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KiCad plugin for keyboard design

u/admwscki's kicad-kbplacer is a KiCad plugin using KLE layouts to place switches and diodes.

KBD.news
Published June 1, 2023
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The kicad-kbplacer KiCad plugin by adamws/admwscki is a handy tool for designing keyboard PCBs. Developed an open-sourced to simplify mechanical keyboard PCB design, it automatically places switches and diodes, and uses the popular JSON layout description format of Keyboard Layout Editor.

All PCBs for mechanical keyboards share common properties which creates great opportunity for scripting. Although this project does not aim to provide a complete automatic PCB generation tool, it speeds up the development process by reducing the task of placing the element – adamws.

This tool is compatible with KiCad 7 and available in the official KiCad plugin repository.

(KLE is great for more classic or ortho layouts, but it gets a real pita once rotation and symmetry is involved, i.e. when designing split boards. In this case you may prefer ErgoGen.)

Pic:

Features

  • Automatic key and diode placement
  • Support for different annotation schemes
  • Basic track routing
  • Key rotation support
  • User selectable diode position in relation to key position

Resources

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Published on Thu 1st Jun 2023. Featured in KBD #124 (source).


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