Should we expect manufacturers to provide library assets for KiCad?

Sorry for little off-topic, but:
The manufacturers should become aware of the raising popularity of Kicad, and start providing Kicad compatible resources. I think we designers should provide them our requests.
IMO for Kicad to be the “de facto” standard software for the low+mid end of design needs is only the matter of time (Eagle used to carry that crown before).

Note by @Rene_Poschl: I split this from the original post as the off topic part got out of hand (Yes i am one of the reasons why this happend. Sorry)

It still does in the corporate world. And it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. (the costs of eagle are comparatively small to the costs of retraining your employees)

The fact that KiCad can import eagle will help a lot here. It allows companies to introduce a third option for people that design even fewer boards than the ones that get an eagle licence with still allowing them to have access to existing designs.

I observed this first hand over the last year. The most important guys had altium. The guys below that got eagle. The intern got KiCad. Both the groups who had an “expensive” licence needed to confirm every few months that they really need that licence. Some therefore switched from eagle to KiCad because they wanted to avoid these annoying mails. (Being able to open their own designs was key here)

This is already offtopic, maybe someone can move this to its own thread, but… did they miss Eagle? Would they have wanted to switch back?

The change of licensing model is a radical departure from what it was previously (perpetual license). Would you risk your business model, not being sure if you’ll be able to use your key tool next year? Or anytime the subscription will expire?
What will prevent changing the fee from $99 to $999, if you’re locked with your design?
And probably Eagle was never considered a “corporate tool”, at least not in my country.
Here most medium-to-large companies do use Altium.
Eagle was used by smaller entrepreneurs, but it’s possible that it was adopted in bigger businesses as well somewhere else.

The people who switched where the ones who had a hard time to justify why they even had a licence. (They needed eagle once or twice a year. Possibly never)

Off topic, but I understand Eagle has been rolled into Fusion360 and is no longer licensed separately. The cheapest commercial license for Fusion360 is something like $500 per year. I think there is still a free license for private users.

I guess there might be another small influx of ex-Eagle users to KiCad.

I don’t doubt that eagle will lose users to KiCad.

I just hope that it does not happen before KiCad can really replace at least the current eagle feature set as i fear that users will be disappointed and run back to eagle otherwise. No matter the costs.

As an example: I would argue that KiCad is not yet ready to be used for flexible board design as it is missing hatched fill and rounded traces. I am aware that current nightly has already support for some parts of this and v6 will hopefully have everything needed. (But v6 is still some time away and i would not suggest somebody whose livelihood depends on the software to use a nightly.)

Speaking about libraries provided by components manufacturers, I don’t think supporting private users will be in their focus. However they might care for small and medium enterprises - that’s where I can imagine Kicad’s future potential.

Which is exactly the reason we shouldn’t just knee jerk run them off as ‘spammers’ when they post here. We need to develop working relationships.


PCB manufacturers != part manufacturers :wink: (A PCB manufacturer is unlikely to have assets for us. And they have much more reasons to support KiCad as their business is much more directly impacted by tool support)

When did that happen? AFAIR when Digikey posted here they got a positive response regarding their parts library. I don’t recall any other parts vendor posting here, tbh, but in general requests for file formats etc are usually given a helpful response, as far as we can.

OTOH, companies whose idea of a “working relationship” is no more than them posting adverts for their services here, are not, IMO contributing much useful to this forum. I suppose if there was a “Commercial” category it would be tolerable.

The discord forum does not really allow for having separate boards. So while we can have a separate category posts in such a section would still be mixed in with normal user posts. Which means if such a section gets traction then we will no longer see user posts. (I have voiced similar concerns back when we discussed allowing questions about general electronics design)

I thought this forum software is called Discourse?

The advantage for me of a Commercial tag is that I can just ignore any of those posts, rather than thinking “I wonder if this is something interesting I can help with?”

It also makes it less of a nuclear option to move such posts to that category, rather than flag/delete them.

I’ve suggested a tag similar to the developers. These things are more evolutionary in nature and it will probably just take time to develop.

Yes sorry, had the wrong english word in my head.

You folks talk about talk about Altium being the high end; I think of that of that crown belonging to Cadence/Allegro. The company who makes most of the Server and PC processor chips in the world uses Cadence to design at least their server computers, as of the last that I know. You need a pickup truck to carry all of the manuals. (Exaggerating). But in my exposure to Cadence at a different company, the footprints were made by CAD librarians who were located in the Philipines. Individual board designers were not trusted to do that. This means that any new design, no matter how small and urgent would require 2-3 days if it required new footprints.

I consulted with a very small company which used Altium. I have not been exposed to Eagle but I think it flew off with my mouse so bought a trackball. :slight_smile:

But anyway I was wondering how many KiCad users are using KiCad for their day jobs.

1 Like

What exactly do you want from them?
Many of them give step-files which can be imported in most EDA programs, including KiCAD. They also give a drawing of the holes or pads for a footprint, tell you how big the pads/holes should be. It is easy to create a footprint from that. You can draw on F.SilkS and F.Fab whatever you want, then you can also make sure that all lines have the same thickness, the same distance between F.SilkS and F.Cu and that the pad names are consistent between all parts.
You have to create your own schematic symbol for most non-trivial part anyway. For example, put pins you use as output on the left and inputs on the right.

So i do not see what you want from them and why. Could you be more specific?

This part of the discussion was split from another one. The forum user @maui posted a screenshot of the wuerth electronic site that shows that wuerth offers ready made footprints (and symbols) for eagle, altium and cadence.

I agree that it is trivial to make library assets but it still takes more time than downloading a finished library from the manufacturer. Especially if you know you can trust the assets provided by that manufacturer (The eagle libs for wuerth are very well made.)

If you can’t see why people would want to save time having other people do tedious work, I don’t think answering that question will help!


9 posts were split to a new topic: Using eagle footprint libs with KiCad