Are there any projects with diagramms for other purpose than PCB and simulation ? Mainly electrical panel, switchgear, control enclosures or building automation projects ? If so, pls. show your projects and share your libs to have a brief glimpse what is already possible with Kicad.
I know those projects are not PCB related but typically include some PCBs where they illustrate the environments wiring. Some other ECAD like Eagle have more or less thrilling features what allow to produce such circuits but the top applications are somewhat different from PCB design. In Germany, the old bull and top dog are EPLAN and WSCAD.
The basic requirements of the schematic editor are very same to diagrams for PCB or simulation purpose. Components are stored in libraries, contactors have pin numbers, symbols for NO, NC and magnet coils. The annotation assigns reference designators and later a physical package could be populated on a sheet metal inside any cabinets.
One of the differences is the size of the circuit diagramm what can be typically several hundred pages with heavy use of intra-page connectors and cross-references. A further important feature what PCB Ecad does not have, is the automatic design and renumbering of series terminal blocks. Doing this manually or even using a spreadsheet can be very annoying as there were frequently required insertions in the middle what require renumbering in schematic. Less important functions are the illustration of wiring harness what already goes into direction of mechanical piping and instrumentation designs (P@ID Diagrams).
Main show stopper for now i think is only the wiring harness ( yes and some symbols, but KiCad has nice editors for that ).
There is also not an easy way to switch from single to multi line designs for example, one will need different library symbols for this. And also not a real cable ( and/or groups of them ) concept, mostly for fixed electrical installations. I think this is needed only in case KiCad could help with additional calculations. But those can be done elsewhere and valuable notes can be placed on the schematic.
I am trying to think of a nice way to define and export instructions for a human assembly for example. Connecting wires with the same order/coloring for every produced unit. AFAIK machines cannot do that yet and humans sometimes “screw” cables too hard
Flat schematic hierarchy is expected. But a mechanical connection indication of equipment parts is something that adds more complexity IMHO. And there might be more than one correct/good ways to make this. My thought would have been a symbol point, similar to the footprint anchor, but for the mechanical connection in a symbol and of course a decent amount of KiCad internals to handle things…
I have done design work on many different levels, including: circuit board, complete device, control and other systems incorporating multiple devices, and even complete facilities.
Nothing against KiCAD, but I think if I were starting a project at any of these other than PCB design, I would look to another CAD program. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that, at the present time, KiCAD tops off at the point of a single PCB design.
I am using KiCad (eeschema) for cabinets wiring diagrams since 2016. I have started with KiCad version 4, because I used it for PCB design. However, there were many things, which very not possible to make it in KiCad.
So I have created script which add additional informations to schematics - references for globals labels, numbering the coils of relays, automatically numbering of pins on the PLC etc.
There are some reguirements for librares to use scripts fully, hope it is documented enough on the Github for the start.
I am using also versioning system (Mercurial) for tracking changes in projects, and many other systems for diagrams do not provide text files for diagrams and is very complicated to track changes in binary files. KiCad’s files are (practically) human readable and is very easy to track changes.
I wanted to draw a schematic for a vacuum pump system. Pump, gauges, check valves, some couplings and other small stuff, and a search quickly lead to the library below, which is for hydaulics, but the schematics overlap a lot. It has now also gathered 290 hits towards the github repository.