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Friday, February 3, 2012

Moving to Kicad

We have taken the decision to move to Kicad for good reasons.
 We were using the Hobbyist version of Eagle and had the following limitations:
  • Multi-layer not possible
  • Board Size Limitations
Although our Eagle library was functional with every day components, still we struggled when we had to introduce new components. And most of the OSS hardware supporters were using Eagle, so we kept working with it. However recently the board size needed was much bigger and we could not fit the schematics in one page. We were circumventing this disadvantage using multiple boards but it was still a handicap. Thus we turned towards completely open source solution!

We had evaluated Kicad back in 2010 but were not satisfied. However as time passed Kicad became considerably better and much more stable. Then we started noticing many people are developing libraries for this tool. This is active and updated FAQ for this tool. This tool is Multi-platform which makes it even more advantageous. Although Eagle supported the same feature but you need to buy one more license if there are 2 PC using the tool.

Thus in all support for Kicad has grown and it made perfect sense for the future developments. It would be one time effort of porting and creating libraries. We would try to document the process so that more people can use this wonderful tool.

Here are a few links that help you to get resources on Kicad:
Download Link: http://kicad.sourceforge.net/wiki/Downloads
Home Page: http://kicad.sourceforge.net/wiki/Main_Page
Libraries : http://www.kicadlib.org/
Schematics Library Generator: http://kicad.rohrbacher.net/quicklib.php

We are presently working on making an easy to use Module & Library generator for Kicad using Python. We would be posting on that development soon.

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