[time-nuts] Schematic capture: KiCad?

beale beale at bealecorner.com
Fri Feb 24 06:16:20 UTC 2012

In case you haven't already had enough suggestions: KiCad is an open-source option. It is much less popular/well known than Eagle, but it is free, has no* limitations on layers, parts, or board size. Runs on Linux and Windows. All design files are in plain text format, hence easy to parse by eye or other tools as desired.  There is some learning curve, as with all CAD tools.  I laid out this simple decade divider PCB using KiCad:  http://bealecorner.com/pcb/dd1/  and it wasn't too bad.  It has an active user's group list.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/kicad-users/  <- user's group mailing list
http://kicad.sourceforge.net/wiki/Main_Page  <- main project page
http://teholabs.com/knowledge/kicad.html     <- tutorial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkQ0nVX1q1k  <- video tutorial

*actually, a maximum of 16 layers, and 44 x 44 inches in size. *Usually* that is not a limitation :-)

Like others here, I recommend against "free" single-vendor lock-in tools that won't give you Gerber output and easy design portability.

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