Designing a PCB was a tricky and bit complex process. Then several PCB design software came into the market to rescue the designers. As PCB designer software continues to advance, more designers are switching from EasyEDA to KiCad. This change comes with its own sets of benefits, such as a more powerful toolset and open-source capabilities, and the list is long. Converting EasyEDA to KiCad can seem frightening at first time, and you may not want to do it, but trust me, it is a simple process. You easily accomplish this with a few simple steps. The following content will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the reasons to convert from EasyEDA to KiCad.
In addition, how is this process done, and what are some additional tips? Let’s start with some of the basics to know why it is necessary to convert EasyEDA to KiCad.
What is EasyEDA?
EasyEDA is a popular PCB design software tool that has gained popularity among beginners and hobbyists. It has a user-friendly interface and web-based structural design. Most of the advanced features are paid for. Basic features are free. Furthermore, as designers become more experienced, they require more advanced features, such as a more comprehensive library, advanced schematics capture tools, and more. That’s why it’s time for the entry of KiCad. KiCad is magical designing software.
What is KiCad?
KiCad is an open-source software tool used for designing printed circuit boards. It is widely used by both hobbyists and professional designers. This tool has a powerful toolset without any additional fees. It has an extensive library of components free of cost. KiCad is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, making it accessible to a wide range of users.
Why is it necessary to convert EasyEDA to KiCad?
First of all, KiCad is free, and this is enough to convert EasyEDA to KiCad, but the following content will give you some more good reasons.
1. Open Source
KiCad is open-source software, which means it is free to use. You do need to pay money to modify and distribute. That’s why it is an attractive option for designers who want to avoid the heavy licensing fees associated with commercial software.
2. Greater Flexibility
Every PCB designer demands customization to make their designs unique. KiCad offers greater flexibility in terms of design options and customization compared to EasyEDA. Customization is easier, more innovative, and more convenient in KiCad. Its library management system allows for the creation of custom components.
That’s why it is easy to reuse this component in other designs. In simple words, it not only customizes but also saves your time. Every time you don’t need to start from scratch. In addition, you won’t regret using this software as KiCad offers you a lot.
3. More Powerful Design Tools:
Designers always require more powerful tool kits to design PCB more efficiently. When it comes to designing complex or multilayer PCBs, then KiCad is the solution. It has a more comprehensive set of design tools as compared to EasyEDA. In addition, it has advanced routing features, such as differential pair routing and push-and-shove routing. Furthermore, it also has a wider range of export options, making it easier to share designs with other users. Yes, sometimes it is necessary to share the design with other professionals to seek guidance. Mostly free software doesn’t provide this option.
4. Enhanced Collaboration
Sometimes, a designer just needs collaboration to improve their design or wants to save time. There is software that has collaboration features, but KiCad offers better collaboration features. It allows multiple designers to work on the same project concurrently.
5. Compatible file format for cross platforms
Whenever you, as a PCB designer, use any open source software, its files are not compatible with other software to work. Previously it was the biggest hurdle in designing. KiCad provides the complete solution to all these compatibility problems.
KiCad’s file format is also compatible with other open-source design tools. That’s why it is easy to collaborate with other users. You can collaborate and can exchange files easily with others who prefer different software. So it is necessary to convert your EasyEDA to KiCad. Furthermore KiCad works seamlessly on Windows and other operating systems. It is compatible with Linux and MacOS, also. That’s why it is more versatile than EasyEDA, which is mainly compatible with Windows. EasyEDA doesn’t go well with Linux.
6. Local Storage and Control
Mostly free design software doesn’t allow you to download your designs to save on your computer. KiCad provides you this opportunity so that designers can have more control over their data, as it can be stored locally on their computer rather than being hosted on a cloud-based platform like EasyEDA. This also means that designers can work offline without the need for an internet connection.
7. Fulfill Client requirements
Sometimes it’s clients’ requirement. That’s why it is necessary to convert EasyEDA to KiCad. For example, if you are designing a printed circuit board for a client, and they require KiCad. That’s why you can do it easily by converting between tools. You can ensure that your client receives the design in their ideal format.
8. Offline Functionality
The offline functionality of any open-source designing software is just the icing on the cake. Many software has wonderful features, but they work only when connected to the internet. KiCad offers offline functionality. It means it can work without any wifi or active internet connection. So many designers who are traveling or working from remote areas benefit from it. Its offline availability increases its productivity.
9. Cost-Effective solution
There are several paid tools with advanced features to design PCBs. KiCad is freeware, that’s why it is more cost-effective than EasyEDA. In addition, KiCad offers a lot of advanced features without spending a single penny. With EasyEDA, you may require a paid subscription. Yes, many advanced features are accessible only if you have paid a subscription. That’s why KiCad is the best option with better features. It is the one-stop solution for PCB designing and layouts.
10. 3D visualization and PCB tool kit
KiCad’s PCB layout tool is useful to assist you in producing top-quality PCB designs with a wealth of features. It encompasses both manual and automatic routing, copper pour, and 3D visualization. Furthermore, it allows you to transfer your designs in a variety of formats, such as Gerber and ODB++, making it all the more convenient.
3D visualization is crucial for PCB design. As for KiCad’s 3D viewer, it allows you to examine your PCB designs from a three-dimensional standpoint. This feature is quite handy when it comes to assessing the physical arrangement of your design. As a result, you can easily detect any potential problems before you go for manufacturing.
11. Bill of Materials and netlist generation
If you are a PCB hobbyist or enthusiastic, then it is high time to go for KiCad. Many newbies have problems with component selection because they know little about component compatibility. The good news is that. KiCad can generate a bill of materials (BOM) for a PCB design. As a result, you have all the lists of all the necessary components for PCB. Furthermore, this feature provides you with all respective quantities of components. The next step is making the connections between components and routing, and KiCad provides you with this facility. KiCad also generates netlists. As a result, you can create simulations and perform analysis on the circuit.
I hope now you have enough reasons to convert EasyEDA to KiCad. You will take a sigh of relief from Converting EasyEDA to KiCad. Now further proceed and learn to convert EasyEDA to KiCad.
How to Convert EasyEDA to KiCad?
KiCad is open-source software and free. Most designers or beginners in circuit design think that converting EasyEDA to KiCad must be tough. The picture is quite different, and this process is simple. KiCad has a large community of users who can offer support and guidance. Additionally, KiCad has more advanced features than EasyEDA, making it a better choice for more complex designs.
Converting from EasyEDA to KiCad can pose a formidable challenge for those unacquainted with the complexities of printed circuit board design software. Nevertheless, with a modicum of patience and the appropriate implements, transitioning is possible.
Following are the simple steps to converting EasyEDA to KiCad.
· Step 1: Exporting Your EasyEDA Design
The first step in converting your EasyEDA design to KiCad is to export your design from EasyEDA. It is a very easy step, so don’t worry. Simply go to the “File” menu and select the option “Export.” From there, choose “PCB” and then “KiCad.” This way, you will export your designs in the proper format for KiCad.
· Step 2: Importing Your Design into KiCad
After the completion of your design exportation from EasyEDA, the next step is to import it into KiCad. Now open KiCad and select “File,” and then “Import.” From there, choose the file that you exported from EasyEDA. Your design will be successfully imported to KiCad. You can follow the following guidelines.
· Step 3: Review and Edit Your Design
Many designers think that after importing the design, their task is complete. But it is not all that.
After importing your design into KiCad, it is important to review it. It is necessary because KiCad may not import your design exactly as it was in EasyEDA. That’s why to make it appropriate; you have to make certain changes by editing it. It is necessary to edit to ensure that everything is working properly. So you may need to make some simple amendments to your layout or design. You can follow the following guidelines.
In the “Schematic Editor” window of KiCad, click on the “Place Symbol” button. Now select the components from the library which you want to add to your designs. Drag and drop the components onto your design.
· Step 4: Create your KiCad design or layout easily.
After placing your components in the schematic, you can now create your KiCad layout. Open the “Schematic Editor” window and click on the “Netlist” button. Then simply select “Export Netlist.” Save the netlist file to your computer.
In the “PCB Editor” window, click on “File” and select “Import Netlist.” Choose the netlist file you just exported and click “Open.” KiCad will now create a new layout based on your schematic.
· Step 5: Generate Gerber Files in KiCad
Now the final step is the generation of Gerber files. These files are a standard file format used in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards (PCBs). They contain information about the various layers of a PCB, such as copper traces, solder masks, and drill holes. Once you have reviewed and edited your design in KiCad, the final step is to generate Gerber files. Gerber files are a standard file format. It is helpful in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards (PCBs). These files contain information about the various layers of a PCB. These files have information such as copper traces, solder masks, and drill holes. To generate Gerber files in KiCad, go to the “Plot” menu and select “Plot.”
Now it’s crucial to choose the appropriate settings for your design. After design selection and settings then, click “Plot.” From the plot dialog box, you can select the layers that you want to add to the file. From the same plot dialog box, you can choose the output directory to save your files. Now the final step is here: choose the Gerber format for files and click the generate button. You can also verify the Gerber files by opening them in a Gerber viewer to ensure the correctness of your designs. After verification, submit the Gerber files to the PCB manufacturer for fabrication.
Some Professional Tips for Converting EasyEDA to KiCad.
· Don’t forget to run DRC in KiCad.
Many PCB hobbyists or circuit enthusiasts forget this step or just ignore it in overconfidence. It is necessary to check the PCB design for errors. Once the PCB design is imported, check for any errors or warnings by running the Design Rules Check-in KiCad. If there are errors or any kind of writing, you can make changes to your design. In addition, choose symbols and components carefully.
· Take full advantage of KiCad library
There is no need to start from scratch. KiCad has an extensive library of pre-made components. That you can use in your design. This can save you time and effort, especially if you are new to KiCad. However, it is standard practice to double-check the specifications of the components to make sure they are compatible with your design. In short, KiCad has a wonderful library to make your work easy. It saves you time and helps you to streamline your activities.
· Save your work regularly
In the realm of PCB design, it is paramount to frequently safeguard your work. This is in order to preclude the unfortunate loss of any important files due to the software crash or abrupt system shutdown. KiCad furnishes a built-in functionality that can be activated to save your progress automatically at recurring intervals. Professionally you also need to save your work on a regular basis.
· Backup is necessary.
It’s always good to make backups of your original EasyEDA files before jumping into any conversions. Just in case something goes wrong or you mess up your design, then this backup can save you. Additionally, be prepared to spend some time fine-tuning and adjusting your designs in KiCad. Don’t hurry because haste makes waste.
That’s why patient be during file conversion
· Practice makes a man perfect.
Converting a PCB design from one software to another is a complex task that requires ample practice. We recommend that you start by practicing a simple design before attempting a more intricate one. This approach will help you familiarize yourself with the software and detect any possible issues before working on a more challenging project.
In summary, successfully converting an EasyEDA design to KiCad requires a comprehensive understanding of the nuances between the two software and extensive practice. By adhering to the professional tips detailed above, you can accomplish the conversion process with ease and harness the advanced design features of KiCad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which tool is better for professionals, EasyEDA or KiCad?
KiCad is a better option for professionals due to its user-friendly interface, drag-and-drop components, and tutorials. In addition, it offers more advanced features for professional use. In addition, it offers better compatibility with other formats. It makes collaboration easy.
Is EasyEDA a cloud-based tool?
Cloud-based tools have virtual storage. Yes, EasyEDA is a cloud-based tool. You cannot store its files on your computer. Furthermore, it doesn’t require downloading or installing software. All your data and files are stored in cloud-based storage.
Which tool has a more active community?
Both EasyEDA and KiCad have active communities, but KiCad has a larger and more established community. In addition, the KiCad community is supportive and helpful. The community is ready for collaboration also.
Do I need to manually map components to KiCad library parts?
Component mapping is crucial in PCB design. Mapping is very technical, and it is quite easy with this tool. You can use the Assign Footprints” tool for mapping. It is straightforward to use. You can easily execute all functions. It not only saves your time but also brings perfection to your component mapping.
Are there any limitations to the size or complexity of designs that can be imported into KiCad?
No, apparently, there are no such constraints regarding size and complexity. But according to professional software, efficiency may get affected by the size and intricacy of the design. The software will take more time to process and be more complex. That’s why it doesn’t mean you can move large files from EasyEDA to KiCad. You can, but this process will take time.
Does KiCad have a built-in simulator?
KiCad does not have a built-in simulator, but it is compatible with various external simulators. You can choose any simulator according to your need and requirement.
Can I import EasyEDA designs into KiCad without exporting them first?
No, it is not possible. You need to export the EasyEDA design in a compatible format before importing it into KiCad.
Is KiCad easier to use than EasyEDA?
It depends on your experience and requirements. KiCad provides more advanced design features. However, if you are a newbie to this software world, then don’t worry. There are several tutorials available online. By watching this tutorial, you can easily convert EasyEDA to KiCad. The last thing is that initially, you may have some trouble because both have different user interfaces. Similarly, their tools are also different. So you have to spend some time becoming familiar with KiCad. Never giving up is the secret to success in KiCad.
Are there any tools or plugins that can help with the EasyEDA to KiCad conversion process?
Yes, there are a few third-party tools and plugins for this purpose. They can help streamline the conversion process. If you search on Google, then you can find various plugins and tools. In addition, you can take help from the community. For example, the “EasyEDA to KiCad converter” is a tool that can automatically convert EasyEDA files to KiCad-compatible formats. Such tools are great for beginners and save them time. Additionally, there are several online tutorials and forums that offer guidance and support for converting EasyEDA designs to KiCad. Finally, if you’re new to KiCad or EasyEDA software in general, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with some basic concepts and terminology before diving in.
Choosing between EasyEDA and KiCad can be challenging, but it all comes down to your needs and preferences. If you’re a beginner looking for a user-friendly tool, EasyEDA is an excellent option. However converting your EasyEDA designs to KiCad may seem intimidating at first, but it is a process that can be easily accomplished with a few simple steps. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily convert EasyEDA and KiCad.