• James Created Project

    05/10/2017 | 10:22am

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About This Project

A project to get you jump started with using KiCAD
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Meet The Makers

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  • James
    • User:James
    • Rank:Master
    • Projects:30
    • Joined:2016
    • From:US
    Interests: Systems Architect. Love making robots and systems with moving parts.
  • xjoexripx
    • User:xjoexripx
    • Rank:Master
    • Projects:31
    • Joined:2016
    • From:US
  • Riley.Purvis
    • User:Riley.Purvis
    • Rank:Master Apprentice
    • Projects:12
    • Joined:2017
    • From:US

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.To Learn

  • Schematic Tool
  • Inserting Existing Parts
  • Creating new Parts
  • Board Layout
  • Uploading projects to SWYM
  • Part Library Management



.Tutorial Video

.How To Access Part Creator

First a project must be opened, whether it is a new project or an existing project doesn't matter. In order to access the part creator, simply click under the "Tools" tab, and choose the option "Library Editor".

Opening Library Editor

A new tab will open labelled "Part Library Editor", and you are now able to create a new part.

Part Library Editor

.How to Create a New Part

In order to create a new part, simply click the button that looks like an op-Amp. There are a few different op-Amp buttons, but here we will be choosing the op-Amp with not arrows, or shadows. When hovering over it, it will show the text "Create a New Component".

Create a New Component

You will then be asked to give the new part a name, and enter other information. Unless you know you want to make changes, keep the default settings. Only give the part a name. When finished, click "Ok".

You will now find that there are some word on the editor, these are based on the name and reference designator you just entered in. I chose "STM32F030" for the name, and kept the default "U" for the designator.

Words Have Appeared on My Screen!!!

.The Move Feature

In order to get rid of these words, we are going to use the "move" feature. Or more specifically, the keyboard shortcut. In order to access the feature, hover your mouse over what you would like to move and press the "m" key on your keyboard. You are now able to drag your mouse to where you want to place

the object. The object will place itself once your left-click on your mouse.

The Move Feature

Now the words have been moved, and are easier to read. These words will be used to label the part whenever it is created. The move feature can be used with any object/text in the part editor.

Adding Pins To The New Component

Pins are important as this is where connections are made from your part. When make a new part, it is easiest to start with making all the pins, and once the pins are made you can make the housing for the new component.

In order to add a pin, click the button on the far right shown below. Whenever you hover your mouse over the pin, the text "Add pins to component" will appear.

Add Pins to Component

Once selected, you will be able to click anywhere on the editor and a prompt will show up.

Pin Properties Prompt

From this prompt you have the ability to give the pin a name, a number, change its orientation, and more. Once all the required information has been filled out, go ahead and add the pin by clicking where you want the pin on the screen.

In this example a pin named "BOOT0" with pin number "1" will be created. Also the orientation will be to the right.

Created Pin

Now lets go ahead and skip to all the pins being placed, in the hopes of not being repetitive. The only difference needed was changing the orientation of the pin on the right side.

All Pins Created

Adding Housing/Case

Now that all the pins have been made, its time to add the housing.

In order to do so, click the button showed below. The button has a square on it, and when your mouse is hovered over it the text "Add graphic rectangle to component body" appears.

Finding the Button

Once clicked you will be able to drag a rectangle that will encompass all the pins. Example is shown below

Housing the component

Now the component is made. It is time to save the part, and add it to the library.

.Saving and Adding the Part to Library

Saving the Part

To save the part, click the button that looks like an open book. When hovering your mouse over it, the text "Save Current Component to New Library" will appear.

Saving Your New Part

Now choose a file location, and name for the part. Save the part somewhere you will remember how to find, because you will need to find it again in the next step.

.Adding the Part to Your Library

You can now close your part editor, and go back to the project. Your part needs to be added to the parts library, in order to do so go to the Preferences tab and click "Component Libraries".

Component Libraries

A prompt will now show up, where you choose the option "Add"

Add Your Part to the Library

Find the location of your part, and choose it.

Now the part is added to your library, and you can use it anytime you need to. Creating new parts in KiCAD is very simple, and shows how KiCAD excels.
If there are any parts of the tutorial you could not follow, you can watch the tutorial video posted below. Happy Making!

.Creating New Schematics in KiCAD

.How to Use Existing Parts

To create a schematic, all required parts need to be added. In order to add an existing part, a project must be open.

Click on the op_Amp button all the way to the right. When your mouse is hovering over the button, the words "Place Component" will appear.

Place Component

Once chosen, click anywhere on the sketch to open a prompt. This is where you can search for your part.

Search For Part

When you have found your part, click "OK".

Click on the sketch where you would like to place your component.

Component Placed

Now that you know how to place a component, you can place as many as you like!

.How to Add Power and Ground

Adding power and ground is very similar to adding a part.

Go to the button all the way to the right that looks like a ground. When hovering your mouse over it, the text "Place Power Port" will appear.

Place Power Port

Click on the sketch to open a prompt. This is where you can search for the required power source, and ground.

Search For Power/Ground

After finding the correct source/ground, click "OK". You will now be able to place the desired source/ground wherever you click in the sketch.

Placed Power and Ground

.Moving and Rotating Parts

Parts will need to be moved and rotated according to your circuit.

Moving Parts

Moving parts requires nothing more than a keyboard shortcut. Hover your mouse over the part, and click the "m" button on your keyboard.
You will now be able to move the part with your mouse, and place it by left clicking on your mouse.

Part Moved

The part has been moved more in line with the power.
Note this also works with Power and Ground.

.Rotating Parts

Similar to moving a part, rotating a part only requires a keyboard shortcut. Hover your mouse over the part, and click the "r" button on your keyboard.
The part will rotate 90 degrees. Repeat this as many times as needed.

Part Rotated

.Wiring Parts Together

Once all the parts are placed on the sketch in the correct locations, and angles its time to wire them together.

Time to Wire the Parts Together

In order to wire two parts together hover your mouse over one connector pin and press the "w" or your keyboard. Then drag your mouse over to the other connector pin and click the left mouse button on it.

Wiring Two Parts Together

The line indicates that the two parts have been wired together.

Now using that knowledge, you can wire the whole circuit together

Wired Circuit

.Giving the Parts Values

A resistor with no resistor value isn't very helpful. Now that the circuit is properly wired, we can complete the circuit by giving the parts values.
In order to give a part a value, hover over the part and hit "e". A prompt will pop-up with the part's information.

In order to change the parts value, go down to the Field Value and type in the correct value

Changing Field Value

The "R" value in the picture can be changed to anything. For this example, it will be changed to 1k.
Once the resistance has been set to 1k, hit the "OK" button.

The resistor will now show 1k, instead of the original "R"

Changed Resistance

Using this knowledge, all the values can be changed in the circuit.

Complete Circuit

Here are the basics of creating schematics in KiCAD. It is one of the easier programs, and is also fun to work with.
If there are bits of information you didn't understand in the tutorial, check out the video below.

There are no project files yet.