Multi sheet project

I have successfully made a single schematic project from beginning to PCB. Next I want to expand the project and would like to add new circuitry to the project, but to show the new circuits on a second schematic. The new circuits will not be on the already made PCB, but on a separate one. I see that KICAD uses multi sheets. I’m not sure I understand exactly how this works. Does the root sheet just show the child sheets? If that is so, how can I take what I have already done on my original root sheet and transfer that over to a new child sheet. Then I believe it is and easy matter to create a second child sheet for my new circuits. Or should I approach this as a new project? Thanks, Mike

At the moment KiCad only supports one PCB per project, so another PCB would be a new project. There are a few use cases for hierarchical sheets:

  • Project is too small for one page.
  • A sub part is used multiple times in a project (Use hierarchical sheets with Replicate Layout Plugin.
  • A schematic file in a hierarchical design can also be used in between different projects.

It’s also possible to move or copy stuff between sheets. Normal copy & paste works, but looses the Reference Designators, there is a “Paste Special” from the Right mouse button popup and this can preserve the RefDes.

For more details, I suggest you start with reading the manual (under the Help button) and then come back here if you encounter some problem.

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Thanks, I aprreciate the help, Mike

Can you briefly, tell me how one should approach a project that has a few PCB’s that are to be plugged into a common connection bus board? Should each individual PCB, be a project, along with the bus board and possible an external power supply? Thanks, Mike

Yes, exactly. You can organize these separate project folders in one common parent folder to make things easier. Some people also put multiple projects in the same containing folder, but I don’t like that approach.

A few years ago I did the experiment below:

It did seem to work quite well, but there is no official support for this workflow and it may already have been broken, or break in a future version. The only recommended way is indeed one separate project for each PCB.

You can make a template out of one of the “daughterboard” projects. this makes it a bit easier to use the same PCB outline and connector layout among all the boards.