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Re: KiCad PCB


Hi Richard,

Let's take this to the developer's mailing list.

Rather than "append board" as a means of accomplishing this, how about this idea.

The MODULE morphs into a BOARD fragment, and you simply have MODULE libraries (wait, we
already do).  Or you could copy a MODULE from one BOARD to another BOARD via the
clipboard.  Here clipboard is appropriately named.

Currently the points of connection to a MODULE are pads. 
In this fantasy:

*) points of connection to a MODULE would be pads or traces... and ?

*) MODULEs would need separate verification before they get put into a library.

*) Someone would need to code it.  I have no plans to fund this.

This fantasy is certainly possible at some point in the future.


> I forgot to add, it seems like PCB has the hooks to almost do this, however when "append
> board" is used, it should ask for 2 things, netlist and sheet name, that would give all
> the info needed to associate nets and references.  Although I have a feeling that CvPCB
> might need back annotation if footprints don't match during the netlist read.  Anyway,
> sorry for the ramble... again,
> Richard
> On 11/27/2012 04:48 PM, Richard Howlett wrote:
>> Hi Dick,
>> We've talked in the past about KiCad, but a question that has been in the back of my
>> mind for some time regards the PCB tool.  In the VLSI world, the tool chains are very
>> similar to what you guys are doing with KiCad.  The introduction of scripting is a
>> plus, however the PCB side seems to still be a flat hierarchy unlike the schematics
>> where full hierarchy is exploited well.  I'm guessing that there is a balance being
>> maintained for the new vs experience user.  However, I'm guessing this has come up in
>> conversation (although I can't find anything on the web) regarding adding hierarchy to
>> PCB as well.  Do you know if this is something that might be on the future road map? 
>> It looks like Miguel's scripting can almost do it
>> (http://www.kicad-pcb.org/display/~ajo/2012/05/17/Keeping+your+blocks+aligned+with+scripting)
>> but only parts in group, no traces.  With a hierarchical approach you would draw the
>> one group of parts stand alone, and the you would use something like the "Append Board"
>> function to add each instance of the group (should reference back to the hierarchical
>> schematic) and the correct reference and net should get assigned.  The nice thing about
>> this approach is the sub pcb artwork doesn't need all the traces (like gnd) connected
>> because the top PCB artwork is where the DRC must pass.  Anyway, a bit of a ramble as
>> I'm working on something that has the same very complex circuit repeated 10 times in my
>> present design...  Another, side note, I use the schematic hierarchy as a way to
>> leverage work from past designs, this would give me the same ability on the PCB end!
>> Thanks,
>> Richard
>> Example: (please let me know if there is a way to do this, its entirely possible that I
>> just haven't looked hard enough)
>> Schematic Hierarchy
>> PCB Hierarchy (same file name as the schematic above):
>> New Project with the same schematic shown above with 3 repeats
>> This is appending the board file but this has seemingly serious issues.  Nice the have
>> the ability to do something like this where each of the PCB instances were grouped plus
>> the nets and refs were assigned correctly:

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