Version4(as of 4/28/2016)
PlatformsWindows, Mac, Linux
LicenseOpen Source
Go to Website
Rating:3.5  |  15 Votes

Main Features

  • Edit schematics and create custom symbols
  • Design printed circuit boards
  • Inspect designs in a 3D interactive canvas

Software Overview

KiCad is an open source software suite for electronic design automation (EDA). It can edit schematics, design printed circuit board (PCB) layouts, and inspect designs in an interactive canvas.

KiCad provides a variety of EDA tools such as Eeschema, PcbNew, Bitmap2Component, GerbView, and 3DViewer. Eeschema is a schematic capture editor that features custom symbol creation, hierarchical schematic sheets, and an electrical rules check to automatically verify schematic connections. The PcbNew tool allows you to quickly lay out your board pushing forward traces in the way as you draw or rerouting your track around obstacles.

The Bitmap2Component enables you to convert images to footprints for PCB artwork and GerbView allows you to view designs in the Gerber format. KiCad's 3DViewer lets you instantly inspect your design in an interactive 3D view when laying out your PCB. You can rotate and pan around your design to inspect details.

KiCad is used to design, edit, and inspect PCBs. It features a suite of tools that provide different functionality such as editing schematics, designing PCBs, and viewing 3D designs. The software compares favorably with CadSoft's EAGLE application, however, KiCad does come with a steep learning curve so be willing to invest some time.

Primary File Type

pro icon.PROKiCad Project

Supported File Types

ExtensionFile Type
.PROKiCad Project
.BRDKiCad PCB Design File
.SCHKiCad Schematic File
Updated 4/28/2016