Ash Ravikumar, Entrepreneurship Development Officer at CERN, first discovered KiCad in 2015.
KiCad, an important tool for designing open-source hardware, allows designers to share their work and increase their business in the most efficient way.
Ash was passionate about electronic design automation (EDA), and in particular, designing interface boards. With so many electronics development applications out there, his aim was to find the ideal tool to test his prototype and designs.
He specifies, “All commercial tools required a full licence which was very expensive. KiCad was the perfect tool as it was easy to use, had documentation and a community to help.”
Thanks to KiCad, Ash was able to build, test and complete his design, which he later sent to an online PCB manufacturer for printing. KiCad’s free use license, ease-of-use, printed circuit board (PCB) layout and 3D viewer tools were all fundamental differentiators for Ash in the process of executing his design.
“Many hobbyist, tinkerers and early stage companies require tools that will help them realise their ideas. KiCad is probably the best EDA community helping with the democratization of hardware inventions.”
Additionally, it was KiCad’s exceptionally active and loyal online community of users that proved to be invaluable for Ash.
“From my experience working with early stage start-ups, the hardest first step is to develop a minimal viable product and then validate user needs. The KiCad community, where people take the time to answer questions and share with others, is, and always has been extremely resourceful. “