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Recommend A Free Open-source PCB Design Software KiCad

Currently, many boards designed and sold by ITEAD SUTDIO are semi-open-source. Although we provided schematics and documentations, design source files were not offered. It is because that we used Cadence to design these products, and Cadence is a professional design tool which must be paid to use. Even if we provide the source files, the majority of users will be unable to install the software for free to open them. Besides, Cadence-designed source files require library support, if there is no synchronized components library that we used when developing in your software, you cannot open and use these source files properly either- which is why we do not have OSHW 's logo printed on many boards, as we believe that a real open-source hardware should be offered with all the design information including schematics, design source files and source code.

Recently, we launched Iteaduino Plus, and as you can see, OSHW logo is added on the baseboard, as which is provided with schematics as well as source files – we also offer the Gerber files , BOM and welding bitmap,etc.

Due to the design software, we are aware that open source will also be limited, not all the users are able to use the source files freely. Therefore, we are planning to use free development software to design open-source circuit board next, so that more people can use the source files.

When we planed to choose free design software , many people recommended Eagle. After assessing, we found that although the software is simple to use and its functions are enough to complete a lot of design requirements for open-source board, it is limited for free of charge. For example, there are requirements for board size and layers, thus it is not the most appropriate tool. Finally , we found KiCad, which is a completely free open-source software, and it provides versions for different platforms such as Windows,OSX and Linux. In the future, we will use KiCad to design open-source boards and release the design source files. At present, our hardware engineers have already downloaded the software and learned to use it, and we plan to use it to design new baseboards for ITEAD A10/A20 CORE.

More about KiCad here: http://www.kicad-pcb.org/