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KiCad 3D rendering

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Some of you may know that I am a big fan of KiCad, a free PCB design tool.

 

One of the areas in which KiCad was lagging behind other tools like Eagle was visualization of created PCBs with components. This can be extremely helpful when you have highly packed boards with many components placed close to each other. You don't want them to overlap mechanically, because that will cause a problem when you try to solder them...

 

Since a few weeks, there is a very nice and free extension over at sourceforge that provides very decent renderings of PCBs created with KiCad, and - if you have the component models - with the components placed: kicad 3D.

 

Just a few examples here:

 

post-3442-0-47295600-1389553213_thumb.jp

 

post-3442-0-68704500-1389553514_thumb.jp

 

post-3442-0-45929900-1389553531_thumb.jp

 

Maybe that will inspire some others to give KiCad a try!

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Looks pretty good. Must admit i had some mishaps by placing stuff to close together in Eagle. The only thing i am worried about in KiCad is the libraries. There is quite a few for Eagle. Not sure how that is for KiCad?

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Almost everything you will need in MIDIbox-land is available, but you need to understand the library concept of KiCad. I prefer the very nice libraries by Walter, you can find the here. Also, it is pretty straight forward to create your own components if necessary!

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Ok, maybe i will give it a go. I have a project where the board exceeds the size of which is allowed by the freeware version of Eagle. Didn't feel like paying 140 euro for the amateur version which then only allows a full euro card.

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Yes, totally go for it - that was my reasoning as well, and I have not been disappointed. Actually, before using KiCad I tried a special version of Target which allowed for more PCB real estate, but was limited in the number of pads it would accept - another crippleware attempt. I am so glad I moved over to KiCad quickly :-).

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the KICAD 3D is very cool and for the libraries I don’t think so for the libraries of the KICAD  you have to worry too much because you can design your own and moreover if you are designing your own libraries that are more reliable than provided by anyone. So I think you should go with KICAD.

 

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Edited by civi

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If you run the latest version of KiCAD (on Windows, by using KiCAD Winbuilder), the new realistic renderer is already part of the package. Also, check out the new (manual) router and its different modes. It is brilliant!

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