Searching for footprints....should it be this hard?


#21

There are some pros whose lively hood depends on accuracy who won’t even use public library parts. It seems that libraries and auto-routers are more a hook for novice users like myself though I quickly got over the auto-router once I learned a bit more about Kicad’s capabilities. Most of my layouts are simple through hole designs so I just print out the board and physically check the footprints.

Most parts in the libraries are pretty vetted but truth isn’t something we can vote on. Hence, trust but verify. :wink:

My one caveat would be 3D modeling. It isn’t important to me but I wouldn’t even pretend to do those libraries.


#22

if “This (issue/request) comes up all the time…” that just means that the current status is not good enough (or lot’s of users are not “educated” enough, or something in-between…).
i do not pretend to know THE solution, of course, neither i’m so naive to believe i can steer developers devoting for free their time/skills to an open source project, so i think:

  • the official repo will follow its own rules to be the 'final destination"
  • the miriad of “one piece” repo will still be put in place by “volunteer creators”
  • it would be useful to find a way to aggregate, index, score (and eventually improve) all these repos
  • so it would bring end users more choice (and generally speaking a way to experiment and move forward this database)

in the long term of course, the part manufacturer/distributor itself should (be interested to) provide the part description because it eases business…

already the Digikey effort (not going so far AFAICS…) is paramount of these difficulties!


#23

Creating successful footprints isn’t entirely “science” - there’s still some “art” to it, as well as a bit of intuition and maybe even a touch of astrology.

I don’t think it’s all about quality. @Rene_Poschl and the library team have produced libraries which, to the best of their knowledge, are effective and acceptable in a particular situation. And they have extensively documented that situation. Even if somebody else offered a library with similar assurances and documentation, rating those libraries would be impractical since it would require keeping track of each rater’s application situation.

I am appreciative, and indebted to, those who have posted libraries of symbols and footprints. But in most (perhaps all) cases where I used those libraries, I used them as the basis for my own symbols and footprints. I’m skeptical that any popularity poll among users would have led me to select a better choice as the basis for my own work.

Dale


#24

Three years ago I worked for a company that wanted the “ultimate” footprints.
We did a lot of research, bought expensive standards and reviewed everything built in the last decades. (phew!)

Every attempt failed when finally involving one of the pick-and-place fab houses. Even a simple 0805 could lead to a lot of discussions. And these discussions would start over again when a new pick-and-place machine was bought or staff changed.

Therefore it was actually surprising to find that the footprints of the past, with a lot of deviations, generally worked.

We ended up feeling that a footprint is like a spectrum. You easily have a decent one. It takes some effort to get one that is good for you. It is undo-able to get one that pleases everyone.
Undo-able meaning costing a disproportional amount of time and money.

I am with @Rene_Poschl on libraries. All I want is a high quality library as a starting point. From there I make my own footprints and put them in my private library.
I also must say: so far I am really impressed by the Kicad 5 libraries!

Beyond the starting point library I only want a decent footprint editor and library manager.
It seems however a library management tool is a bit like the last thing on the list. And I mean not just for Kicad.
For instance implementing a search tool really isn’t that difficult. So I think @EL84 has a point when he asks if it should be this hard.