KiCad like a Pro
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KiCad like a Pro

Learn the World’s Favourite Open Source PCB Electronic Design Automation tool and make your own professional PCBs!
Bestselling
4.7 (292 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,478 students enrolled
Created by Peter Dalmaris
Last updated 4/2017
English
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Current price: $10 Original price: $50 Discount: 80% off
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Includes:
  • 7.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • Basic understanding of electronic circuits
  • Ability to create simple circuits on a breadboard
  • Ability to install new software on a computer
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.

Who 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!
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 72 Lectures Collapse All 72 Lectures 07:50:50
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About this course
2 Lectures 07:17

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.

Preview 04:11

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

Preview 03:06
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Kicad basics
8 Lectures 48:21

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.

Section introduction
00:55

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.

Installation for Windows
03:58

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).

Installation for Mac OS X
04:20

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.

Kicad main components
06:54

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

Documentation and help
05:23

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.

Preview 12:15

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

The PCB design process using Kicad
06:42

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

Fabrication
07:54

End of section quiz
5 questions
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Project 1: an nRF24 breakout
16 Lectures 01:34:41

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.

Section introduction
01:14

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

Create a new project
07:15

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.

The Schematic
04:54

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.

How to create a schematic component
12:49

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

Preview 03:44

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

Annotating
01:37

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.

Doing an ERC check
02:09

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.

Associations with Cvpcb
05:44

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.

Create a custom footprint with the Footprint Editor
17:54

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

Saving new footprint in new library
03:38

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

Associate the nRF24 part with the new footprint
02:50

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).

Netlist
08:47

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

Component footprint placement
04:42

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

Edge cuts and 3D view
06:03

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

Wiring
06:36

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

Labels
04:45

End of section quiz
4 questions
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Project 1: Enhancing the design
7 Lectures 35:45

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.

Section introduction
00:52

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

Add a capacitor to the schematic in Eeschema
07:48

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

Update Pcbnew with the new netlist
05:26

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

A walk-through the OpenGL Canvas
03:38

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

Controlling the track width
07:30

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

Track width calculator
03:24

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

Copper fills
07:07

End of section quiz
3 questions
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Project 1: fabricating the PCB
4 Lectures 24:15

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.

Section introduction
00:36

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.

Create the Gerber files and upload to fabricator
08:11

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

Add a decorative graphic
11:11

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/)

A few weeks later I have a parcel!
04:17
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Project 2: a seven-segment display
15 Lectures 01:22:15

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.

Section introduction
01:06

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.

Create the schematic with Eeschema
07:29

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

Create nets and add labels
07:38

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

Hidden pins and Power Flags
05:05

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

Using busses to create readable schematics
06:44

In this lecture, I introduce the Unconnected component.

The Unconnected component
01:39

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.

Associate components with footprints
08:15

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

Create a 2-layer PCB in Pcbnew
09:44

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.

Controlling wire width with nets
13:07

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

Another look at OpenGL
03:07

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

Copper fills for VCC and GND
03:59

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

Add text labels
02:28

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

Creating a graphic to decorate your PCB
07:02

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

Export the Gerber files
04:52

PCBs received
4 pages

End of section quiz
5 questions
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Project 3: a 16-led display with shift registers
13 Lectures 01:40:27

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).

Section introduction
01:00

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

Sneak preview: what will this board look like in the end?
01:20

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

The circuit
02:33

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

Create the schematic in Eeschema
08:21

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

Schematic Wiring, Part 1
19:00

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

Schematic Wiring, Part 2
04:46

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.

Associate components with footprints
05:55

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

Create the PCB in Pcbnew
16:15

In this lecture, we will do the wiring.

Layout Wiring (Pcbnew)
25:02

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

Add copper fills for ground and VCC nets
02:42

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

Add text labels and decorative graphics
09:32

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

Export Gerber files
04:01

PCBs received
4 pages

End of section quiz
1 question
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Importing third-party libraries
3 Lectures 21:39

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.

Third party library sources
09:57

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.

Importing third-party schematic components
05:20

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.

Importing third-party footprint modules
06:22
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Hierarchical sheets
2 Lectures 39:16

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.

Using hierarchical sheets to expand the 16-LED project in Eeschema
18:22

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.

Layout and wiring of the expanded 16-LED project in Pcbnew
20:54
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Conclusion
2 Lectures 09:20

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

What's next?
01:57

Other educational content from Peter, including coupon offers
07:23
About the Instructor
Peter Dalmaris
4.5 Average rating
3,844 Reviews
37,806 Students
12 Courses
Tech Explorer

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