CAD & Open Hardware at FOSDEM 2019

Who is coming to FOSDEM this year?
You can see the schedule for the CAD & Openhardware room here:

I have created a Whatsapp group for Kicad users, which hopefully could be used to arrange get-togethers at Fosdem, dinners, bars or similar. please drop me a message with an ID and Ill add you to the group.

@stambaughw, @kasbah has talks so pretty sure they are coming :slight_smile:
Cern guys are also I believe


I will come this year again :slight_smile:


live-stream online now :wink:

KiCad Project Status

Everything you wanted to know about the state of the KiCad project.

A state-of-the-union talk by KiCad’s project leader.


Wayne Stambaugh

According to my time calculations Wayne’s presentation should begin very soon, within 10 or 15 minutes. The presentation about Fritzing is going on right now.

Wayne is setting up his computer

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I also saw a glimpse of Tomasz Włostowski in the video, I believe :slight_smile:

Indeed, I’m here :slight_smile:

Tom forum was mentioned as the place for help for the newcomers. Waiting for a flow of newbie questions…

Can’t be worse than the day autodesk bought eagle. That was a fun time.


The video is now available in


Despite his demo was a bit tedious, the lecture “Drawing PCBs with Inkscape / Creating printed circuit board designs using Inkscape, SVG2Shenzhen and KiCad” can be inspiring to KiCad users as well.


Haha, sorry about the demo. I had practiced it before and thought I would be able to make it snappy. I think the issue was that I opened KiCad before I exported from Inkscape?


I’ve been there: demos almost always go wrong because you have to do everything right.

Still, svg2shenzhen looks like a great tool!


About the demo:
In the presentation you’ve made yourself dependent on gettinbg pictures from internet?
Fiddling with closing paths in inkscape instead of opening a pre-made drawing?
Repeating that 3 or 4 times?
Scrolling through very small text boxes with long filenames?

I don’t want to be bashing, but such things all add up during a presentation and they are all easily avoidable.

Most people avoid running real progams during demonstrations / talks and work from sheets for that reason.
This can be as simple as making screenshots and then showing them as a slideshow as almost any photo viewer program can. No need for dedicated software here.
Anything more than a button to push to go the next slide distracts attention and fiddling with a computer. It is also not uncommon to have a sidekick to push that button so you can put all attention to interacting with the public.

But even with a sidekick this can go “wrong”. I’ve also seen presentations where there was a lot of interaction between the presenter and the sidekick and back and through shifting through slides.

I’m not familiar with Inkscape, I’m more into technical dawing and prefer DXF import if KiCad needs a complicated outline.
You did make me curious about the “module” export thing for KiCad though.
What is a “module” in KiCad context?
My first guess is that it would be a footprint.

Also nice to see KiCad supports these curved lines. Is it a true spiral, or built out of arc segments? (Mwa, does not matter much for me, because I’m mostly intersted in the more “technical” and boring rectangular PCB’s with mabye an arc here or there).

Nobody expects you to do a TED talk on Fosdem. Some of those TED talks even become very boring because they are so polished, clean and well practised that they loose depth.

Thanks for the tips. I could have prepared better, yes. I also think I should have asked for 5 more minutes of presentation time when we had the draft schedule.

I realize relying on the internet is an odd choice but I needed it for my next presentation too. Have been coming to FOSDEM for 4 years and I never witnessed any issues with it. I think I lost 10 seconds on the picture not loading right away?

I agree it’s easy to make a bland presentation and also I think you do lose out on what it’s like to work with this software if you have everything already done in advance. Part of what is impressive about the plugin is that you can draw a PCB from scratch in such a short presentation. It was also really fun atmosphere in the room, with everyone cheering when I finally got the result. It’s more boring on the recording of course .

Yes, “module” is a footprint in this context a.k.a .kicad_mod. With that you can then combine your artwork with a regular KiCad schematic/PCB. This is what I did with the PCB ruler.

The curved lines on the outline layer are turned into segments, yes. On other layers KiCad allows polygons so those are turned into bitmaps and then into polygons via a fork of KiCad’s bitmap2component tool.

Would love to see an updated version of the demo on YouTube or similar @kasbah!

Wish I could have been there this year, looked like a good crowd at the event.

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Good idea, would be good to do a screen-cast of the whole flow, drills and combination with the regular KiCad schematic/footprint/routing flow and all, will post here when I do it. Maybe, if it’s good enough, it could be “syndicated” on the Contextual Electronics channel to reach a wider audience?

Sure thing would love to help share

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