First I’ll introduce me, I’m Manuel and I’m new with KiCad.
I’ve been working with KiCad and I don’t find how to make a copy of my actual project with another name. I would like to do this because I want to make changes in this project without altering it. In this way I could have different versions of the same project.
The question is, I can’t do this because I don’t find how, or simply, this can not be done with KiCad.
Pd: Sorry for my english but I’m working to improve it.
Some weeks back the same topic was discussed.
The best alternative is version control.
My background is pretty much the same and I ran into the same question. I like to revise file names and save as I work on a project. The presented answer was GIT. But that looked like a whole new thing which I did not want to have to learn in place of “save as”.
I saved file versions in dated zip files; this seems to work but it is not a great answer.
You sound VERY similar to me.
As I work, I make copies of the most significant files (schematic, board layout, and archived footprints) and append “…baXX” to the filename. The “ba” denotes a backup, and “XX” is a sequential integer both to avoid filename conflicts and serve as a log of the project’s progress. I do this at least every day that I work on a project, and several times a day when I’m doing a LOT of work on the project. Every so often, and when things reach natural pauses in development, I clean out all but the last round or two of backups.
That seems to be a workable solution for recovering from self-induced disasters or the occasional times when development reaches a dead-end that requires back-tracking to try a different approach. But it does NOT work for cloning a project!
“Github”, and version control systems oriented toward software development, present a whole level of complexity that I’m reluctant to take on. (Although I’m among the Medicare set, I have no objection to learning new things per se . . . but I know there are limitations to what I’ll be able to master at this stage of my life. I prefer to put my efforts into learning things that seem to have the greatest value in terms of either personal satisfaction, or professional development, compared to the effort and resources I’d expend while mastering the topic.)
A “Clone Project” feature - even if it means a few additional menus, where you indicate how to handle libraries and create a directory structure - would be a welcome addition. In my professional experience, the board layouts which start as a revision of an existing layout far outnumber the layouts which start from scratch.
Sounds like we are of a similar generation. I am also a circuit design engineer; most specifically power conversion design.
I have done many “demo boards” using Express PCB and was looking for a more powerful tool with which I could design boards and output gerber files. I have succeeded with KiCad but only went so far as a trial in which I produced some gerber files.
Prior to finding KiCad I had tried a free pcb design tool offered by DigiKey. At the time I tried it, it included no way to connect solder pads solidly to copper planes. Thermal relief connections were the only way, and those are unacceptable for high current or for sinking heat as is often needed in a power converter. I took that as a “show stopper” for that software.
I agree that GIT seems complex, and beyond anything I could see needing in the short term. I felt similarly that I would rather learn something else…