KiCad like a Pro

Learn the World’s Favourite Open Source PCB Electronic Design Automation tool and make your own professional PCBs!
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  • Lectures 72
  • Length 8 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2015 English

Course Description

This course is designed to teach you how to use KiCad assuming no prior knowledge in PCB design. My objective is to help you reach a high level of competency.

You will be able to create any PCB that an Arduino or general electronics enthusiast can dream of.

To achieve this, I have organized this course around three projects. With each project, I introduce several new KiCad features and extend your skill set.

The ability to create a custom PCB is a core skill of an electronics enthusiast. Without the ability to create a custom PCB, your breadboard-based projects are doomed to oblivion.

Learning how to use KiCad will make you a better maker because you will be able to create custom PCBs for your best designs, and as a result you will ensure that they realise their full potential.

What are the requirements?

  • Basic understanding of electronic circuits
  • Ability to create simple circuits on a breadboard
  • Ability to install new software on a computer

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Design high-quality PCBs
  • Understand the KiCad design process
  • Use a fabrication service to order professionally PCBs
  • Understand that trade-offs and limitations of PCB design software
  • Design a PCB while keeping manufacturing costs to a minimum

What is the target audience?

  • Anyone interested in electronics
  • People that wish to move their project beyond the breadboard
  • Makes who wish to go past the prototyping stage for their projects
  • Everyone is welcome!

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: About this course
04:11

This course is designed for electronics hobbyists and people new to electronics. T

he 3 projects are on topics familiar with people who have some experience working with the Arduino prototyping platform.

We will not spend any time looking at the functionality of the boards that we will build. In this course we are only concerned with designing the boards, and take their functionality for granted.

03:06

In this lecture I describe the structure of this course. Please watch it so that you know what is coming up!

Section 2: Kicad basics
00:55

In section 2, I discuss KiCad basics: how to set it up on your computer, it's main components, where to find help.

I also talk about the PCB, the process of designing one with KiCad, and where to get your boards made.

03:58

In this lecture, I show you how to install KiCad on a Windows computer. The process for the Mac OS X is very similar and is covered in the next lecture.

04:20

In this lecture, I show you how to install KiCad on Mac OS X.

Note that in the remainder of the course I will be using the Windows version. This is not a problem since KiCad works the same on all supported platforms (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux).

06:54

In this lecture, I give you an overview of KiCad's main components:

* Eeschema,
* Pcbnew,
* Cvpcb,
* the schematic library editor,
* and the PCB footprint editor.

05:23

In this lecture I show you the main sources of KiCad documentation, and where to go for help.

12:15

In this lecture I discuss PCBs: what is a PCB, how it is made.

I discuss topics such as the substrate, traces, vias, pads, soldermask, silkscreen, types of platting.

06:42

In this lecture, I walk you through the PCB design process using KiCad.

07:54

In this lecture I briefly discuss some of the fabrication options that are available online.

End of section quiz
5 questions
Section 3: Project 1: an nRF24 breakout
01:14

This is the introduction to Project 1. In this project, you will design a single-layer PCB and learn a great deal of KiCad's features, as well as the entire design process.

07:15

In this lecture, I show you the process of creating a new project. I also describe the basic features and functions of Eeschema.

04:54

I this lecture, we will create a new schematic. I will show you how to find components in the library and set up their properties.

12:49

What happens if the part you need does not exist in the schematic library? You make it!

In this lecture I will show you how.

03:44

In this lecture I will show you how to connect the components in Eeschema with wires.

01:37

In this lecture, I will show you how to use the annotation tool to automatically annotate the parts in the schematic.

02:09

With the schematic complete, do an Electric Rules Check to make sure there are no errors. In this lecture I will show you how to do the ERC and how to deal with common errors.

05:44

With the schematic done, we now need to associate the schematic components with a footprint. These footprints will represent the components in the final PCB design.

In this lecture I will show you how to do the associations.

17:54

One of the components in the schematic does not have an appropriate footprint, so we need to create one.

In this lecture, I will show you how to create a custom footprint.

03:38

In this lecture I will show you how to save the new footprint to a new library and make it available for use.

02:50

In this lecture I will show you how to associate the nRF24 schematic part with the new footprint.

08:47

In this lecture I will show you how to create a netlist. This file is the link between the schematic editor (Eescema) and the layout editor (Pcbnew).

04:42

In this lecture I will show you how to import the netlist file to Pcbnew and layout the components on the canvas.

06:03

In this lecture I will show you how to create the PCB edge cut, which defines the border of the board.

06:36

In this lecture I will show you how to connect the pins of the footprints with wires.

04:45

In this lecture I will show you how to add text labels to the PCB layout.

End of section quiz
4 questions
Section 4: Project 1: Enhancing the design
00:52

In this section we will improve the PCB design by adding a bypass capacitor and making the power tracks wider than the other signal tracks.

07:48

In this lecture I will show you how to add a bypass capacitor to the existing design. We'll start with Eeschema.

05:26

In this lecture, I will show you how to import the updated schematic component (the capacitor) to Pcbnew.

03:38

In this lecture, I will show you a few nice things to know relating to the OpenGL version of the Pcbnew canvas.

07:30

In this lecture I will show you how to manually control the width of a track.

03:24

In this lecture I will show you how to calculate the minimum width of a track based on its current requirements and other parameters.

07:07

In this lecture, I will show you how to add copper fills to your board.

End of section quiz
3 questions
Section 5: Project 1: fabricating the PCB
00:36

In this section, we'll prepare the new board for manufacturing by exporting Gerber files. Then, we'll upload the files to OSHPark for manufacturing.

08:11

In this section I'll show you how to export the necessary Gerber files (each one describing the layout of one of your board's layers), test them, and then upload to OSHPark.

If you wish to include a decorative graphic to make your board look cool, don't upload yet, instead watch the next lecture first.

11:11

In this lecture I will show you how to add a decorative graphic to the bottom silkscreen layer of your PCB.

04:17

Around three weeks later (I am in Australia, things take a while to get here), I received a parcel from OSHPark with the PCBs I ordered.

Let's have a look at them.

Free Music Archive: Stellardrone - Light Years (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Stellardrone/Light_Years_1227/)

Section 6: Project 2: a seven-segment display
01:06

In this section we will work on the second PCB project in this course. We'll build a board that contains a seven segment display driven by a shift register, that also contains resistors and a capacitor.

07:29

In this lecture I will show you how to create the schematic. I introduce the concepts of Nets and Labels to make the schematic more manageable.

07:38

In this lecture, I show you how to do the wiring in the schematic diagram using labels.

05:05

In this lecture I introduce hidden pins and the Power Flag component.

06:44

In this lecture, I will show you how to create a data bus in order to simplify wiring in Eeschema.

01:39

In this lecture, I introduce the Unconnected component.

08:15

In this lecture, we will associate the schematic components with their footprints, and then generate the netlist.

!!! PLEASE NOTICE !!!

In Kicad 4, the library names have changed, slightly. The library that now contains the DIP 16 package is Housings_DIP.

09:44

In this lecture, we will import the netlist file into Pcbnew and layout the board.

13:07

In this lecture we will do the wiring in Pcbnew. In particular, I'll show you how to use nets to automatically get KiCad to assign the appropriate width to each wire.

03:07

In this lecture, I give you another view of what you can do with the OpenGL canvas.

03:59

In this lecture I will show you how to add Vcc GND copper fills to the top and bottom copper layers.

02:28

In this lecture, we will add text labels to the board.

07:02

In this lecture, I will show you how to add a decorative graphic to the bottom silkscreen layer of your PCB.

04:52

In this layer, I will show you how to export the Gerber files, test them, and upload the Gerber archive to OSHPark for manufacturing.

PCBs received
4 pages
End of section quiz
5 questions
Section 7: Project 3: a 16-led display with shift registers
01:00

In this section, we will design the third PCB for this course. This PCB will contain 16 LED, 16 resistors, 2 shift registers, a capacitor and a connector. All of the components except for the connector will be surface mounted (SMD).

01:20

In this lecture, I will show you what the final PCB from this project will look like.

02:33

In this lecture I will show you the circuit on which the PCB in this section is based.

08:21

In this lecture, we will start working on the PCB schematic in Eescema.

19:00

In this lecture, we will work on the wiring of the components in Eeschema.

04:46

In this lecture, we will complete the wiring in the schematic editor.

05:55

In this lecture, we will associate the schematic components with their footprints. We will use surface-mounted components (SMD) for all components except for the connector.

At the end, we'll export the netlist file.

16:15

In this lecture, we will import the netlist file into Pcbnew and do the layout of the footprints.

25:02

In this lecture, we will do the wiring.

02:42

In this lecture, we will add copper fills for the Vcc and GND signals, on the top and bottom layer of the board.

09:32

In this lecture, we will add text labels on the top layer and a decorative graphic on the bottom silkscreen layer.

04:01

In this lecture, we will export the Gerber files, test them, and upload them to OSHPark for fabrication.

PCBs received
4 pages
End of section quiz
1 question
Section 8: Importing third-party libraries
09:57

In this lecture I discuss sources of third-party schematic and footprint libraries. Whatever schematic or footprint you need, there is a good chance that someone has already designed it and made it available to the community.

The sources I present in this lecture is where I find (almost) all the parts I need for my Kicad work.

05:20

In this lecture I show you how to install a third-party schematic component in Eeschema.

Once you have a library installed, you can use it in your schematic as you normally do with the build-in or custom-made components.

06:22

In this lecture, I show you how to install a third-party footprint module to Pcbnew. Once a footprint has been installed, you can use it just like any of the built-in or custom-made footprints.

Section 9: Hierarchical sheets
18:22

Hierarchical sheets is a good way to deal with larger and/or more complex schematics. You can use hierarchical sheets to split schematics across multiple pages, with each page holding a small part of the schematic.

In this lecture, I will show you how to use hierarchical sheets by expanding the circuit for the 16-LED project.

In the next lecture, I will show you how to edit the PCB layout in Pcbnew to accomodate for the additional components from the updated schematic.

In this and the following lectures, I will also show you a few other Kicad features and techniques: how to copy part of a schematic across sheets, how to lock footprints, and how to get Kicad to automatically arrange new footprints on the board.

20:54

In this lecture I will finish the reworking of the 16-LED project.

I will show you how to add the additional components of the 24-LED schematic into the PCB, using Pcbnew.

Section 10: Conclusion
01:57

Congradulations for completing this course. So, what's next?

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Instructor Biography

Peter Dalmaris is an electronics hobbyist and Maker, creator of eight online video courses on DIY electronics and author of three technical books. 

As a Chief Tech Explorer since 2013 at Tech Explorations, the company he founded in Sydney, Australia, Peter’s mission is to explore technology and help educate the world. 

A life-long learner, Peter’s core skill is in explaining difficult concepts through video and text. With over 15 years in tertiary teaching experience, Peter has developed a simple yet comprehensive style in teaching that students from all around the world appreciate. 

His passion for technology and in particular for the world of DIY open source hardware has been a powerful driver that has guided his own personal development and his work through Tech Explorations.

Peter’s current online courses have helped over 30,000 people from around the world to be better Makers. His video courses include:

* Arduino Step by Step: Your Complete Guide

* Advanced Arduino Boards and Tools

* Raspberry Pi: Full Stack

* Raspberry Pi: Make a Workbench Automation Computer

* Kicad Like a Pro

* The Electronics Workbench: A Setup Guide

* Arduino Fun: Make a High Tech Remote Controlled Car

* Beginning Arduino: Make a environment monitor system

Peter’s books are:

* Kicad Like a Pro: Learn the World’s Favourite Open Source PCB Electronic Design Automation tool

* Raspberry Pi: Full Stack: A whirlwind tour of full-stack web application development on the Raspberry Pi

* Arduino: a comprehensive starting up guide for complete beginners


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