I’ve been looking at Eagle and KiCAD, trying to decide which one is worth the investment of my time. Right now, KiCAD is coming out ahead, despite the tremendous popularity of Eagle. I like KiCAD because there is no board size limit, and the footprints aren’t tied to the part numbers (being somewhat anal, I like to design my own, thank you very much!)
So- I’m prolly gonna go for KiCAD. I’m interested in hearing from users out there- pro and con.
(CAD or not, though, I’ll NEVER give up my quadrille-ruled Lab Notebooks!)
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I’m an Eagle user, learning most of it through work projects on the company full license, so I never ran into board constraints. That being said, the result of Farnell’s acquisition of Cadsoft is still up in the air. At this point, it can go one of two ways, either for the better or the worse.
KiCAD is a true eCAD tool, exporting to gerbers is there as it has to be.
I prefer KiCAD for one major reason. The file format is open source. Why are we using closed source tools for open source projects?
I have other minor annoyances with Eagle (I’m a pro, so I’m used to OrCAD and the such), but that’s a personal preference thing, so I won’t bother.
I have been laying out PCB’s for quite a while. I have used a number of PC based tools. One place I worked had a few copies of Eagle to try, but our main tool was Protel 99SE and then Altium Designer. The copies of Eagle that we had seeme to cost almost as much as Protel When I went to a new company that did not have any tools, I selected Kicad. I was able to get the job done with the help of tutorials and the Kicad Yahoo Group.
There is not any board package that I have used that does not have problems that they should not have. On Kicad, I like the fact that I can import and export dxf. I like the fact that the databases are ascii and I can edit them to do what the package can’t do i.e. make a mounting hole with no copper. I would also like to identify whether holes are plated or not and I would like to be able to include copper traces in footprints (modules). Kicad is fairly easy to build parts in, which is good because I have learned by disaster not to use pre-built symbols on the pcb. It is also essential for me that the package generate extended gerber output so I don’t have to fool with aperture files. Kicad does not do a good job drawing arcs. They only go counterclockwise and they cannot be started and stopped at any angle.