I have for 20 years (how’d that go by so fast?), used the same version of OrCAD (v9.2) for schematic capture. My process is to create the schematic in OrCAD, associate full bill of materials info with each component, generate a csv file for import into a spreadsheet of choice, generate a netlist in tango format, import that into Eagle, lay out the board, and generate gerbers. If I ever need autorouting, I can pass an Eagle design to Konekt’s Electra (very similar to Specctra but much more affordable and friendlier licensing terms), autoroute it, and pass it back to Eagle. With all the little helper apps, user-language programs, scripts and so on, this convoluted sounding process has worked amazingly well. I have never used Eagle’s schematic tool, as I’ve always found OrCAD Capture to be incredibly effective.
With Eagle no longer available on acceptable licensing terms, and OrCAD’s vintage user interface becoming considerably less tolerable, it’s time to move on. Not to mention, I’d really like to ween myself off of Windows and bridge over to linux for day-to-day work. KiCAD looks like a great fit.
My experience of KiCAD has so far been good, but I have yet to generate gerber files from it. The schematic tool is great, and creating a placement in pcbnew has been quirky but not at all bad. I love the 3D viewer. It’s a good enough experience so far, that I would like to be able to move legacy designs into KiCAD. I need several conversion tools to do this:
- OrCAD dsn files to eeschema sch files.
- OrCAD libraries (I have a lot) into eeschema libraries.
- Eagle layout designs to KiCAD. I have not tried this yet, but I see there are tools for this.
- Eagle footprint libraries to KiCAD (I have done this using an Eagle ULP; works great).
I think 3 & 4 above are manageable, but 1 & 2 are a little more challenging. Are there any tools that would allow me to bring OrCAD schematics and libraries into KiCAD? Can I export to edif format & import into KiCAD?
Unrelated questions that should possibly be in a different thread:
a. Is there any way to use different fonts in eeschema?
b. Is there a way to import component properties from a csv or other text file into eeschema so each part is fully spec’d? This would make bom generation a lot smoother.
Thanks in advance for all help, tips & advice,