Seeking new official KiCad demo designs

Hi all,

We’re looking for a few good designs to add to the official KiCad demo collection for the V6 release.
The demo collection is part of the KiCad source tree and is distributed with every KiCad installation. Our existing demos were designed a long time ago, and so they are a bit behind the times in terms of use of KiCad features as well as component selection.

We are particularly interested in designs that make use of new features in the nightly builds, such as custom design rules, arc tracks, hatched zones, new bus features, and the like. But in general, we are looking for designs that showcase KiCad in ways that the existing demos do not.

The requirements for designs to be considered are:

  • The design must be complete, that is, not a work-in-progress*
  • The design must be open-source and licensed under a GPLv3-compatible license such as CC BY-SA
  • The original creator of the design must support its inclusion in KiCad.

*at least, the design should look complete – it does not need to be a tested/proven design in the real world

If you have a design that you think would be a good candidate, please contact me or @Seth_h directly. We may not be able to accept every submission as we only need a few new ones, but even if we don’t add your design to the demos folder, we encourage you to add it to the Made with KiCad portion of the website!

Thank you!

8 Likes

Would this qualify? It has curvy bits. Currently in production (PCBA) at PCBWay. I’ve asked them to take a pic of the resulting board to share here.

8 Likes

They sent me some board pictures:

4 Likes

Neat layout, good job!

Would you be interested in this board?

256 WS2812B LEDs arranged in Fermat’s Spiral layout, under CC-BY license:

1 Like

Gosh I need to squint just looking at this photo. I suppose you think it is a bright idea? How many watts is it? :slight_smile:

Which v5.99/v6 new features this demonstrates?

bright idea

Nice pun! Full brightness is ~75 watts (60ma / LED * 256), but I guess it won’t last for long unless you use Aluminum core PCB

Nothing too fancy, though I have a version with some Fillet Track just for the sake of art :slight_smile:

It may be a good way to showcase KiCad’s scriptability, since most of the schematic and the design was generated by Python scripts (which I’m happy to contribute as well)

1 Like

Wow that must be similar lumens to my 300W Halogen torchier lamp.

To get some idea, I believe it should be more or less the same as this one.

I’m still waiting for the actual board from the factory, so I can just assume…

What was your experience like with the scripting interface? I’ve been using it extensively and I’ve been thinking about creating a small usability wrapper around it until the big API bindings update (which I think is now slated for v7).

The “proper” name for "Aluminimum core PCB’s is “IMS” (Insulated Metal Substrate)
https://html.duckduckgo.com/html?q=insulated+metal+substrate

And this is very good for heat dissipation, and for mounting on bigger heatsinks, but it also has some serious limitations.
It’s only a single layer of tracks, and no via’s. The PCB’s are also difficult to solder because the heat gets sucked into the aluminimum.

What was your experience like with the scripting interface?

The scripting interface was pretty straightforward to use. Things I’m missing:

  • Better documentation (so I won’t have to use dir() all the time)
  • Not having to hit F9/F11 every time to see my changes
  • Some API for the interactive router? Ideally, something like: I want to go from point (pad) A to B, please find a path for me.
  • Scripting for Eeschema (right now I just write the .sch file directly from a script)

Nice to have (at least for this kind of project):

  • Some basic vector operations (like rotation or multiplying a vector by scalar)
  • Ability to group objects and to transform the groups. So for instance, I’d be able to create a group, add several modules/tracks/vias to it, and then translate/rotate it. That could have been a huge timer saver in this project!

If you want to take a look, I published everything on GitHub: the board schematic and layout, and the two scripts that aided me in creating them:

It’s only a single layer of tracks, and no via’s. The PCB’s are also difficult to solder because the heat gets sucked into the aluminimum.

Good point about the solderability, I haven’t thought about that. As for the layers, I actually found some mfgs produce 2-layer boards (e.g. PCBWay). So I guess it’s only a matter of paying enough :slight_smile: