breakout board needs a larger 4. This will open the component window. If you are using a different tool you may need to click on the schematic as well : There are hundreds of components items according to the title bar.
Place it on the schematic next to the 0. Copying Component Once in default state put your mouse pointer on top of the 3. Do the same for the ground marker. Move your mouse to the other bubble and left click on the mouse to complete the wiring for GND. Did something go wrong? Power and ground are now connected to our capacitor. Annotate Schematic Components But what about the C? One of the many benefits of KiCad is the ability to auto-annotate a schematic.
Click on the Annotate schematic components button. Use the default settings and simply click on Annotate button to confirm. Capacitor with correct value and designator!
We are all set. Time to edit the PCB. Delete - Remove a trace or component. Use with caution. There will be tears if you use a grid outside of 50mils or 25 mils. Page Up - Return to the top copper layer.
And with this power, comes an overwhelming number of options. Welcome to PCB editing. I prefer OpenGL. Lets switch Canvas to OpenGL for now.
Ya, me either. To change the layer colors, on the right side menu use your mouse wheel to click on the green square next to B. Cu bottom copper layer. I prefer the following layer colors: Red 2 Default for F. Cu Top Copper Blue 4 for B. Cu Bottom Copper White for F. Cuts a. This is useful when you need to view a certain layer. Be sure to poke around the Render tab next to the Layer tab , namely the Values and References check boxes.
Many designers live and die by these values, so use as needed. Where is it? We failed to assign a footprint to the capacitor we added in the schematic. We have to specifically connect a footprint to each schematic component that was added. Depending on how many libraries you have installed, this may take up to 30 seconds. We will make this better later in the tutorial but for now, be patient.
In the left column is all the footprint libraries that KiCad ships with. In the middle is the list of components in your schematic.
On the right is any footprint that may work with the highlighted component in the middle. Your job is to double click on the footprint on the right that goes with the component in the middle. Now you can preview the footprint as you click down the list in the right. In Windows, I press and hold the Windows button and press the left arrow and release. This will lock the CvPcb window on one side. Then select and lock the Footprint Preview Window to the right. This allows us to flip through footprints in the left window while seeing the preview on the right.
Highlight C2 in the middle column. C2 should now be assigned a footprint. We need to re-export the Netlist. Remember how to do that? Open to the PCB editor either from the schematic or from the project window.
We changed things, so we need to import the netlist! Remember how? You can also hit enter twice. You should see the new capacitor near the board. Left click to place the capacitor. If your pointer is over multiple items as shown in the image below with the cursor over both the trace and capacitor , KiCad will pop up a menu to clarify your selection.
This is basically asking you to pick which one you want to operate on. SparkFun has tweaked its PCB footprints over many years to fit our manufacturing processes. This includes pick and place and automated optical inspection. We use a mixture of footprints that ship with KiCad and our own set of footprints.
This footprint will work just fine. Single click on the pad that has the gray air-wire and drag it to the pad that it needs to connect to.
Single click again to lock the wire in place. In the image below, KiCad is trying to route this trace in an odd way.
Beginner's Guide to KiCad
Three example circuits are presented in the following. The first one relies exclusively on symbols from a KiCad library. This circuit comprises of only passive elements that may be simulated immediately. The second circuit is an amplifier with a bipolar npn transistor that requires specific model parameters from an external source for the built-in transistor model.
Zoom in and out, around the center of screen. Redraw of the screen and optimal Zoom. Call the menu of components localization and texts. Creation of the netlist Pcbnew, Spice Component annotation. Import a stuff file from Cvpcb fill the footprint field of components Right toolbar icons[ edit ] This toolbar gives access to tools for: - Component placement, wires and buses, junctions, labels,texts… - Navigation in the sheets hierarchy.
These techniques are also available in other dialogs with a grid control element. Import tool for footprint assignment Access: The icon launches the back-annotate tool. This tool allows footprint changes made in PcbNew to be imported back into the footprint fields in Eeschema. Manage Symbol Libraries Symbol libraries hold collections of symbols used when creating schematics.