Tag Archives: KICAD

Digi-Key launches a common parts library for the KiCad EDA Tool

Digi-Key Electronics has announced that it is in beta release of a library containing almost 1,000 common parts for the open-source KiCad schematic capture and PCB tool. By Ally Winning @ eenewsembedded.com:

The library will be hosted on the Digi-Key website. It was built after Digi-Key analyzed the top 1,000 parts that KiCad users would require. The library combines schematic symbols and PCB footprints into atomic elements and adds fields including part numbers and datasheet links. As the library has the same license as KiCad’s main library, it is freely available to all developers. The final release of the library is planned for early 2018.

Digi-Key launches a common parts library for the KiCad EDA Tool – [Link]

PcbDraw – KiCAD board into a nice looking 2D drawing

Convert your KiCAD boards into nice looking 2D drawings suitable for pinout diagrams. Never draw them manually again! [via]

Jan Mrázek created a Python script that takes a KiCAD board (.kicad_pcb file) and produces a 2D nice looking drawing of the board as an SVG file.

This small Python script takes a KiCAD board (.kicad_pcb file) and produces a 2D nice looking drawing of the board as an SVG file. This allows you to quickly and automatically create awesome pinout diagrams for your project. These diagrams are much easier to read than a labeled photo of a physical board or an actual KiCAD design.

PcbDraw – KiCAD board into a nice looking 2D drawing – [Link]

Export Eagle Libraries With SnapEDA

Although the new Eagle subscription model by Autodesk will bring much-needed features to the software, many users after the announcement had decided to move their work to other alternatives, such as KiCad, Altium, Cadence, etc.

One of the challenges was to convert the libraries made by Eagle to be compatible with other software programs. SnapEDA solved that by offering a new free tool that translates Eagle libraries to KiCad, Altium, OrCad and other formats.

SnapEDA is a parts library for circuit board design provides free symbols, footprints, and 3D models for millions of electronic components. The goal behind SnapEDA is to build one trusted, canonical source of electronics design content that everyone can benefit from.

To convert your Eagle library just upload your file here, then you can re-download it in any format through your uploaded models page. The video below demonstrates the converting process:

Currently, all the uploaded parts will be public on SnapEDA until the private version is released. All parts are clearly marked as user-generated content and attributed to the uploader, and can be deleted at any time.

“We are big fans of Eagle and the new changes they’re making, and are confident that the subscription model will bring much-needed features to the software. But we also understand that it is (for many) a showstopper. Hopefully this free tool is helpful to those for whom this is the case.” – SnapEDA

Try now this tool and convert your files here!

EAGLE Is Now Released By Autodesk

After acquiring CadSoft in June 2016, Autodesk released a new version of EAGLE with new features that improve program functions and a new pricing plan.

The new version of Eagle added a modular design blocks feature to the schematic editor that allows you to quickly replicate sections of circuitry between multiple projects. Even better, any change you make stays synchronized between your schematics and PCB.

The route engine comes with new, interactive routing features that make it easy to design beautifully precise PCB layouts. It includes a whole set of trace clean-up tools that makes it much easier to tidy up your board and make adjustments to existing paths. There is also an automated loop removal, cornering for super-smooth tracks, quick and easy via placement while routing.

Autodesk said that upgrading EAGLE will be available as a monthly or yearly subscription, providing continuous updates and better support, and it said to be budget friendly. Which means that users will get more consistent and frequent updates backed with dedicated support from the PCB design pros at Autodesk, and cheaper than buying a cup of coffee every day for a year.

Eagle Pricing Table

Many Eagle users found it a bad deal, because having the old Standard option will cost $100/year instead of the one-time $69 payment. Autodesk also killed the lower cost options for non-commercial use, what used to be a $169 version that was positioned for hobbyists.

“We know it’s not easy paying a lump sum for software updates every few years. It can be hard on your budget, and you never know when you need to have funds ready for the next upgrade.”

You can download the free version from here, but for anyone using Eagle for commercial purposes this is a big change. Even if you agree with the new pricing, a subscription model means you never actually own the software. This model will require licensing software that needs to phone home periodically and can be killed remotely. If you need to look back at a design a few years from now, you better hope that your subscription is valid, that Autodesk is still running the license server, and that you have an active internet connection.

KiCad appears as the alternative software for Eagle users, and many of the PCB designers planned to start using it as it has been improving steadily in the past years.

octopart.com – Common Parts Library


octopart.com just launched the latest Common Parts Library – it comes with integration with Seeed Studio’s Open Parts Library and a downloadable symbols and footprints library in KiCad, Eagle and Altium.

Today, we are announcing a new version of the Common Parts Library for Production. Continuing on the journey to make it easy to design products and get them to production, this new version provides a holistic view of the supply chain for each part, including information about equivalent parts in the Shenzhen supply chain. This is supplemented by real-time pricing and availability information for each part so that you can make part selection decisions faster. Furthermore, the CPL for Production comes with a single symbols and footprints library in popular PCB design tools including Altium Designer, Eagle, and KiCad

octopart.com – Common Parts Library – [Link]


BOM/Component manager for KiCad


Jeff Ciesielski has published a component manager for KiCad layout software.

The goal of this app is to ease the bom management burden on designers who choose to use Kicad for their layout and schematic capture needs, allowing for faster, easier data entry, and to provide a part database for re-use in future designs.

BOM/Component manager for KiCad – [Link]

Converting from Eagle to KiCad


lachlanA @ github.com has published a Eagle SCH/LIB to KiCad SCH/LIB ULP conversion script:

The following 5 ulp (eagle user script file) and one ulp include file, work together or stand alone to convert Eagle sch/pcb version 6.xx(7.xx maybe?) file(s) and any version of Eagle lib(lbr) to KiCad sch/pcb and lib/mod files.

Converting from Eagle to KiCad – [Link]

Kicad StepUp – export kicad 3D board


kicad StepUp allows exporting kicad 3D board and comps in STEP AP214 .By easyw @ sourceforge.net:

kicad StepUp: a new approach to export kicad board and modules in STEP AP214 (with colors). With kicad StepUp, it is possible to work in kicad EDA with the same component model data available in the STEP AP214 3D format, and obtain a 3D STEP AP214 model of the pcb board and a complete board assembles with electronic modules, to be used for MCAD interchange. The accurate 3D visualization of components on board assembles in kicad 3dviewer, is maintained in the same accuracy and aspect in STEP AP214 format. The kicad StepUp script maintains the usual way to work with kicad, but improves the process to work in a collaborative way with mechanical designers bringing near ECAD and MCAD environments.

Kicad StepUp – export kicad 3D board – [Link]