Can propagate changes from schematic to pcb, or must start new pcb?


I’m evaluating kicad for university use (vs. eagle). There’s a lot to prefer about kicad. One thing I have not been able to do in kicad, is make a change in a schematic (a new component, a new wire, or a new footprint for an existing component) and have the change propagate to a pcb that was previously derived from that schematic.

Perhaps there is a way, and I’m missing it.

Yes, I can make incremental changes in the pcb directly. But I can’t keep the placed locations of the components on the pcb, update packages and/or netlist, and just run the autorouter again.


The only thing you need to do is a new netlist in eeschema and import the netlist in pcbnew.
Well, two things…


The standard Kicad workflow is to draw the schematic, generate a netlist, then import that netlist into pcbnew. And since pretty much every design will have parts added, deleted or changed, it’s a simple matter to make the change to the schematic, generate a new netlist, and then import that netlist into the existing PCB. pcbnew is smart enough to not change things in the layout that were not changed on the schematic.


The “Netlist Import” feature includes a very useful (IMHO) “Dry Run” mode. When importing a netlist, you can see the things KiCAD will change, before the changes are actually made. “Netlist Import” also has a limited (but useful) capability to either accept, or ignore, certain kinds of changes.