KiCad is similar to other PCB design software tools, but it is a free software suite for EDA (electronic design automation). Designers use it to create schematics for electronic circuits and prepare them for conversion for PCB printing. KiCad uses a workflow where schematic components and footprints are treated as separate entities.
As a free software, KiCad relies on volunteer and paid contributors for its improvement to keep it at the same level as commercial EDA tools. KiCad 4.0.0 is the first to adopt a point release version scheming and features advanced tools implemented by CERN developers. The involvement of CERN with the project has seen a real improvement in KiCad's development as a real competitor for the commercial programs.
KiCad, Eeschema, Pcbnew, GerbView and Bitmap2Component comprise the KiCad suite, with each one having a specific function. KiCad is considered the project manager as it provides an environment where schematic capture, Gerber file generation/visualization, library editing, and PCB layout are all integrated.
As a schematic capture editor, Eeschema features hierarchical schematic sheets, electrical rules check (ERC), and custom symbol creation, among others. PCBnew, on the other hand, is a PCB layout program with a 3D view. Its footprints are sometimes coupled with Eeschema’s schematic symbols, so both footprints and symbols can be reused. The design of capacitors and inductors, for example, can have a single footprint.
A GerbView provides the Gerber viewer, allowing designers to view and work with Gerber files, while Bitmap2Component is used to create PCB silkscreens by converting images to footprints.
Are you looking for KiCad freelancers?
Cad Crowd has a community of freelance designers, including experts in the use and implementation of the KiCad software. Depending on the KiCad services hired, freelancers can create PCB artworks, a 3D view of a circuit board and its components, Gerber files, and a bill of materials.
With knowledge and skills of the design software, our KiCad Freelancers will take advantage of component libraries essential for project completion and success. They know exactly which custom components can be added or installed based on a project. If needed, they will also create components specific to your project needs.
Equipped with a Component Library Editor, it may seem easy to make or add new components in KiCAD. But doing so requires skills and knowledge in electronics and other aspects that will make an electrical connection or a network of connections work.
Combined with their knowledge in the use of related software, such as Eagle Point, Eagle CAD. SolidWorks and OrCAD, our designers will be able to import components from other EDA applications. They are also skilled in PCB design, microcontrollers and prototype manufacturing.
With everything you need under in one place, you don't need to go anywhere else. Cad Crowd has a list of software used by every designer, along with the names of designers who use them.
If you prefer, we will do the legwork on your behalf. Send us your project description for a free quote, and we'll connect you with a top-ranking PCB design freelancer whose skills match your requirements.