Beginner's Guide to KiCad

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Contributors: Nate
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Introduction

If you’re like me and you’ve decided to take the plunge from EAGLE PCB to KiCad it can be really jarring. EAGLE had many quirks and rough edges that I’m sure I cursed when I first learned it back in 2005. Since then EAGLE has become a second language to me and I’ve forgotten all the hard bits. So as you migrate to KiCad remember to take breaks and breathe (and say ‘Key-CAD’ in your head). You’ll be dreaming in KiCad in no time!

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This tutorial will walk you through a KiCad example project from schematic capture to PCB layout. We’ll also touch on library linking, editing, and creation. We’ll also export our PCB to gerbers so the board can be fabricated.

While this tutorial is aimed at beginners I am going to use terms such as ‘schematic components’ and ‘polygon pours’. If something doesn’t make sense that’s ok, just take a moment to do a quick search. If you really get stuck please use the comments section on the right. We always want to improve our tutorials to make them easier.