Since I plan to provide schematic diagrams for some of my articles, I researched various schematic capture applications that are both free and can be used for commercial purposes on macOS. I am aware of various paid applications, but at this time, I don’t know how much schematic work I will be doing so I wanted to try some of the free alternatives first.
I decided to try KiCad which states it is a “A Cross Platform and Open Source Electronics Design Automation Suite”. It provides much more than just schematic capture as it assists the user all the way through designing and submitting a final printed circuit board (PCB) to manufacturing. The application is working well so far except for a bug I came across related to creating a new project from a template (which has been fixed and is slated to be released in a future update of the application). KiCad is much more capable than I had originally expected for a free application and I find myself pleasantly surprised and enjoying the learning experience.
One humorous thing happened while assessing this application. Since KiCad’s default resistor uses the block symbol in schematics, I was researching how to create my own alternate resistor using the zigzag symbol and came across a forum post where someone stated that symbol hasn’t been used in 30 years. I don’t believe that is quite true, but it sure did make me feel old.
Please share your thoughts about KiCad or any other schematic capture programs you enjoy.