10 Best Kicad Courses and Certifications Online

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Close up iPhone showing Udemy application and laptop with notebookKicad is a popular open-source software tool used for designing electronic circuits and printed circuit boards (PCBs). As with any complex software, mastering Kicad requires a substantial investment of time and effort, particularly for novice users. Fortunately, a variety of online courses are available to help individuals learn the ins and outs of Kicad. These courses offer a range of resources, including video tutorials, interactive exercises, and practical projects, designed to help learners of all levels gain proficiency in using Kicad. In this article, we will explore some of the best Kicad courses available online, highlighting their key features and potential benefits to users.

Here’s a look at the Best Kicad Courses and Certifications Online and what they have to offer for you!

10 Best Kicad Courses and Certifications Online

1. Learn KiCad. Printed Circuit Board Design. by Niklas Wennerstrand (Udemy) (Our Best Pick)

This Udemy course, entitled Learn KiCad. Printed Circuit Board Design, is a video tutorial that aims to teach interested individuals how to use the open source program KiCad for their next electronics project. The course requires a computer with internet access, and can be used on Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems.

Throughout the course, the instructor, Niklas Wennerstrand, will guide students in setting up their projects and designing a printed circuit board. The biggest advantage of using KiCad is its lack of restrictions on the size of the physical printed circuit board. Additionally, KiCad is free and ideal for use within the maker community, as it is open source and does not require complex or expensive licenses.

The course content is divided into sections, with the first section covering how to get started with KiCad. This includes installation, creating a project, and setting up the user interface. Subsequent sections cover how to create schematic diagrams, how to design a printed circuit board, and how to generate output files in various formats. Each section is accompanied by video tutorials to facilitate visual learning.

2. Learn KiCad V6 and STM32 Hardware Design by Philip Salmony (Udemy)

The “Learn KiCad V6 and STM32 Hardware Design” course is designed to teach students how to design their own printed circuit boards featuring STM32 microcontrollers from scratch using KiCad V6 software. Students should have basic knowledge of electronics and microcontrollers and have KiCad V6 installed.

The course covers the entire process of moving from Arduino-based designs to custom STM32-based hardware. The lessons include creating a schematic in KiCad, populating it with relevant circuitry, performing an electrical rules check, and assigning footprints. In addition, students will learn how to set up the KiCad V6 PCB editor, find manufacturer capabilities, and import them into KiCad. Furthermore, they will learn how to perform initial rough layout, add connectors and custom 3D models, and fine-tune placement and layout.

The course also covers PCB routing with topics including routing order and priorities, signal routing, ground planes, vias, power routing, and design rule checks. Students will also learn how to add finishing touches, such as custom silkscreen and logos. The final lesson covers producing the files necessary for assembly and production required by PCB manufacturers.

Overall, this course offers a complete and straightforward way for students to design an STM32-based prototype from concept to manufacturing using KiCad V6 software.

3. KiCad Like a Pro 3rd edition by Dr. Peter Dalmaris (Udemy)

The KiCad Like a Pro 3rd edition course is designed to teach learners how to use the world’s most popular open-source PCB design tool for electronics engineers and hobbyists. KiCad is an unrestricted, free-to-use tool, which is supported by a dedicated team of volunteer developers and a strong community of users and contributors. The course takes a practical approach to learning KiCad, combining “how-to” content with complete start-to-finish PCB projects.

The course covers all aspects of KiCad 6, the latest major iteration of the software, which was published in November 2021. KiCad 6 boasts new powerful features and productivity enhancements that make it as good or better than competing expensive commercial CAD applications. The course is suitable for both beginners and experienced PCB designers, helping them transition to KiCad 6 from another tool or an earlier version of KiCad.

The course content is divided into several sections, including getting started with PCB design and KiCad 6, a hands-on tour of KiCad for schematic design and layout, design principles and PCB terms, design workflow and considerations, and fundamental KiCad how-to on Symbols and Eeschema, and Footprints and Pcbnew. The course also includes two PCB projects, one for a simple breadboard power supply and another for an MCU datalogger with a build-in 512K EEPROM and clock, as well as recipes.

The course instructor, Dr. Peter Dalmaris, has used KiCad 6 to create KiCad Like a Pro 3rd edition. He invites learners to read the course description and watch the free lectures in the first section to get more information about the course. The course takes a practical approach to learning KiCad, combining “how-to” content with complete start-to-finish PCB projects. Dr. Dalmaris looks forward to learning with students in this course.

4. What is KiCad about? Starting with KiCad … by Robert Feranec (Udemy)

Course Title: What is KiCad about? Starting with KiCad …
Course Instructors: Robert Feranec
Course Short Description: Step-by-Step tutorial to design a simple board in 1 hour using KiCad.
Course Long Description: This course is designed for individuals with no prior knowledge of KiCad, a widely used free CAD software for designing schematic and PCB Layouts. The course provides a hands-on approach to learning KiCad by guiding learners through the entire process of designing a simple board.

The course outlines the skills that learners will acquire by the end of the tutorial which includes drawing schematic, creating schematic symbols and footprints, routing a simple PCB, and generating documents for manufacturing PCB. The aim of the course is to give learners a clear understanding of essential KiCad features and provide them with a solid foundation to design more complex boards.

The course content is divided into one section which focuses on the step-by-step process of designing a simple board using KiCad. The course requires no prior knowledge of KiCad and is suitable for beginners who are interested in learning how to design PCBs.

5. KiCAD PCB Design For Embedded Systems & Electronics Projects by DeepBlue Embedded (Udemy)

The KiCAD PCB Design for Embedded Systems & Electronics Projects course is a project-based program that aims to teach learners the basics of KiCAD and its use in PCB design projects. The course focuses on helping learners develop a systematic way to approach PCB hardware design projects, whether as a hobbyist or an engineering student.

Throughout the course, learners will be designing three PCB boards, including a simple LED Flasher board, a PIC18F-based development board, and an STM32-based USB-powered LED controller board. The course starts with an introduction to printed circuit boards (PCB) technology, followed by an introduction to KiCAD tools for schematic capture and PCB layout editing.

The course also includes a very intuitive PCB design methodology that learners can apply to any project, consisting of ten actionable steps. The last three sections of the course are dedicated to the three projects, where learners will be doing HW Req. Statement, Schematic Design, Schematic Capture, ERC Check, Footprints Assignment, PCB Layout & Routing, DRC Check, Generating Fab.-Ready Output Files (Gerber), Generating BOM File, and Generating POS for SMT services.

Learners will learn when and how to do each step in detail through this course and three times in three different projects, ensuring a good understanding and vision for the PCB design workflow. The course concludes with an overview of the content and sections, including Introduction, Getting Started With KiCAD, PCB Design Methodology, PCB Design Project1: LED Flasher Board, PCB Design Project2: PIC Microcontroller Development Board, and PCB Design Project3: USB-Powered LED Controller With STM32 uC.

6. PCB design using KiCAD by Shekhar Nandanwar (Udemy)

Course Title: PCB Design Using KiCAD

Course Instructor: Shekhar Nandanwar

Course Short Description: This course provides an introduction to PCB design using KiCAD.

Course Long Description: This course aims to equip learners with the necessary knowledge and skills to design their own Printed Circuit Board (PCB) using KiCAD. It covers the basics of PCB design, from board to generating the gerber file, with theoretical and practical understanding and real-time examples. KiCAD is an Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tool, the most widely used free and open-source PCB design tool, which can work on Windows, Linux, and Mac. This software can design single-sided, double-sided, and multi-layer PCBs, and users can easily design schematics, PCB layouts, and routing. Component selection and assigning footprint to the associated component is also covered, along with generating gerber files and sending them to the PCB manufacturer. This is a beginner level course, and interested individuals can enroll for free and get step by step guidance on the PCB design flow.

What You Will Learn:
1. Basics of PCB design, including the steps involved in design, different components, and layers in PCB.
2. KiCAD software, which is the most popular PCB design software.
3. Schematic Design, which involves designing the schematic and assigning a footprint to the component.
4. PCB Layout and Routing, which involves placing the components and routing the tracks.

Course Content and Sections:
1. Introduction
2. How to Download the Software
3. Schematic Design
4. Assigning Footprint
5. Tracks and Layout

7. KiCad ile Uygulamalı PCB Tasarımı(Robot Kartı) by Arif Mandal (Udemy)

The course “KiCad ile Uygulamalı PCB Tasarımı (Robot Kartı)” is designed to teach participants how to create their own PCB designs from scratch. The course uses the KiCad software, which is free and open-source, allowing for easy production and commercialization of circuit boards. The course covers the installation of KiCad and step-by-step instructions on how to design a robot card. Participants will learn how to arrange sensors and electronic components on the card and transfer them to the PCB design. The course also includes improvements on the card and how to send it to production.

To achieve the best results, it is recommended that participants watch the videos in order and take notes while practicing the examples given. By the end of the course, participants will have a reliable template for designing their own PCBs and will be able to develop their skills in this field. Other courses offered by the instructor include “MicroPython ile Gömülü Sistemler Dünyasına Giriş (ESP8266),” “STM32 ile A’dan Z’ye Gömülü Sistemler (Embedded Systems),” “Gömülü Sistemler için C Diline Hızlı Bir Giriş,” “Kicad ile STM32 Geliştirme Kartı Tasarımı (Development Board),” and “Proteus ile Temel Elektrik ve Elektronik Uygulamaları.”

The course is structured into different sections, including an introduction, program installation, KiCad interface and workflow, creating a circuit diagram, and moving to the PCB. It also covers generating output files, creating a Bill of Materials (BOM), and creating a library for CNY70. There is an additional section on designing a line-following sensor card and an end segment on enhancements to the robot card. The course concludes with project files and a list of other courses offered.

8. Design with KiCad 6 by Wissam Botros, P.Eng, CID (Udemy)

The Design with KiCad 6 course is geared towards individuals interested in learning how to use KiCad for their PCB (Printed Circuit Board) design. The course is designed to take students from a state of not knowing the software to creating a development board at the final project, without overwhelming them with an excessive number of videos to watch.

The approach to teaching the software is a systematic one, with students learning different parts of KiCad 6 while creating a simple project. The subsequent sections build on this project, with menus, sub-menus and toolbars being introduced once the student is familiar with the program. The course’s main project involves creating REV1 of a two-phase bipolar stepper motor controller, followed by the creation of REV2 with different requirements and motors. The final project involves creating a development board and routing it using an auto-router with guidance from the videos and lectures in the final section.

The course’s audio and video quality are given special attention to ensure a smooth transition between lectures. Lectures average around five minutes, and each one ends with a musical cue to signify the end. The quizzes in the course serve to open students’ eyes to important facts, rather than to grade them.

The course includes several sections covering topics such as installation, libraries and 3D models, the KiCad Project Manager, the Schematic Layout Editor – Eeschema, and the PCB Layout Editor – Pcbnew. The course’s project-based approach ensures that students receive practical experience with KiCad 6 while learning.

In conclusion, the Design with KiCad 6 course is suitable for individuals interested in PCB design, whether as a requirement or a hobby. The course’s systematic approach, combined with its emphasis on practical experience, makes it an effective tool for learning KiCad 6.

9. Design with KiCad 5 by Wissam Botros, P.Eng, CID (Udemy)

The Design with KiCad 5 course is a comprehensive and structured program aimed at teaching users the ins and outs of KiCad for PCB design. The course is tailored to KiCad 5 and involves creating a development board as the final project. The course is designed to avoid overwhelming participants with lengthy videos and instead operates on a systematic approach, wherein a simple project is created and then expanded upon in each subsequent section. The course is carefully crafted with quality audio and video, ensuring that lectures remain engaging and informative. The course contains seven sections, including the introduction, principals, installation and libraries, KiCad project manager, schematic layout editor, PCB layout editor, and finally, project creation.

10. KiCad – Aprende a diseñar y fabricar PCB `s + Proyecto Final by Adrian Miguel (Udemy)

The course titled “KiCad – Aprende a diseñar y fabricar PCB’s + Proyecto Final” is aimed at providing learners with the ability to develop professional circuit boards using the KiCad software and send them for production through JLCPCB.

The course covers the fundamentals of the free and open-source software, KiCad, which enables users to design PCBs with both technical and aesthetic finesse. Participants will gain knowledge on various tools including creating and downloading symbols and footprints, working with libraries, assigning and creating 3D elements for components, manual and auto-routing, and cost-effective PCB manufacturing through JLCPCB.

The course is designed to help individuals realize their ideas for electronic circuits. The content is divided into seven sections: Introduction to KiCad, graphical environment and tools of KiCad, design of electrical schematics, preparation for creating the PCB, designing the PCB with KiCad, PCB fabrication, and a farewell to the course.