Should we expect manufacturers to provide library assets for KiCad?

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.

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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

I don’t think it saves time, that is my point. You need to spend time controlling everything, make sure everything is consistent with the other footprints you use, change it accordingly, check if it works this way for your assembler and so on.

I am the only one who never uses premade footprints?

Do you not even use the KiCad official libraries?

Even if you personally never use premade footprints, it doesn’t mean that everyone else should follow your workflow. Also, I can’t see that if manufacturers provided KiCad footprints, it would in any way affect you, so it is a moot point anyway.

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Using eagle footprint libs with KiCad

Lots of EDA users consider their tool valuable if the available library is large (built-in and easily expandable using ready made design resources).
To such users, ready symbols and footprints provided by part manufacturer may appear useful.
If you can get these resources for Altium or Eagle, why not for Kicad?
I personally don’t use ready made footprints nor symbols (except for trivial parts like r, l, c, d, t) - i do have my own library, but I know there are many who do use these.

Yeah but that fails the NIH test. (That stands for “Not Invented Here”, not “National Institute of Health”). :smiley:
Seriously I never like the public footprints for my hand soldering.

Well this might be because most of them are not meant for hand soldering. (Only a few footprints like the standard resistor footprints exist in a hand soldering variation that has increased toe fillets)


In addition to widening the footprint in the dimension along which the pins extend, I also like to make the corner pads fatter. This helps in two ways:

  1. More room for the soldering iron tip on the corner pads which I will typically solder first.
  2. When positioning the IC on the pads, this reduces the tendency of the pins to “fall down” into the unplated areas between the pads.

I really think that providing parts and footprints is NOT the role of parts manufacturers. I would expect from them to provide only the 3D model (*.step).
The schematic representation is highly dependent on YOUR WAY of drawing schematics. When some users draw all pins as in physical part (I hate that), others will group them by category. If I use an STM32F4xx for camera acquisition system, I would prefer to have all pins related to DCMI (camera capture data) grouped, instead of having pins grouped by PORTxx number.
For footprints, the problem is the same. When you create a footprint for hand soldering of QFN for example, you would want to make the pins longer than recommanded pattern (idem for SSOP packages). When you use oven soldering at home with low cost manufactured PCB, you would ask your manufacturer to narrow a little bit the holes in the stencil and you would narrow a little bit the pins pattern from manufucaturer recommanded pattern, because you know you’ll put a little bit more solder paste than expected and this can lead to short circuits when you do assembly at home.
You need to see building PCBs process as a whole process with all its phases tightly linked to each other and not as a set of separate theroretically perfect input=>output.

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Because KiCad is free, I think your argument is reasonable. (So therefore everyone working on the project can use full functioning software.) However in my most recent consulting job the pcb designer (not me) used DX Designer. His schematic symbols (for a 32 pin switching voltage regulator IC) had the pins “all over the map” (at least by my logic.) Viewing gerber files and a .pdf of the schematic, I had to search for IC pin 17, etc. on the schematic. It made my job of checking over the gerber files significantly more difficult. If the schematic had the IC pins arranged in actual order it would have been much easier.

But I have a counter-argument also. For example an LM324 quad op amp or maybe a multiple-gate logic chip. For that I want to see the individual op amp or gate logic symbols with pin numbers on the individual symbols. I suppose it might be OK if the op amp or logic symbols are superimposed on a package representation with all of the pins connected correctly…but that would make for a messy schematic.

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