KiCad is a free CAD tool gaining popularity among electronics engineers. It allows drawing schematics, making PCB and also visualization of designed PCB. In this tool every component needs to have symbol in KiCad library which will be later put on schematic. Thanks to hairykiwi who made those symbols for Energy Micro products and made it available here it was possible to draw schematics with Gecko MCUs.
Above picture shows one part of EFM32G200F16 symbol.
When designing PCB, there must be footprint for every component – it is possible to use standard footprints for packages but a better option seemed to be creating dedicated one for EFM32 chips. That was done partially using modules generator here.
Above picture shows BGA112 footprint for EFM32 microcontroller.
To let KiCad visualize, designed PCB every module needs to have 3D model. It was decided to use Wings3D for modeling because it can output data in format understandable by KiCad.
Above picture shows the visualization of TQFP48 EFM32 Gecko in KiCad.
For all those interested to see first attempts in Gecko modeling using Wings3D:
Download the archives containing EFM32 footprints and 3D models here.
Copy EnergyMicro.mod and *.wrl files to your KiCad modules directory.
In Pcbnew program click Preferences->Library and in opened window add EnergyMicro.mod to list of libraries. Now EFM32 footprints with 3D models are available in Kicad!
- Wings3D – polygon modeler
- Kicad – schematic and PCB tool
- Kicad module builder
- Kicad EFM32 schematic symbol
This Hack a Gecko project is a result of a “fun hacking session” and are provided as is, free of charge with no guarantees or support from Energy Micro, to partially or fully show and demonstrate EFM32 Gecko microcontroller capabilities. Get inspired, use at own risk, and build some awesome and cool applications.”
For technical questions about this project, please use our forum. The Hack-a-Gecko team will answer your questions directly.