Core Electronics Forum

Project by Michael; KiPad - A custom macro keypad for KiCad

I just wrapped up this project: "KiPad - A custom macro keypad for KiCad"



Presenting the KiPad - a custom macro keypad for the popular open-source PCB design software KiCad.

KiCad is awesome! But I’ve found that during PCB layout, my right hand is constantly moving back-and-forth between the keyboard and mouse - to execute hotkey commands or use the arrow-keys. That’s where KiPad comes in. The KiPad is equipped with a 16 keys and three rotary encoders, each programmed with a specific KiCad hotkey combination. This means common functions and arrow keys are all accessible to the left hand, leaving the right hand on the mouse.

Commands available:

  • Lay tracks
  • Drag tracks
  • Change layers
  • Measure
  • Set grid origin
  • High-contrast mode (toggle)
  • Rotate
  • Move
  • Shift, Ctrl and Arrow Keys
  • Undo / Redo
  • Enter / Delete
  • Escape key
  • Tab Key
  • Media (Play/Pause, Volume, next song)
  • Grid-size Knob
  • Track size Knob


    Read more
4 Likes

Looks really good. I have just started with KiCad, submitted my first files for production. I have no idea what I’ll get back. Usable I hope, otherwise a $20 learning experience (there’s no such thing as failure - I tell myself).

I can see this will be useful for some, and maybe down the track I’ll look at it again. I’m a bit ambidextrous so not too troubled yet but I’m still at the “think 10 seconds before pressing key” stage.

Nice work.

3 Likes

If you happen to update the design files with any improvements or bug-fixes be sure to post them!
Can’t wait to see what you make :smiley:

3 Likes

Interesting relevant article:

3 Likes

That is quite beautiful and creative. Image from the linked post:

3 Likes