Octopart KiCad Models

I was surprised to discover that Octopart (claims to have) any (850000 ???) “KiCad Models” (presumedly both schematic symbols and footprints?)
See: https://octopart.com/blog/archives/2020/06/over-850-000-free-kicad-models-now-on-octopart

Here: https://octopart.com/faq#how-does-octopart-make-money
they write:

In 2015, we became a wholly owned subsidiary of Altium, an electronics design software company, and continue to grow and operate independently from our headquarters in New York City.

And I was of the opinion that Altium does not like KiCad much.
Last time I read about any interaction was that KiCost broke because it could no longer access Octopart’s data.

Any opinions on this?

Just another data-mining gimmick. There’s a reason why there are multiple “eda library and model” site offerings now competing in not really a “mass market”.
Data mining. Every download that is made is made as a positive correlation as you having a good chance of using that part. From there they can build all kinds of profiles on you, your workplace and that of the market in general.

Distributors already used to sell sale leads to companies (I would get sales people directly referencing digikey and arrow orders). Now others want a piece of the pie. :man_shrugging:

I am a fan of Altium. It builds excellent software. We (KiCad) are not competitors with Altium so much as common members of the larger design engineering community.

Our goal is not to take users away from Altium but instead to grow the whole community so that everyone has access to the tools they need to build the hardware they want. The more people we have designing and building boards, the better. Why? Because we all benefit from those economies of scale. Low-volume, low-cost production benefits us all by allowing us to create circuit boards for pennies.

Open hardware is not open software. There will never be a zero-cost copy or modification. So we need Altium to be successful. And Zuken and Eagle and LibrePCB and all of the other software packages. Their success means more access to better parts, better boards and better data for all of us.

We have worked with Octopart to check their model development (they are using a generator for multiple footprint output) to ensure that they meet KiCad standards.

I am very happy that Octopart provides KiCad output and it will hopefully spur additional shops and manufacturers to add KiCad to their list of supported formats. If you want to see more industry uptake of KiCad, I would encourage you to use the KiCad parts download option in Octopart (and Digikey for that matter). They watch metrics there very closely to determine whether the investment of resources was worthwhile.


I had a look at Octopart and my immediate impression was that they want data for their invest - why not ? Its just an offer.

However, I could never afford to use the PCB-System of my employer at home (I dont like to use a stolen copy at home)
When I look around at work people chose altium because of all the special, professional output drivers and interfaces to production systems and i think it would be a waste of developer time to try to integrate all of this into KiCad instead of enhancing KiCad itself.

As KiCad is for free it may well be that it lives successfully beside commercial systems and profits from this as you said.
Especially as the eagle and altium importers seem to become very sophisticated…