Progress through "Introduction to KiCad and FreeCAD" course from Anool at Hackaday U. https://hackaday.io/project/172360-introduction-to-kicad-and-freecad
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Kevin Cole f0ecc928b0
- Create a Blender version
4 days ago
3D - Create a Blender version 4 days ago
bom - Mess in progress... 2 weeks ago
plots/Gerber - Mess in progress... 2 weeks ago
tiny_blinky.pretty - Mess in progress... 2 weeks ago
README.md - Create a Blender version 4 days ago
fp-info-cache - Mess in progress... 2 weeks ago
fp-lib-table - A snapshot taken after the end of the second class. 3 weeks ago
power_supply.sch - Mess in progress... 2 weeks ago
sym-lib-table - Mess in progress... 2 weeks ago
tiny_blinky-cache.dcm - A snapshot taken after the end of the second class. 3 weeks ago
tiny_blinky-cache.lib - A snapshot taken after the end of the second class. 3 weeks ago
tiny_blinky.cmp - Mess in progress... 2 weeks ago
tiny_blinky.dcm - A snapshot taken after the end of the second class. 3 weeks ago
tiny_blinky.kicad_pcb - Class 4: Completed. (Now time to start Take 2 from scratch.) 1 week ago
tiny_blinky.kicad_pcb-bak - Class 4: Finished 1 week ago
tiny_blinky.lib - A snapshot taken after the end of the second class. 3 weeks ago
tiny_blinky.net - Mess in progress... 2 weeks ago
tiny_blinky.pro - Mess in progress... 2 weeks ago
tiny_blinky.sch - Mess in progress... 2 weeks ago

README.md

Hackaday U: Introduction to KiCad and FreeCAD

2020.07.06

The Introduction to KiCad and FreeCAD announcement page has a gallery of images as well as other useful tidbits like prerequisites.

Hand-drawn schematic

  • Start kicad and create a New Project named tiny_blinky. This creates a directory named /tiny_blinky/ with three files:

      -rw-rw-r-- 1   51 Jul  6 19:38 tiny_blinky.kicad_pcb
      -rw-r--r-- 1  688 Jul  6 19:38 tiny_blinky.pro
      -rw-rw-r-- 1   72 Jul  6 19:38 tiny_blinky.sch
    
  • The .pro is the project file and references the other two -- .sch I would guess is the schematic and .kicad_pcb the printed circuit board.

  • The icons in the main window are listed from left to right in the order of use, sayeth our instructor.

    1. eeschema - Schematic Layout Editor
    2. LibEdit (?) - Symbol Editor
    3. Pcbnew - PCB Layout Editor
    4. ModEdit (?) - Footprint Editor
    5. GerbView - Gerber Viewer - to verify designs before shipping
    6. Bitmap to Component Converter - to create custom logos on the board
    7. PCB Calculator - several calculators, actually
    8. PlEditor - Page Layout Editor
  • Our instructor sets Prefrences -> Configure Paths altering the system-wide default install paths KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR, KISYSMOD and KISYS3DMOD, which appear to correspond to symbols, footprints and packages3D respectively.

Environment Variable Path (/usr/share/kicad/...) Purpose
KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR .../library symbols
KISYSMOD .../modules footprints
KISYS3DMOD .../modules/packages3d packages3D
KICAD_USER_TEMPLATE_DIR ~/kicad/template ???
  • I really don’t want to pollute system space with stuff not managed by a package manager. On closer examination of the default paths that came with KiCad, it seems the footprints are actually modules and the packages3d are a special class of module, contained in a subdirectory of the footprints directory. And for consistency, I’ve changed KICAD_USER_TEMPLATE_DIR too. So my overrides are:
Environment Variable Path (~/.config/kicad/...) Purpose
KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR .../library symbols
KISYSMOD .../modules footprints
KISYS3DMOD .../modules/packages3d packages3D
KICAD_USER_TEMPLATE_DIR .../template ???
  • Why the above? Because, unlike the symbols, footprints, and 3D information, scripts -- apparently -- do NOT have a configurable path and MUST be in a specific subdirectory of either ~/.kicad/ or ~/.config/kicad/. I like ~/.config/ better.

  • In eeschema use the second icon from the left (at the top) to Edit Page Settings. I’m tempted to edit the page size from A4 to Letter but if we’re working in millimeters, I may be better off with A4.

  • And a curious thing: On the “paper” the comments appear in reverse(?) order: Comment 2 appears above Comment 1.

  • He does not have all of his symbol libraries enabled and had to enable via Preferences -> Manage Symbol Libraries. Mine were all already enabled.

  • Typing ATtiny85 lists several. We want the DIP-8 (8-pin) which is ATtiny85-20PU.

  • His symbol chooser shows a footprint preview in addition to the schematic symbol. I had to turn that on via:

        Preferences ->
          Preferences ->
            Eeschema ->
              [X] Show footprint previews in symbol chooser.
  • sw push finds SW_Push a Push button switch, generic, two pins.

  • r (or right click and choose) to rotate the switch clockwise.

  • [SPACE] sets the dx and dy relative coordinates for a given component, to 0. This makes it easy to align other components to 0,y or x,0 and have them line up vertically or horizontally.

  • Eventually, he gets around to telling us he’s using IMPERIAL coordinates. Nnnnaturally! (I probably should have noticed sooner.) I’m finally getting used to doing tech work in millimeters and now we go backwards. Damn. But if that’s what the manufacturers use, well I guess I’m stuck with it. It still begs the question: Should I have also started out by specifying a Page Layout using US Letter 8.5” x 11” rather than the A4 paper size in mm?

  • Annotate numbers all the parts at once. Very quick.

  • We associated the cached symbols as a project-specific library in the preferences.

  • The symbol icon on the right toolbar is for placing symbols The symbol icon on the top toolbar is for editing symbols.

  • When all is said and done from Lesson 1, we have:

      -rw-rw-r-- 1  2932943 Jul  6 19:58 fp-info-cache
      -rw-rw-r-- 1     3187 Jul  6 23:34 power_supply.sch
      -rw-rw-r-- 1     2683 Jul  6 23:26 power_supply.sch-bak
      -rw-rw-r-- 1      219 Jul  7 07:37 sym-lib-table
      -rw-rw-r-- 1    54993 Jul  6 23:49 tiny_blinky.pdf
      -rw-rw-r-- 1       48 Jul  7 07:45 tiny_blinky.bck
      -rw-rw-r-- 1     6686 Jul  7 07:45 tiny_blinky-cache.bck
      -rw-rw-r-- 1       48 Jul  7 07:45 tiny_blinky-cache.dcm
      -rw-rw-r-- 1     6596 Jul  7 07:45 tiny_blinky-cache.lib
      -rw-rw-r-- 1       48 Jul  7 07:45 tiny_blinky.dcm
      -rw-rw-r-- 1       51 Jul  6 19:38 tiny_blinky.kicad_pcb
      -rw-rw-r-- 1     2424 Jul  7 07:45 tiny_blinky.lib
      -rw-r--r-- 1      881 Jul  6 23:50 tiny_blinky.pro
      -rw-rw-r-- 1     7457 Jul  6 23:34 tiny_blinky.sch
      -rw-rw-r-- 1     7457 Jul  6 23:26 tiny_blinky.sch-bak
    
  • Notes: KiCad + FreeCAD Class 1


2020.07.14

  • I don’t know what he’s talking about regarding the improved bus stuff he refers to as being in the notes from class 1 above.

  • logo_hacdc.lib and logo_hacdc.kicad_mod are located in ~/Learn/Electronics/KiCad/ and generated from an unscaled logo_168.png.


2020.08.08 KJC

Importing to Blender!

Anool tweeted:

I just started learning Blender this week after putting it off for over 5 years. TL;DR

  • Export WRL from KiCad
  • Use http://cadexchanger.com to convert WRL > DAE (collada)
  • Import DAE in Blender and setup lighting, layer colors etc.