kicad-developers team mailing list archive
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Re: Latest usage of Kicad
Dick Hollenbeck <dick@...>
Fri, 20 Nov 2009 14:05:15 -0600
Thunderbird 22.214.171.124 (X11/20090817)
Rob Frohne wrote:
On this most recent board and with the most recent software, all the
setting up of rules was done in pcbnew's netlist editor. About the only
thing I did in freerouter was establish the snap modulus for the move
component command. I did most all the small SMT part positioning in
freerouter, and major connector part positioning in pcbnew.
If I can figure out the new features, I have an interest in doing a
tutorial. It won't likely get done until I get a bit more practice at
things. I am still back on the learning curve, but I would like to try
and get my spring quarter electronics students to use Kicad for small
boards, and a tutorial would be helpful for them.
Thanks for the encouragement. And any tips you can give on setting rules
up for freerouter would be appreciated.
Roughly, in sequence:
1) in pcbnew: establish board perimeter.
2) in pcbnew: establish any zones, inclusive of net association.
3) in pcbnew: load in the netlist so you have all the components defined
4) in pcbnew: do the degree of component placements you are comfortable
with. It is a little easier to accurately position components in pcbnew
than in freerouter, but either will work.
5) in pcbnew: set up the netclasses. power traces might be a little
thicker. so add a netclass called "power". Make its traces thicker
than what you establish for netclass "Default". Set spacing and vias
for each netclass.
6) in pcbnew: export to DSN.
7) load up freerouter (keep it running for any subsequent iterations of
6) through 14) here ).
8) in freerouter: load the project's *.dsn file.
9) in freerouter: set your move snap modulus, which seems to default to
1 internal unit. 20 mils in x and in y is about reasonable.
10) in freerouter: finish placing any components, you can change sides
of a part here also, rotate, whatever.
11) in freerouter: route the board, save frequently to a *.dsn file
while routing, in case of power loss, not yet a session file but a full
*.dsn file. The full freerouter *.dsn file is a superset format, one
that fully defines the board and can be reloaded between power outages,
whereas the *.ses file is not a complete design, but with the *.brd file
constitutes a full design.
12) in freerouter: when done, or when you want to back import, then save
as a session file, *.ses.
13) in pcbnew: backimport the session file
14) in pcbnew: at this point the zones have to be refilled. One way to
do that is to simply run DRC.
Dick Hollenbeck wrote:
I just did a 4 layer board in about a week with Kicad and Freerouter.
What a joy this was in comparison to doing the same thing a year ago.
The netlist support was a dream. I was able to classify nets, setup
widths and spacing on each netclass (a total of 3), and then export to
Freerouter. In Freerouter I have gotten in the habit of manually
routing using the push and shove.
What was really slick was the ability to immediately round trip without
any additional setup. You got something you want to do back in PCBNEW,
such as tweak a zone, simply back import, make the change, re-export
back over to freerouter. No setup, just a very few button clicks.
Undo/redo was also used and appreciated.
Our efforts are paying off. Thanks Jean-Pierre, Wayne, and others for
all your contributions.
The user base is in for a treat whenever they get a hold of these latest
features. The documentation is probably lagging, but this stuff is
almost so easy it can simply be figured out, and is better than nothing.