Using KiCAD on the daily

I use KiCAD a lot. KiCAD is love, KiCAD is life.

For me, KiCAD gets the heck out of the way while I get work done. However, my coworker insists that our company should spend money on another EDA. I’m reasonably sure you know which one I’m talking about without even saying the product’s name. He’s been pretty successful convincing others in my office that KiCAD is “hobby grade” and that we need a “real” EDA.

The problem with all of this conjecture is that he doesn’t USE any EDAs. I do. The fact of the matter is that KiCAD use is increasing with new features added with regularity. According to this presentation given by KiCAD developers over 50% of all orders to a company called CamCo (not sure if I got this company name correct, obtained from the youtube transcript) are now made using KiCAD. Fifty Percent!

Altium, however, would have you believe that they’re the only game in town, but in reality, they account for 10% of market share. Look at slide 50 of Altium’s investor presentation from 2015: Take note that this slide is BY REVENUE.

KiCAD is free, so they’re not even giving you the full picture of the landscape. Here is why I love using KiCAD:

  1. Because its free I can work with people in different departments, states, heck even countries if I wanted.
  2. It’s very hackable.
  3. I get to continue working in Linux.
  4. Other circuit designers and companies I respect have switched to KiCAD.

I haven’t a clue as to why there’s this EDA snobbery out there. Just use whatever works for your organization.

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