KiCad

Werner Almesberger werner at almesberger.net
Sun Dec 1 06:24:07 EST 2013


Bas Wijnen wrote:
> What I'm talking about is what happens when zooming.

Oh, I see. I find panning to the "area of interest" actually quite
convenient. I'm using a mouse. Maybe it's different with other
input devices.

In any case, you can also turn it off in eeschema in
Preferences > Options > General Options >
Do not center and warp cursor on zoom
and in pcbnew in Preferences > General > Pan and Zoom >
Do not center and wrap cursor on zoom.

> I haven't actually looked at what's in there.  If it's easy to do, I'll
> just write a "new project"-script, which will add my libraries.

Yeah, that's an option, too. I'd include only the ones you really
need, though. Otherwise picking the right one to use can get
tedious.

> That sounds like something I want to do as well.

You may want to have a look at projects like ben-wpan or anelok.
They have fairly advanced makefiles. If the command-line options
still worked (or if you install an old enough version of KiCAD
where the patches still work), you can do lots of fun things with
just "make", e.g.,

- in ben-wpan/atben/

  make sch		invoke eeschema
  make front		generate properly flipped and filled
			Postscript of the front side for toner
			transfer, and also print it
  make overview		generate PNG with "photo-realistic" view
			of the PCB, like this:
  http://downloads.qi-hardware.com/people/werner/wpan/tmp/atusb-110330-overview.png

  If Boom still worked (or if I finally finished the complete
  rewrite), "make" fab would also generate file packages for the
  PCB and SMT fab, like the ones in here:

  http://downloads.qi-hardware.com/people/werner/wpan/fab/

- in anelok/hw/pcb/

  make			generate toolpaths (in RML-1) for
			CNC-drilling and milling the PCB
  make plot		preview those toolpaths
  make cng		move the mill around the work area, e.g.,
			for choosing its coordinates and for tool
			changes
  make drill		does as it says
  make mill		idem

- in anelok/cad/

  make			generate (among other things) a drawing
			of case features and dimensions, using
			positions from the layout

- in anelok/ybox/case/

  ./doit		generate toolpaths to mill the case,
			placing openings and such based on
			positions from the layout. "doit" is a
			wrapper for make, to have a place to
			keep a journal.
  ./doit plot		preview the toolpaths
  ./doit stl		make a 3D STL mesh
  ./doit view		show the mesh of the top part with Meshlab

> Do you have the name of this cern router?  Searching cern.ch for pcb
> router gives way too many hits.

All I have is this:
https://lists.launchpad.net/kicad-developers/msg11235.html

I'm a bit wary of their dependencies. I hope all that GAL stuff
doesn't mean they require closed video drivers.

> You do manual routing with pcbnew?  So far I didn't find it comfortable,
> mostly due to how hard it is to move traces once they are placed.

Yes, unless it's something trivial like dragging a node, I just
delete them and retry. If I make major changes and am afraid I may
not be able to figure out how I did it the last time, I keep a
screenshot of the previous solution.

This sounds awkward, but after a while you remember all the details
and "replaying" them is almost effortless. Also, DRC makes sure you
don't overlook any connections.

Of course, a good push router could improve that workflow
dramatically.

- Werner



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