Basic PCB Design w/KiCAD
Is your idea of permenance in an electronics project covering a breadboard in hotglue? Let's fix that.
KiCAD is a free, open-source, electronics & PCB design suite that enables you to easily & quickly design electrical circuits and printed circuit boards.
This class aims to take those who've been using breadboards to create projects and enable them to design their own boards & introduce them to services to have those boards fabricated.
While open to everyone, we'll expect attendees to have a basic understanding of electronics (you know what a circuit is, and have at least played around with a breadboard before). We'll cover:
- What KiCAD is, it's parts, and the general workflow for PCB design
- Basics of the Eeschema schematic layout editor
- How to locate symbols & create new ones
- KiCAD's symbol and footprint libraries & how to add components
- Use of PCBnew, KiCAD's PCB layout editor
- High-level overview of how to create custom component footprints
- Plotting fabrication files & design for fabrication considerations
- Available fabrication services
- This class will be taught via Zoom and may be recorded & posted online. You will receive a Zoom link after signing up.
- It is strongly preferred that you attend with video enabled, or at least a microphone - asking questions and getting feedback is much easier if the instructor can see & hear you.
- We will encourage students to follow along on their own computer, however it is not required. If you would like to follow along, please ensure you download & install KiCAD BEFORE attending - Downloads for Windows, OSX, & Linux can be found here (most linux package managers maintain KiCAD under the name "kicad").
- We'll be using KiCAD version 5.1.X. If you have an older install (especially lower than version 5) We strongly suggest you update.
- If you do want to follow along, we strongly suggest you have a computer with a second monitor as it makes trying to follow along via Zoom while working on KiCAD much easier.
- While open to all, we will not be covering electronics as a topic - we may use a resistor or two, but won't be telling you why. Consider one of Hacker Lab's other electronics classes first if you're completely new to electronics prototyping.
- This class is intended for hobbyists & small projects - we won't be getting into high-speed designs, differential pairs, or anything fancy. We're making 2-layer Arduino projects, not 16 layer motherboards.