Kicad development

The world needs a freely available tool for designing open-source hardware. Without it, designers do not have the freedom to share their work efficiently. Kicad is that tool, and you can help to develop it. 

Kicad is a Free and Open Source Software PCB design tool, which runs on the computer operating systems GNU/Linux, Windows and Apple OS X. It is licensed under the GPLv2 license. The objective of this development project is to enhance Kicad to make it an efficient tool for PCB design, which people can use to share their design information without compromising productivity. The project will entail close collaboration with current Kicad developers. We think that Kicad can do to PCB design what the GCC compiler did to software: ensure that there are no artificial barriers to the sharing of information, so that design and development knowledge can flow more freely. This contribution is part of CERN’s broader efforts in Open Source Hardware.

Apart from Open Hardware designers themselves, academic institutions will also benefit from the development of Kicad.

In line with CERN's mission for education, students will be able to use professional-quality PCB design tools free from constraints imposed by cost, functionality or intellectual property restrictions. They will also be able to contribute to further improving the tool for the benefit of others, an activity with a high educational value in itself and which will increase their employment potential.

University professors and students will have a powerful tool to teach and learn real-life electronics through the design of actual circuits in the context of their studies. In addition, the nature of the Open Source license is such that students wanting to pursue their developments outside of regular lecture times will be free to do so. The exchange of designs would also be seamless, both within and between different academic institutions.

All donations will be put to immediate use in developing Kicad. Any amount is welcome and will be gratefully received. This page will be updated regularly to show how your gifts are contributing towards our targets.

A gift of... Would provide...
€50 1 hour of expert Kicad development
€400 1 day of expert Kicad development

Combining the hours and days of development supported by your gifts will bring the project ever closer to reaching its targets.

Reaching a target of... Would allow developers to...
€150,000 Make Kicad usable for very complex Printed Circuit Board designs with acceptable productivity.
€300,000 Bring Kicad in line with the best proprietary tools, and outclass them in some respects.

You can follow the project's progress at this link.

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