Kicad is not KinderCAD at all

My opinion may be controversial, but I think that the open-source electronics CAD project Kicad from Monsieur Jean-Pierre Charras of the Laboratoire des Images et des Signaux is at least as mature as several high-priced CAD suites.

What do you expect from an all-day schematics and pcb artwork editor? Do you really need high speed design assistants and high frequency modules for every design? I definitely don’t, and therefore I’m quite lucky with Kicad. Sure, the libraries are by far not as complete as for the commercial products. But compared to several products I used in the past Kicad makes it much easier to edit existing or add new components.

I have learned computer-assisted layout design 20 years ago with the DOS-based OrCAD/PCB, tried Eagle in the late 90s, worked with Protel Advanced Schematics / PCB at a former employer and then switched to Protel SE’99 at university. I have never used auto routing so I cannot tell how much better the commerical products are compared to the online routing helper of Kicad, but with regard to easy of use, stability and quality of CAM outputs, Kicad can easily compete.

I have not had any problems with simple post script outputs nor with Gerber file generation yet – something I was not used to, as I often had trouble with mixed unit (imperial/metric) CAM files other programs generated in the past.

Just an example of a little current design