KiCad and FreeCAD collaboration!

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easyw-fc
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KiCad and FreeCAD collaboration!

Postby easyw-fc » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:12 pm

After almost one year and half, my FreeCAD scripted and parametric 3D models for electronic parts has been merged in the official KiCad 3D library repo! :D
KiCad is an emerging ECAD sw to create schematics and PCB and it is fully open source!
Its community is growing day by day and is being adopted by hobbyists, schools, universities and professional users.
Finally KiCad has moved to adopt STEP models for its 3D library and most of the MCAD library models are coming from FreeCAD! :D
Rule, FreeCAD!, FreeCAD rule the waves ;)
This synergy between ECAD (KiCad) and MCAD (FreeCAD) in open source environment is a very powerful strategy and can drive more users to FreeCAD world!

Thank you again for this powerful and flexible software!
Maurice

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Resistors_SMD.jpg (294.89 KiB) Viewed 2303 times

Capacitors_SMD.jpg
Capacitors_SMD.jpg (257.74 KiB) Viewed 2303 times

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and some more models made in FC have been merged too
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ian.rees
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Re: KiCad and FreeCAD collaboration!

Postby ian.rees » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:09 pm

Nice work Maurice! I really like KiCAD - have used it for a few boards and have plans for more.

I'm thinking there's room for interesting work between PCB tools and FreeCAD's FEM tools :). -Ian-
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easyw-fc
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Re: KiCad and FreeCAD collaboration!

Postby easyw-fc » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:34 pm

ian.rees wrote:Nice work Maurice! I really like KiCAD - have used it for a few boards and have plans for more.

thx :D
ian.rees wrote:I'm thinking there's room for interesting work between PCB tools and FreeCAD's FEM tools :). -Ian-

I did some test indeed
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This is a board developed in KiCad and exported to MCAD with kicad StepUp FreeCAD macro using bounding boxes export option...
thanks a lot to @makkemal @KgoaOT @bernd and all FEM team!
FEM is really promising! :D
ian.rees
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Re: KiCad and FreeCAD collaboration!

Postby ian.rees » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:20 am

Yes, I was thinking along the lines of FEM for electrical properties of traces on PCBs, but thermal would be great too.
triplus
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Re: KiCad and FreeCAD collaboration!

Postby triplus » Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:18 pm

Looking good and i see so much potential!
realthunder
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Re: KiCad and FreeCAD collaboration!

Postby realthunder » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:43 am

easyw-fc wrote:After almost one year and half, my FreeCAD scripted and parametric 3D models for electronic parts has been merged in the official KiCad 3D library repo! :D

Wow, I really need to spend more time reading than coding all day. Look what I've missed. I've forked your repo long time ago, and the StepUp scripts, too! And it inspired me to take a deep adventure of FC, too!

I wonder how cadquery for FC has evolved so far. When I used it, maybe a year ago, I had this wish that only if the cadquery workbench can extract the parameter definition in cadquery scripts and show it in FC property editor. How nice will that be. No need to modify the script to get a customized shape. And maybe this parameter editing can be exposed to KiCad some how. Maybe the function is already there?

You should also check out my repo at https://github.com/realthunder/fcad_pcb. The original purpose is to do PCB milling in FC. I'll add document soon, and make a formal release. It can do much more now. It can generate gcode from kicad_pcb directly without going though gerber stage. It can let your modify the PCB directly inside FC (done already), and potentially export back to kicad_pcb (partially done).

If you are the author of StepUp, then you'll definitely be more appreciated to how difficult it is to have complete tracks, zones and pads with holes in FC! Check out the screen shoot,
Screenshot from 2017-03-18 16-34-58.png
Screenshot from 2017-03-18 16-34-58.png (315.49 KiB) Viewed 1284 times

PCB milling
Screenshot from 2017-03-18 16-31-10.png
Screenshot from 2017-03-18 16-31-10.png (282.33 KiB) Viewed 1284 times
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easyw-fc
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Re: KiCad and FreeCAD collaboration!

Postby easyw-fc » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:23 pm

realthunder wrote:Wow, I really need to spend more time reading than coding all day. Look what I've missed. I've forked your repo long time ago, and the StepUp scripts, too! And it inspired me to take a deep adventure of FC, too!

Thx :D
realthunder wrote:I wonder how cadquery for FC has evolved so far. When I used it, maybe a year ago, I had this wish that only if the cadquery workbench can extract the parameter definition in cadquery scripts and show it in FC property editor. How nice will that be. No need to modify the script to get a customized shape. And maybe this parameter editing can be exposed to KiCad some how. Maybe the function is already there?

I don't think this is in CQ ATM...
realthunder wrote:You should also check out my repo at https://github.com/realthunder/fcad_pcb. The original purpose is to do PCB milling in FC. I'll add document soon, and make a formal release. It can do much more now. It can generate gcode from kicad_pcb directly without going though gerber stage. It can let your modify the PCB directly inside FC (done already), and potentially export back to kicad_pcb (partially done).

Nice stuff!
realthunder wrote:If you are the author of StepUp, then you'll definitely be more appreciated to how difficult it is to have complete tracks, zones and pads with holes in FC! Check out the screen shoot,
Screenshot from 2017-03-18 16-34-58.png
PCB milling
Screenshot from 2017-03-18 16-31-10.png

Yes I'm the author of StepUp :D
I didn't investigate in converting tracks and zones because StepUp is aimed to have a MCAD clone of the board and parts for mechanical collaboration and enclosure design. Having Tracks, Zones and Pads would increase the size of the mechanical model without giving a counterpart useful for this purpose.
But because of FEM, having tracks, zones and pads would be definitely interesting too now! :D

Do your tracks are a solid object?

keep in touch ;)
Maurice
abdullah
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Re: KiCad and FreeCAD collaboration!

Postby abdullah » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:49 pm

Hi Maurice!

I am really happy that these communities are today a little bit closer than 1 year ago. I also think there is a lot of potential in connecting the two.

BTW, the components look absolutely amazing.

realthunder wrote:You should also check out my repo at https://github.com/realthunder/fcad_pcb. The original purpose is to do PCB milling in FC. I'll add document soon, and make a formal release. It can do much more now. It can generate gcode from kicad_pcb directly without going though gerber stage. It can let your modify the PCB directly inside FC (done already), and potentially export back to kicad_pcb (partially done).


This is very interesting for me. I was going the KiCAD - FlatCAM way for the tracks (eventually needing Heekscad and others). I really like the idea of centralising the milling part in FC.
realthunder
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Re: KiCad and FreeCAD collaboration!

Postby realthunder » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:29 am

abdullah wrote:This is very interesting for me. I was going the KiCAD - FlatCAM way for the tracks (eventually needing Heekscad and others). I really like the idea of centralising the milling part in FC.

I used FlatCAM too. Got my first PCB milled using it. And contributed a few patches, too. However, the software's navigation and editing capability is very limited, and kind of awkward, comparing to a full fledged CAD software like FC that is.
realthunder
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Re: KiCad and FreeCAD collaboration!

Postby realthunder » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:39 am

easyw-fc wrote:Do your tracks are a solid object?

Yes, solid. Not only that, the solid can optionally come from a sketch, which makes it possible to edit the PCB in FC. Doing copper feature and additionally with holes is exceptionally challenging in FC because it needs lots of 2D offset and tangential cut operation, which FC is not good at. I had to write my own extension to do the heavy lifting.