KiCAD Multi user capability


#1

Does KiCAD have the capability for multiple users to work on the same project…?


#2

What do you mean by that?
A workflow similar to typical cloud services is not really possible. (Example google docs, where you can work in parallel on the same document.)

Multiple users can always work on one project as long as you manage who does what when. (No software support needed.) And as long as you can share files.
I would suggest any version control system to help there. (I prefer git but you can use any system you want.)
The limitation of course is that you can not work at the same time on the same files. (Merging kicad files is not really a good idea.)

For the schematic i would suggest you break down your project into multiple stand alone modules. Fix the “interface” first and then everyone can work on their respective module. (each module is a hierarchical sub circuit.) Because a hierarchical sheet is a separate file, everyone works on their respective files. No merging required.

The pcb design might be a bit harder to do by multiple people.
There is no module support in pcb_new.

Maybe it would be better to break down your project into multiple pcb’s that are assembled later on? In other words: Stack multiple pcbs on top of each other, each pcb with its own responsibility.
Something like this (Image found via a google search for pcb stack)

This has the benefit that if something goes wrong in one module you only need to change that module.


#3

if you need to have a centralized project to be accessed by many users, you may find these links useful




#4

My mind s spinning at the thought of two people working on the same PCB layout at the same time.
You are just in the middle of routing a 6 layer BGA, when your colleague imports a new netlist. War would break out


#5

If you have two people working on different PCB zones, you do have the possibility of working independently and then use “Append Board”


#6

We should probably add here that append board only works if one starts pcb_new in standalone mode. (Start pcb_new directly not via the project manager.)


#7

Really? How does that work together with a common netlist? Is there any guide available for such a workflow?


#8

Something like this maybe?Collaboration_Software
I could see this working if the PCB is divided into dedicated sections, for example 1 person working on the power supply and another person working with the rest.

And because All KiCad’s files are (pretty much human readable) ascii files you could have succes with using merge programs such as http://meldmerge.org/ to combine the files.