Introduction: Designing a Schematic in KiCad
In this article, you will be able to know how to draw a schematic circuit on Ki Cad. Thus, you need to know what KiCad is.
KiCad is a software that can be installed on windows, and mac software. This software allows you to design and create your desired circuits. It has all the components needed with many advanced features that facilitates learning more about electricity and its components, which is great for you to design any electronic device. That means you can design your own schematic circuits, PCBs, and the 3D view of the final board as shown in Figure (1). So, you can apply this to your actual circuit at the lab to complete your design or device.
Have you ever thought about simulating the electric and electronic circuits on an application or software that allows you to build and clear whatever you want?
Isn’t it better to storm all your thoughts on 1 page than using papers or trying at labs? Well, that’s what we are going to do now, so get ready for being an electronic genius.
-Kicad V5.0 or later
Step 1: What Is a Schematic in Ki Cad?
From the last paragraph, you can observe that drawing a schematic is an option presented by KiCad, in which the software allows you to draw the circuit with its components and requirements as wires as if you’re using a circuit bord or drawing a paper, The difference is that you don’t need to erase or remove components, everything can be done with one click on your software.
Step 2: How to Draw a Schematic in KiCad
Well, drawing a schematic circuit is a simple task that can be done only with a few steps:
1- Opening the KiCad software by doubling left click on the icon with your mouse.
2- Choose “File” from the toolbar, choose “New”, then tap on “Project” as shown in Figure (1).
3- The save window will be shown to save the project in your desired location with the name you want. Just choose the location, write the name, and click “Save” as shown in Figure (2).
4- From the toolbar on the left that shows the option like whether you want to draw a schematic or a PCB, choose the abbreviation “sch” that is written in the project’s name as shown in Figure (3).
5- A drawing sheet will appear as shown in Figure (4), you can hold the scroll and move, and scroll inwards and outwards for zoom in and out. From the left-side tool list, you can use the scale as in mm or whatever you need and show or hide the grid wall.
6- From the right-side tool list, you will see many options for drawing the circuit, start by choosing “Place symbol”, click anywhere on the drawing sheet, then Ki Cad will load the components library and opens it up as shown in Figure (5).
7- From the filter bar, search for the components needed for your schematic. For example, I chose a resistor in Figure (6). Then click “Ok” and click anywhere on the drawing sheet to place the component.
8- After placing the component, you can right-click on it and choose properties to control, or just press “V” to change the value, or “U” to edit the reference as shown in Figure (7).
9- “7” to insert another different component, however, you can add the same component you have placed by pressing “C” on it and place the copy anywhere on the sheet.
10- Now, you can connect both components by pressing “W” at the point you need to start connecting from and move the mouse till the wire ends and click on the left click wherever you need to connect.
11- After adding all the components and connecting them to each other, you will get a schematic drawing of a circuit like this one in Figure (8).
“Note that I only chose 2 resistors and 1 battery to make it easier for you to understand the procedures
12- If you have an image of a circuit, you can add it on the drawing sheet to start copying it step by step by choosing “Place” from the toolbar, and click on image to select the image and place it anywhere on the sheet as shown in Figure (9). Then start adding the same components and connections to make your circuit look the same.
Step 3: Conclusion
Eventually, you will be able to simulate and express your thoughts about electric and electronic circuits using Ki Cad software, it makes it way easier than trying with papers or real components before designing the circuit. It can create many levels of circuits, it always depends on the users, whether they want the circuit to be simple or very complicated. Now, it is all yours, start making your own circuits, start innovating.