Hello, One thing I had not found on the forum or the web was a KiCAD presentation overview suitable for radio and electronics clubs like mine here in Rochester, NY, USA. So I made one. It isn’t fantastic but it did the job and thought I would share it with others to use for their local clubs. Maybe others can make this better (but not longer) and translate this for your local communities. The powerpoint format presentation (edited in open office 4.1.3) is HERE for your download. Comments invited. Thanks.
nice primer on all things KiCAD.
Might point out the official documentation a bit more.
That’s a bit strict, as so far we haven’t had the same question every other day over and over yet afaik.
It’s also nice to see newcomers post answers to easy questions, if they know them and help absolute beginners.
Helping others is pretty rewarding I think, especially when you get feedback that it helped.
So I wouldn’t (yet) discourage people from experiencing this, by sending everyone into the archive with reading glasses and a magnifying lens before one is ‘allowed’ to ask ‘dumb’ questions
On the other hand, It’s good to know BEFORE I make the effort to compose a thorough answer, that the question comes from somebody who has enough interest, and enough initiative, to invest a little of his own time into finding an answer.
We have very few posts that abuse the helpfulness, or disrespect the time, of Forum members. Even so, if you want to post something like:
“How can I make those copper circle things on a PC board?”
at least mention that:
“I searched the Forum for ‘donuts’ and didn’t find anything”.
Then I can answer with:
“Try searching the Forum - and the “HELP” documents - for ‘pads’.”
The forum is not yet mature enough to have huge daily traffic with the same questions.
I also caution to be that strict as new users may actually need to ask the same question again as the software has been updated, and not everything works exactly the same way it was possibly explained at an earlier time on this forum.
I know it’s a two sided sword, but so far we’ve either been very lucky and/or the crowd who is attracted to KiCAD is pretty sensible in that regard.
I wouldn’t have posted this at all if we have had any sorts of trouble with that (yet).
I hope we never will have, but I fully get your point
 and @sprig makes a valid point, a question can be asked many different ways and the software changes a lot, so it’s easy to miss stuff.
It’s quite a nice summary KF2B.
I had something similar published in the WIA’s magazine, “Amateur Radio” for the other FOSS option, the gEDA PCB toolchain.
I feel strongly that Radio Amateurs and electronic hobbyists generally who contribute to the information commons with symbols, footprints and designs should try to use open file formats that are not vulnerable to being fenced off behind paywalls at some point in the future.
I think it would be worth adding at least a page that speaks to the importance of using FOSS toolchains for designs that are to be shared with or revisited subsequently by other hobbyists, or designs targeted at STEM education settings where funds for proprietary toolchains or crippleware are lacking.
Eagle binary layout import and Protel Autotrax layout import/export are recent additions to the very actively developed gEDA PCB fork pcb-rnd motivated by the need to “rescue” legacy designs previously shared by Radio Amateurs. By extension, these designs are now accessible by KiCad users, since pcb-rnd can export Kicad format layouts, including the net-lists.
Incidentally we just added HPGL import support, useful for mechanical cad export in particular, so there is now a pathway for HPGL->pcb-rnd->Kicad as well.
More spam for gEDA…not interested thanks.
Feel free to use the LGPL licensed hpgl library that was written if you want to implement native HPGL import into KiCad. It’s compact and portable.
That’s the beauty of FOSS.
I want to have nothing to do with gEDA or pcb-rnd. Spamming other forums is not an acceptable way to get users.
Right now, it’s on my “boycott” list.
Good intro and thanks for posting the presentation.
Quick comment: you highlight in S23 the possibility to add 3D Shape. For some components, you may
not have them. Maybe, mention as a “teaser” they can use FreeCAD to make them…
This could be added to a list of recommended tools/software.
3D modelling is becoming important for hobbyists since we can print our own electronics enclosures.
I am planning on doing workshops in my area and it’s good to have some reference material to see how others organize theirs.