Intro to KiCAD and PCB Fabrication, Part 1/5
Designing and fabricating custom PCBs opens up a new world of possibilities for miniaturization, part selection, and creativity. In this class series, you will capture schematics, perform layouts, and have your PCB fabricated by an overseas vendor. Ultimately we will build the PCB, debug it and relish in its glory.
The circuit design will be provided on the first day of class and should be replicated without significant changes. An example layout will be provided but students are free to be as creative and unique as they like for their own PCB.
Each class will provide instruction on how to complete the next step of the project, but most work will likely be done outside of class time. Help will be available throughout the week as needed to answer questions and review your work. Expect to spend several hours outside of classes to complete the project. A screen cast or recording of the class will be available for those interested in reviewing the content again (or for those that can not attend a specific class date).
There may be classes you do not need to attend. For example the 11-Feb class is not necessary if you have completed the board and have it ready for order before that date. 4-Mar is not necessary if you build and debug your PCB on your own.
Prerequisites: None. A basic knowledge of schematics will be helpful.
KiCAD is free, open-source software which runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS. You can use the laptops at Knox Makers or your own computer.
The class schedule is shown below. There is a make-up class listed in the event that weather, PCB fabrication or other issues cause a delay. Depending on how classes are going, we may hold a session or two over Big Blue Button to avoid such delays .
21-Jan: KiCad overview and configuration, project overview
28-Jan: Schematic capture (entering the schematic design into the software)
4-Feb: PCB Layout
11-Feb: Final checks and order PCBs
4-Mar: Receive and build PCBs
11-Mar: Make-up class, if needed
$60 ($90 for nonmembers) is the cost for the full class series, your PCB fabrication, and parts to build your PCB. All proceeds are donated to Knox Makers.
Directions: Knox Makers parking and entrance is located in the fenced area around the back of the SPARK building.
Knox Makers is a place for the Knoxville area’s engineers, artists, hobbyists, innovators, educators and entrepreneurs to work and play. We are a technology and art collective dedicated to the promotion of creativity enabled and informed by science. Our lectures, workshops, and outreach programs inspire and educate both members and the general public. Our workshop provides members with both the space for large projects and the tools to complete them. We are a non-profit educational organization supported by member dues and staffed by volunteers.