Talks

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Speaker Name

Talk Title

Talk Abstract

Time

Andrey Shmakov

PCBOps : Applying CI/CD to PCB Design Projects

CI/CD provides distinct benefits by automating procedural steps of software development and deployment, but these concepts are challenging to adapt to PCB Design due to human intervention during the manufacturing process and limitations of existing tools. We will present a template for end-to-end automation of the PCB Release, review, and asset generation process using KiCAD, as well as further concepts including ERP integration, ordering, purchasing, part EOL, publishing ECN, and QA monitoring.

Sat, 12:00, Main Stage

Anool Mahidharia

Fast 3D model creation using FreeCAD

Mech CAD integration is becoming increasingly important. Not all components have 3D models available. This talk quickly walks you through creating your own 3D model, aligning it with the KiCAD footprint and exporting STEP/WRL models. Finally, if time permits, a quick introduction to building an enclosure around a KiCAD PCB.

Fri, 14:30, Large Classroom

Barry Buelow

Using KiCad and a Neoden 4 Pick-n-Place

KiCad produces ouptut files which can be manipulated to be compatible with the Neoden 4. This is mostly a manual process or arranging columns in a .CSV file. There are however, a few things that need to be done right when creating new footprints in order to ensure successful placement. The machine takes some attention and it isn't for everyone. You can't just load it up and walk away. The most common issues will be presented and there will be a period to answer your questions.

Sat, 11:30, Main Stage

Ben Hibben

Tips for designing and teaching soldering kits for beginners

Teaching folks to solder is a great way to get them interested in electronics and the Maker Movement, however many cheap soldering kits are not up to the task in practice so you've decided to design your own. Learn what design considerations you should keep in mind when doing so in order to maximize student success and make your kit easy and fun to do. We will also discuss tips for teaching groups of students soldering including approaches to safety and technique refined over years.

Fri, 11:00, Large Classroom

Blake Ramsdell

Programmatic Generation of Symbols and Footprints

Generating symbols and footprints manually from component datasheets can be tedious and error-prone. I will demonstrate using dimensional data combined with a parametric approach and object oriented programming to generate KiCad-compatible component files. New components can easily be created by adding the basic metric information, and then using a programmatic approach to layout.

Fri, 10:30, Main Stage

Chris Denney

Your Manufacturer Is Stupid - Help Them

Manufacturers are really smart actually, but treating them like they're stupid will make your life a lot easier. The more information your manufacturer has up front, the less phone calls you'll get, and the faster you'll get your assemblies back. Learn how you can use KiCAD's built in features to get the job done right the first time and every time.

Sat, 11:00, Large Classroom

Craig Bishop

Why auto-routers suck, and how to use them anyway

Auto-routers have a widespread reputation for sucking, hard. Have you ever wondered why that is? What math and algorithms does your squishy brain grok that the computer can't? Also, if hypothetically you wanted to dabble in these dark arts, how would you do that from KiCad? We'll learn what the best use-cases for auto-routers are and how to configure them for better results.

Fri, 14:00, Main Stage

Darrell Harmon

Microwave Design with KiCad

This talk will cover basics of distributed element microwave PCB design and the challenges associated with this in KiCad. Show usage of pyopenems to generate both a PcbNew module and an OpenEMS 3D electromagnetic simulation model based on a single Python based description of the desired geometry.

Fri, 14:30, Main Stage

Daniel Hienzsch

KiCad PCB Design for Rapid Prototyping

This talk focuses on what methods to use with KiCad that enable the testing of a circuit with a PCB milling machine. With these tools, you can go from a finished layout to a tested circuit in minutes or hours instead of days or weeks. High current PTH, svelte SMD circuits, crazy edge cuts and internal slots for custom enclosures can all be tested this way. We’ll show examples of various best practices and demonstrate them by milling a circuit featuring SOT and QFP components.

Fri, 15:00, Main Stage

Dave Vandenbout

Schematics: the heroin of electronics design

Over time, electronic systems have become more complex with much of their function defined in programmable ICs communicating over time-multiplexed buses. Schematics are spatial representations that can no longer capture the intent of these systems and take too much effort to create. Instead, a programmatic method of describing systems is possible using a small Python library (SKiDL). This method takes advantage of software engineering tools and techniques to quickly create designs that are parameterizable, reusable, testable, and sharable.

Fri, 10:00, Main Stage

Dmitry Zhgenti

Version control and collaboration on PCB design projects

This talk will show you how to use version control to better organize your PCB design process, avoid painful mistakes and launch products faster. Forget about duplicating your files and coming up with naming conventions no one follows. Never lose your design file again, keep the whole team aligned and boost communication. This talk will explain why and how to use the Git version control system, and how to put in place a PCB design review practice using CADLAB's visual tools for KiCad schematics and board layouts.

Fri, 10:30, Large Classroom

Eduardo Contreras

Designing with a decentralized group

Brief talk about my experience working with different people around Mexico, designing different products in kicad, reviewing the tools we have used, from version control, communication and about the roles of each designer.

Sat, 15:00, Main Stage

Elizabeth Bustamante

The top 5 footprint mistakes that even professional engineers make

When creating libraries, standards are crucial for maintaining consistency, accuracy, and reliability. Yet, even with rigid standards in place, mistakes inevitably creep into such a detail-oriented process. We’ll explore the top 5 mistakes that even professionals make when creating component libraries and how to prevent these errors on your next designs.

Sat, 12:00, Large Classroom

Eric Kuzmenko

Designing a Smartphone Dev Kit

An in-depth look at how an abstract idea of a smartphone dev kit was actualized. Purism's Librem 5 Dev Kit was conceived with the goal of fulfilling a certain set of requires and the intent of being used by software developers to write apps & software for a final GNU/Linux smartphone product. The end result was a very modular design, including the use of an i.MX 8M System-On-Module (SOM), while also being capable of satisfying the basic requirements of a smartphone; designed in KiCad of course.

Fri, 11:00, Main Stage

Greg Davill

Rendering to Reality

In this on-stage demo, Greg will utilize MCAD export for realistic renderings. Showcases step export, 3D modeling and rendering tricks in both closed (Fusion360) and open source (Blender) toolchains.

Fri, 12:00, Main Stage

James Lewis

Preserving history with KiCad

While documentation exists for 1970's and 1980's calculators and computers, unfortunately they exist in bitmap formats. As I started converting parts of the Apple IIgs schematic to KiCad, I realized something. There are benefits to "preserving" historical schematics in a living, active, and open format. In this talk, I talk about my experiences in converting scanned PDFs into KiCad, the project behind that motivation, and to encourage help from others to preserve history with KiCad.

Sat, 16:00, Large Classroom

Jesse Vincent

Automating fabrication outputs with KiCad and git.

Git is a fantastic version control system. KiCad is my favorite EDA tool. Out of the box, the two don't play too well together. In this talk, I'll explain how I use git for KiCad projects. In particular, I'll talk about how to massage KiCad's files to help git understand what changed between each revision and how to set up visual diffs of your layouts. I'll also show how to build full fabrication output packages with a single command.

Sat, 16:30, Main Stage

Jon Evans

From User to Developer: How to Start Hacking on KiCad

Are you a KiCad user with some C++ programming experience? Have you ever wanted to fix a bug or add a feature to help you be more productive? I'll walk you through the process of fixing an example bug from start to finish. We'll cover the KiCad development process, how to navigate the codebase, how to compile and debug on Linux, and how to submit a patch to the development team.

Fri, 14:00, Main Stage

Kerry Scharfglass

Alternative User Interfaces for KiCad

The mouse may have revolutionized user interfaces in the 80's, but since then not much has changed. Our desktop software uses the same tired controls, while mobile devices leap ahead with unusual (and often terrible) new control schemes. No interface method is suited to every task, but maybe there's a magic blend of touch interface and tactile controls that hits a sweet spot for driving KiCad away from the desktop workstation. Come along on my failed journey to see how knobs it really takes to do electrical CAD.

Fri, 11:30, Large Classroom

Louisa Bisio

Manufacturing the Open Source Desktop Computer

Thelio is a beautiful and powerful Linux computer manufactured in Denver, CO. This desktop features an open-sourced daughterboard that was designed in KiCad. We will share why open source hardware is important for an innovative future and talk about the details around manufacturing a powerful desktop computer. Everything from the initial design, to fabrication, to the final build, and the lessons we've learned along the way. In the end, we prove that you don’t have to compromise aesthetics, quality, and performance for open source freedom.

Sat, 14:00, Large Classroom

Maciej "Orson" Suminski

Python whisperer guide

Python scripting interface is a powerful tool that can relieve you from repetitive and tedious tasks. It is also a great method to address issues that are specific to your workflow and are not likely to be solved in the upstream code. In this talk, I will show you how to start your scripting adventure with KiCad by explaining the principles of python scripting and exploring a few examples. Do not be afraid...pythons are not venomous.

Sat, 17:00, Main Stage

Michael Ossmann

Cautionary Tales from the History of Secrecy

Gather round the campfire, children, and listen to spooky stories from the days of proprietary technology.  Folks back then hoarded inventions instead of sharing them. They believed that the value of ideas could be increased by keeping them secret or by forcibly preventing competitors from using or improving upon them.  Against great odds humans survived this dark era.  Today we share their stories so that we may be saved from repeating their failures.

Sat, 10:00, Main Stage

Mihir Shah

Avoid Re-Spins! Designing PCBs in the Age of Prototyping - From the Manufacturer's Perspective

With PCBs becoming easier to design and order quickly, learning how to design effectively - with the manufacturer in mind - can save you thousands of dollars and weeks in manufacturing and debugging time. Mihir, a former EE at Tesla and Taser, will go over how PCBs are actually fabricated and priced, cost and time-saving design tips, and a little bit about the industry at large (who is building what, who is brokering to who, and the best way to get immediate information on your build status)!

Fri, 16:00, Large Classroom

Morgan Allen

Stacking up with (Free|Ki)CAD

Cacoffiny: 8 PCBs joined together to celebrate the death of our batteries. (Free|Ki)CAD (not an endorsement of pronunciation) is the combination of FreeCAD and KiCAD to design 3 dimensional interlocking PCBs. This will lay out my journey from OpenSCAD to Inkscape to FreeCAD in search of a solution. Cacoffiny will be my submission to Hackster.io #BadgeLove, will it succeed? I don't know but it will make for a grand tale and I will talk about tiny desk lamps for Guinea Pigs.

Sat, 11:30, Large Classroom

Patrick Franken

Let your KiCad project become a physical reality

Now that the heavy work in KiCad is done you'll probably want to hold the project in your hands as soon as possible. Unfortunately a lot of things have to be organized. This talk will give a deep insight into the different aspects of sourcing your prototypes and small series. From PCB and stencil over parts to the actual assembly. After this talk you’ll have a fundamental knowledge on how to get your prototype build in the first run.

Fri, 12:00, Large Classroom

Piotr Esden-Tempski

From idea to production. Using KiCad for open source hardware design and manufacturing in a vertically integrated company.

I will go through the whole process and workflow of how I create, manage and publish my KiCad projects using GitHub. How I put together panels. Generate data for P&P machine assembly that we do in house. And talk about the tricks and workarounds that I have to use to successfully use KiCad. And make a list of all the biggest issues that KiCad should address to make this workflow easier. As well as the main things that were addressed in KiCad that make it my tool of choice.

Sat, 16:00, Main Stage

Reid Landsrud

Building The Digi-Key KiCad Library

A short BoF talk on Digi-Key, on how did the library come about, some challenges we faced, and where we want to go. Then open up to discussion and input from the community.

Fri, 14:00, Large Classroom

Samuel Rustan

New Year's resolution: KiCAD Project

This is presentation is a review of a new project started on New Year’s Day leading up to the conference. I’d like to know how effective KiCAD can be for a (nearly) complete PCB layout novice. This talk would be from the perspective of a novice in PCB design, but also from an experienced engineer and tinkerer. How intuitive is the software? How helpful is the documentation? How helpful is the collaboration features? How helpful is it being open source?

Fri, 16:30, Large Classroom

Seth Hillbrand

Effective RF and Microwave Design with KiCad

Working in the microwave spectrum places a number of unique requirements on PCB layout and design. This talk shows how to use KiCad to create effective high-frequency circuits. I will focus on a 300MHz - 3GHz spectrum analysis circuit that I created to search for a type of Dark Matter called Dark Photons. I will demonstrate effective techniques for designing DRC-compliant curved traces, spline-based zone fills and SolidWorks MCAD integration.

Fri, 16:30, Main Stage

Seth Hillbrand

Improving Design Outcomes in KiCad with Diversity and Inclusion Principles

What can diversity and inclusion mean in a critical design environment and how can implementing these principles help us create better circuits? This talk focuses on the beliefs, values and expectations we have and express to others in our processes. I provide specific case examples from my work with military and industry systems of my own mistakes and lessons learned. I focus on how I use KiCad and interact with our community to create norms that mitigate similar mistakes in the future.

Fri, 15:00, Large Classroom

Shawn Hymel

Tips for Making, Marketing, and Selling Your Hardware with Free or Open Source Tools

Starting a business or side gig does not have to be difficult! In fact, there are plenty of free (and some open source) tools to help you make your product (KiCad), market it (Blender), and sell it (Tindie). I'll give you some hard lessons I've learned going full-time freelancer and which tools I found most helpful. Spoiler: KiCad is helpful.

Sat, 14:00, Main Stage

Stephan Kulov

Simulating Your KiCad Circuits with Various SPICEs

SPICE (Simulation Program w/ Integrated Circuit Emphasis) has been helping designers predict circuit performance for decades. KiCad offers built-in simulation via its internal engine provided by “ngspice”, a modern extension of the original open-source SPICE program. Additional steps need to be taken to properly set up a KiCad project for simulation. KiCad also has the ability to export its “netlist” for simulation in an external simulator, such as LTspice, if additional features are desired.

Sat, 14:30, Main Stage

Steve Mayze

KiCAD in Action: Case Study for Stairwell Lighting

Home automation is a popular inspiration for projects for the hobbyist. This talk is a walk through of a long standing project for implementing a stairwell lighting system using a micro controller mounted on a custom board. Along the way, we explore some of the design issues, considerations and how KiCAD played a key(cad) role.

Sat, 15:00, Large Classroom

Tishampati Dhar

MCAD + ECAD for DIN Rail Energy Monitors

I set-out to build an open-source modular DIN rail energy monitor and launched a project on crowd supply with some renders from MCAD + approximate protoboard builds. Then we spent the next 6-months making it real in KiCAD and following the design set-up in MCAD to squeeze everything into the off-the-shelf casing. We got mostly there and shipped out with only 3-month delay. This talk will describe adventures in electronics as a cottage industry in Australia.

Fri, 11:30, Main Stage

Tishampati Dhar

Making PCB Protos in Kenya

At the end of a 3-month stint in Kenya and I decided to run an experiment in the feasibility of designing and assembling prototype batches of PCB's for an energy monitor ASIC I have been meaning to try out - the CS5490. This is a super low bar for a test run. The IC has very few dependent components and large pin pitch making it ideal of teaching manual SMD soldering. This talk covers the challenges (mostly logistics) of small scale PCB design and assembly in Kenya (the third world in general)

Sat, 14:30, Large Classroom

Uriel guy

KiCadSharp - a C# wrapper for KiCad

This will be a talk about a library I published on GitHub, which allows for programmatic creation of PCBs, and for much more to be done after the data is easily available programatically, such as automatic programming jig creation. Library is here - https://github.com/UrielGuy/KiCad_sharp

Sat, 11:00, Main Stage

Wayne Stambaugh

State of KiCad - v5.1 and Beyond!

The keynote talk will include a brief discussion on the current status of the KiCad project, why KiCad is important, any project announcements and Q&A with the KiCad project leader.

Fri, 17:00, Main Stage

Interested in seeing these talks? Buy your tickets now!!