The world needs a freely available tool for designing open-source hardware. Without it, designers do not have the freedom to share their work efficiently. KiCad is that tool, and you can help to develop it. 

KiCad is a Free and Open Source Software PCB design tool, which runs on the computer operating systems GNU/Linux, Windows and Apple OS X. It is licensed under the GNU Public License (GPL). The objective of this development project is to enhance KiCad to make it an efficient tool for PCB design, which people can use to share their design information without compromising productivity. The project will entail close collaboration with current KiCad developers. We think that KiCad can do to PCB design what the GCC compiler did to software: ensure that there are no artificial barriers to the sharing of information, so that design and development knowledge can flow more freely. This contribution is part of CERN’s broader efforts in Open Source Hardware.

Apart from Open Hardware designers themselves, academic institutions will also benefit from the development of KiCad.

In line with CERN's mission for education, students will be able to use professional-quality PCB design tools free from constraints imposed by cost, functionality or intellectual property restrictions. They will also be able to contribute to further improving the tool for the benefit of others, an activity with a high educational value in itself and which will increase their employment potential.

University professors and students will have a powerful tool to teach and learn real-life electronics through the design of actual circuits in the context of their studies. In addition, because KiCad is Free Software, students wanting to pursue their developments outside of regular lecture times will be free to do so. The exchange of designs will also be seamless, both within and between different academic institutions. You can also follow the project's progress at this link.


All donations will be put to immediate use in developing KiCad. Any amount is welcome and will be gratefully received.

Please note that we are unable to process transactions below CHF 10.


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