Multi-board (Multiple PCBs) revisited

Case: One system, implemented in 2 or more boards.
This seems to be a recurrent topic, but most threads are closed.
I want to determine which are the options using KiCad and when are these options recommended. Also with examples.

I created the following set of examples

Which approaches aren’t covered? Problems not mentioned?

All the proposed solutions solves the BoM, and yes, some of them needs KiCad opened more than once, but with KiCad 6 this isn’t a problem.

It’s quite simple.

KiCad does not support this.

All other posts are ideas, experiments and Ideas (Including mine) about what that process might look like.

This is exactly what I want to discuss: which is the best option for each case.
And provide examples.

Clarification: you have cases where different parts of a schematic drive different boards. A lacking use case is where one schematic has several different board implementations (a classic example being SMD and THT boards). Is that so?

A post was split to a new topic: Possible implementation for several PCBs per project

I’ll open a new thread for this because “workarounds” with the current implementation are interesting and the topic here, but “should KiCad handle (better)” and the possible implementation are also very interesting. I’ll have some ideas for the latter.

This case is addressed here: 1_SCH_2_diff_PCBs

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Apparently this example is very simple where the components are exactly the same. It’s more difficult if the footprints are different.

I am missing the case here: don’t try to track project connections inside your PCB tool but with your file/ repository system and documentation. So e.g. having a repository/folder with all the actual boards in this device, project whatever in subfolders of this project and track interconnections in the (inevitable) documentation of the project.

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I also have the same problem, but a little different.

I have this multisheet schematic.

This is my ‘general schematics’ file. If I start a new project I may insert some of these schematic sheets in me new projects. And sometimes new projects will lead to new add-ons to this library of mine. So it is not intented to come with a board design.

However…my issue… For some of these schematics (around 3) I want a separate board file. For instance I want a board file for my LDR schematic

And I want a board for my servo schematic

Would that be possible? It is not that a component would have more than 1 footprint. Could you use several netlists? and or board files? Can you use subfolders for board files? Per board I could simply delete the components I do not need.

Or is it simply just a matter of “Kicad does not support this”.



I may have thought of something. Ok bear with me. I am about to make just the LDR board. I only connect footprints to the components of the LDR schematic. (ignoring a bucketload of no-footprint erros). I finish the board file, move it in a sub directory and I create a new board but this time with different footprints for the next schematic. I think that could work. I will try that out!

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