I’m trying out my first PCB (I’ve only worked with Eeschema the last years) and am puzzled.
I drew the PCB outline.
Then I selected “Tools” → “Update PCB from Schematic”.
This worked beautifully with no errors, and all the footprints are lined up like soldiers on the parade ground.
all the pads have a tacky purple colour indicating they’re both on F.Cu and B.Cu layers. And changing between F.Cu and B.Cu (PgUp/PgDn) changes nothing.
This is a pure SMD layout btw.
What am I doing wrong? And how should I do it right?
That’s a pretty clean design. I might fatten up the ground where it fans out from the dc converter.
If you are digging into a new design, I would recommend treating yourself to a four-layer design. It is a cheap commodity these days. Do a quick online quote at jlcpcb and compare 2 vs 4 layers for the same size.
The easiest way to use a 4-layer stackup is to place signal traces on top and bottom, and use the inner layers for ground and power distribution. I use layer 2 as a solid ground plane, and do power distribution on layer 3. I also run noisy signals (spi…) on layer 3, backed up against a ground plane on layer-4 to keep emi down.
FreeCAD is complicated and difficult . I lost many hours to find how to colour my 3D models and not lost colors while exporting them to KiCad.
The key was making union before exporting. But why - who knows.
I didn’t found the way to make colored 1 pin terminal block then to get 10pin terminal block by making an array. Colors were always lost (I write ‘were’ as I was doing it with 0.19 those time).
I don’t fully understand what is going on in tree view. After exporting my model to KiCad the new elements (if remember well 2 new elements) appears there that I don’t know their purpose.
To be able to use my design once more I always save it before exporting to KiCad and not save after.
KiCad is simple, fast and easy
90% of what gives you the PCB design program is ensuring that the PCB is consistent with the schematic (I can easily see if the schematic is correct but seeing that little more complicated PCB is correctly routed for me seems close to impossible).
If you have no schematic you loose 90% of help you can get from software.
About 1989 I was using RacalRedac (distribution at four 360k floppies). It was said that its schematic part is not very good (I didn’t checked it myself). But there were Orcad - those time it was only schematic editor. Comparing netlists from RacalRedac and Orcad I found differences and wrote a simple program converting OrCad netlist to RacalRedac. Since then I have never designed any PCB without schematic.
But under your PCB view there is still FreeCAD. Reading that I understood that there were a workbench for PCB design in some older FreeCAD version that is not supported now.
After some time with KiCad you will find it being simple, fast and easy. Really!