KiCad is an open source software suite for electronic design automation (EDA) made for designing schematics of electronic circuits and printed circuit boards (PCB). KiCad is developed by the KiCad Developers Team, and features an integrated environment with schematic capture, bill of materials list, PCB layout and much more.
KiCad software is organized of five main software tools:
- kicad - the project manager.
- eeschema - the schematic capture editor.
- cvpcb - the footprint selector for components used in the circuit design.
- pcbnew - the PCB layout program. It also has 3D View.
- gerbview - the Gerber (photoplotter documents) viewer.
Compared to the other free software alternatives, KiCad solves all stages with the same interface: Schematic Capture, PCB layout, Gerber generation/visualization and library editing.
KiCad is cross-platform, written with WxWidgets and runs on FreeBSD, Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. A lot of component libraries are available. Also migrating tools for components are available (from other EDA software tools). File formats are plain text and well documented, which is good for CVS or Subversion and to make automated component generation scripts.
Multiple languages are supported, such as English, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech, Polish, French, German, and Russian.
The 3D PCB viewer use 3D model from Wings3D CAD.