Electrical / Industrial Libraries


KiCad came highly recommended by a friend.

I’m hoping to use KiCad to create multiple schematics for electrical / industrial schematics.

I have done some searching for libraries that would support industrial wiring (480/3phase), PLCs, push-buttons, limit switches and light curtains, etc…

My guess is that there are libraries out there for these types of components.

Can anyone provide some direction / links to libraries that contain these types of symbols?

Thank you very much for your time,

I am assuming with industrial circuitry you mean making a drawing for a wiring cabinet.

KiCad is not really meant for this task. There are quite a few features missing for this usecase. For example:

  • KiCad has no way to add wires (other than making symbols for every possible one).
    • This will get tricky if you want to have wires spread out as needed (extra tricky for high connection count wires)
  • There is no way to reference parts of components located on other pages (like the contacts of a relay or fuse).
  • There is no way to encode the restriction of using cables instead of PCB traces (no strictly paired cross-references for nets, no directional junctions, …)
  • KiCad is meant for hierarchical design. Hierarchical designs are not really readable when printed. Schematics for wiring cabinets are typically only handled as printouts.

There are workarounds for many of these tasks. But I fear there is no desire from the official library team to add symbols for a task that is better handled in other software. EPLAN is the king here (similar to Altium in the field of PCB design) but there are cheaper options available. One such option is DesignSpark Electrical by RS. But there are also open source alternatives like https://qelectrotech.org/. (Disclaimer: I have not personally used any of these tools.)


As Rene wrote: qelectrotech.org


I have no experience with any such programs. A long time ago when I was using a DOS version of some PCB design program, one of my brothers told me electrical wiring diagrams for cabinets were made with autocad, with some special libraries and extensions.

If you’ve installed the demo’s for KiCad there is an example of such a wiring diagram (On my Linux box) in:

If you want to make a lot of such drawings, specialized software is probably a better choice than drawing them in KiCad, but for occasional use or if you do not want to install and learn yet another program them Eeschema may be adequate.

I am not aware of specific libraries for this. the electric.pro project mentioned above has its own project specific library:

paul@dualcore:/usr/share/kicad/demos/electric$ ls -hl
total 84K
-rw-r–r-- 1 root root 14K Apr 23 2019 electric-cache.lib
-rw-r–r-- 1 root root 136 Apr 23 2019 electric.pro
-rw-r–r-- 1 root root 34K Apr 23 2019 electric.sch
-rw-r–r-- 1 root root 2,4K Apr 23 2019 elec-unifil.dcm
-rw-r–r-- 1 root root 17K Apr 23 2019 elec-unifil.lib
-rw-r–r-- 1 root root 112 Apr 23 2019 sym-lib-table

Some time ago I built myself a small CNC milling machine. I built everything into an old PC case. It’s got:

  • PCB with electronics.
  • 1.5kW frequency inverter.
  • Filters for the inverter.
  • Cooling water pump.
  • small axuilary power supply for the PCB and powering relays.
  • 36V power supply for stepper motors.
  • 3 Stepper motor driver boards.
  • Connectors.
  • Some relays on a DIN rails.
  • Some fans with fan control.

A build like this is just complicated enough that having a schematic diagram is a plus, but I have no intention of learning a new program for the occasional wiring diagram. The project grew sort of organically into a hierarchical thing. Final result was a (fully routed) PCB (Which I never etched, the thing is hand wired on Vero board) and lots of components here and there marked with an “#” So they do not wind up on the PCB.

If you want to have fun with it, here is the project:2020-03-21_KiCad_AVR_STM32.zip (1.0 MB)

The PCB is designed to use EITHER an ATMEGA with Grbl, or a “Blue Pill” with Grbl. The Blue Pill works very nicely with a project I found on github. There is also an extra AVR on the schematic. It is supposed to do auxiliary functions such as turning on the water cooling for the spindle when the spindle turns on, and monitoring water flow and some other tasks. I have not written any firmware for that uC yet though. I used some good old LS logic, because I hope they’re more robust then the CMOS stuff, and the logic levels (input and output) are compatible with 3V3 IC’s such as the STM32 in the Blue Pill.

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