Library Setup and Part Association


#1

Originally published at: https://contextualelectronics.com/topic/library-setup-and-part-association/


#2

My ‘‘run CvPcb’’ in Eeschema is not working ( does not load and gives me an error for not responding ). Is there an other option to get my schematic on CvPcb ?


#3

I have found the problem, It was security block. This is the reson that it would not load the footprints from Github. The other error is already gone.


#4

OK. I was going to add to check the Path Configurations (KiCad, Preferences, Configure Paths). On an older release of KiCad for Mac, it was set up wrong such that the path that it was wanting to use did not exist. and was resulting in a similar error.
PathConfig


#5

Thanks for your help @Steve_Mayze !


#6

@ChrisGammell You used the LED 0805 footprint to asign your LED. But the problem is I am working with KiCad 4.0.7 so wich footprint should i use ?

0805_2012Metric , 0805_2012Metric_Castellated or the handsoldering one ??

Greetings,

Jasper


#7

I hope tou don’t mind me chiming in here… it actually does not matter. The decision is up to you and what you are comfortable with when soldering. I am guessing you board will be hand soldered, so if you want that extra bit of copper, then the handsoldering footpint would be the choice. The 0805_2012Metric can be hand soldered but for a first attempt can be a bit fiddly - but worth the practice :wink: I have not yet seen what “0805_2012Metric_Castellated” would render to so I won’t comment on that one.


#8

@Steve_Mayze My intention was indeed to handsolder the components. I know which one to choose now.

Thanks for your reply.

Jasper


#9

A castellated component:
images
Their footprints don’t usually vary much from the non-castellated version.

The most important part of choosing footprints is to pick footprints for parts that you can actually purchase at a reasonable price. That is why you would typically have your BOM organised before laying out your board. Otherwise it’s possible to end up with a board that you cannot assemble because parts aren’t available.


#10

Thanks @1.21Gigawatts - I ended up looking at my KiCad 4.0.7 and I don’t have the castellated footprints installed, that is why I have not seen them.

That is an excellent point about the part availability - particularly for multi legged parts that can come in different packaging types. I had not considered that point when talking about SMD resistors.


#11

Yeah, my libraries are a bit behind. I saw that they moved them over to a new github repo and have not updated yet. But perhaps it’s worth a video on library management?

Glad that @1.21Gigawatts and @Steve_Mayze could help you out so fast!


#12

It all works now. Thanks for helping @1.21Gigawatts, @Steve_Mayze, @ChrisGammell
Sure @ChrisGammell I think many people would want to see how to manage the library well !


#13

Regarding KiCad (footprint) library management

The github plugin has been retired for the official library. (not really any benefit to users with a lot of drawbacks to us maintainers) This also means that the library wizard has been retired. (Now everything is done from the library managers. Adding libs via the browse button)

The library setup is stored in user directories (library tables). These are not updated by the installers. This means anyone updating from version 4 to version 5 can get a wonky setup without manual work: https://forum.kicad.info/t/i-had-kicad-4-installed-previosly-now-i-updated-to-v5-now-i-have-some-problems-with-the-library-setup/11932
Linux is a special case for installing kicad. Most distros now separate the library stuff into separate packages. Help can be found here: https://forum.kicad.info/t/i-installed-kicad-5-under-linux-but-there-are-no-libraries-the-default-option-for-sym-lib-table-setup-is-disabled/12962

Another helpful (hopefully) FAQ post is this one: https://forum.kicad.info/t/how-can-i-install-a-specific-version-of-the-footprint-library/9269

The symbol libs are now also managed using library tables.

The use of path (environment) variables

Do not worry too much about path variables if you do not intent to copy the library tables from one PC to another. For setting up your own pc simply add the libs with the browse button. (Even the system libs can be added such that they do not use any path variables.)

The only variable(s) important are the ones used for 3d models. So the KISYS3DMOD variable and if you have one for your personal libs than that one as well. (This is because the 3d models are not managed using library tables with nicknames but the footprint points directly to a file using the full file path. This means the 3d model setup of a footprint is only portable if you use path variables here.)

CvPcb (now called assign footprints)

There is a very detailed explanation over at the forum FAQ: https://forum.kicad.info/t/how-can-i-assign-a-footprint-to-a-symbol/8901

TlDr: CvPcb is not the only option you have. You can already assign footprints to symbols in the library (so called fully specified or atomic symbols)
With version 5 you also can select the footprint during symbol selection (if you activate this tool)
And of course using the footprint browser that you start via the symbol properties dialog.