Importing footprints from Eagle, Fritzing, or anything else

I’m trying to design a PCB for my design. As I wanted to make it easy for others to make, I used a few premade modules instead of SMT parts. The footprints are available in Fritzing and EasyEDA, possibly Eagle as well. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a working method to import parts into KiCad. I tried making the two parts myself but my brain hurt afterwards and with all the other responsibilities I have I don’t have the spare brainpower to fight with it. Is importing parts and footprints into KiCad a viable alternative? Should I just design the PCB in EasyEDA?

Hi and welcome !
Kicad can do exactly what you want and very much more, however it will take some of your brainpower but it really won’t take you much time to get up and running and you will be happy you did. Kicad has a comprehensive set of libraries and supports 3rd party ones too and the documentation for importing parts is covered in Kicad Docs but maybe someone else will jump in and advise you further :smiley:

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Thanks for the response. I’ve used KiCad for a small project a few months ago, and I’m generally very happy with it, which is why I would prefer using it. While KiCad’s part library looks adequate, it doesn’t have the modules I need. I’d be happy with a different part with the same footprint, but I don’t know if the footprint even has a name. Maybe they already exist? One is CJMCU-9548, which is a carrier board/module for a TCA9548, and a DRV2605L module like the one here:

Most of these plug-in modules are breadboard compatible.

In the case of the CJMCU-9548, a footprint may be made using two connector footprints “PinHeader_1x12_P1.27mm_Vertical” footprints spaced 8.89mm apart, or in imperial: “PinHeader_1x12_P0.1in_Vertical” spaced 0.7in apart.

To make your footprint, “copy/paste” or “Save as” two of the connectors into a personal library, give the footprint a name, re-number and name the pads to suit your module.
Check and maybe change the pads shape and hole size.
Maybe change the Silk and/or F.Fab and/or F.Courtyard to suit, and the job is done.

Creating Symbols and Footprints is a fundamental requirement for using CAD programs.

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That one looks like just a 24 pin dip, with possibly an unusual spacing between the rows.

You could do it with two pin headers, but this is a nuisance, as each header has it’s own pin numbers, which makes it hard to couple two footprints with a single schematic symbol.

Instead, I recommend to use the footprint wizard:
Footprint Editor / File / Create Footprint / S-Dip

Note there are two pages with info, selectable in the leftmost column (“Pads” and “Body”)
You will also have to adjust the pad and hole size, as the headers with the square pins need quite big holes. (My own preference is to use thinner headers with round pins). Once you’ve set the parameters, click on the icon with IC with a star (left most on the top toolbar) to load the generated footprint in the footprint editor. After that you can make some modifications, or just stave it into a library.

Making footprints (even without the wizards) is not very difficult. KiCad is quite a big program with lots of functionality, and I can imagine that beginners can get overwhelmed and a bit lost. Just give it some time to get used to it and make notes during your learning process.

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The wizard does seem to make it look easier. I didn’t know there was one… Well hidden!

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It’s not hidden at all.
If you want to create a new footprint, then look in the main menu of the footprint editor. How more straight forward can it be?

But I do understand you can get a bit overwhelmed by the gazillion of different programs, menu options settings and other things in KiCad. It does take some time to get familiar with enough of KiCad’s features feel comfortable with it. I do find the different programs (Schematic, PCB, Symbol and Footprint editors) very much alike in their operation, and that helps a lot.

Worth Knowing:
Fritzing uses SVG’s for Schematic, PCB, BreadBoard and Icon.
When (in Fritzing) user can select to use the same SVG, for them, if desired.

It does Not use a 3D-Model and the only 3D representation is that of the 2D-Graphic used for the BreadBoard.

Kicad uses Graphics created in Kicad, external Drawing programs and can Import Graphics (SVG and DXF). And, has Bitmap-Convertor tool (that works with PNG/other).

It uses 3D-Step file and/or .WRL graphics for the 3D-Viewer.

Kicad does Not have a Fritzing importer. However, for various Fritzing parts, their SVG’s can be imported into Kicad.

Here’s the Big ‘Underscore’ on doing it: I will most always be Faster, Cleaner, Modifiable and less Headache if Creating New Symbols and Footprints in Kicad.

But, if deciding to use a Fritzing part or, if just wanting to experience the above, well… education is always a Good Thing!

Once getting your Graphic into Kicad, there are a handful of things you can do. Including, Adding Kicad Pads/Terminals/Moving items to Layers… etc…

This video shows Basic import of a Fritzing Part (one of mine), Setting a Pad to Copper Layer and adding a New Pad from existing Pad (but, can use the Wizard’s Tool to make a new Pad…). Can make them all or, just One and copy/paste and Renumber…

The only advantage of importing a Fritzing part would be to avoid drawing the items in Kicad/CAD… Though not wonderful, Kicad’s drawing tools are good enough so, again, I wouldn’t bother with Fritzing parts…

I did Not attend to details but, this should give you the idea…


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