From Datasheet to KiCad Component

I found some cheap small microswitches on AliExpress, working backwards I found the same switch part numbers, and subsequently found a Switch Data sheet for the same size part.

I use a mix of Fusion 360 and KiCAD for design, so I CADDed up the three flavours of microswitches, using the dimensions and land pattern from the data sheet:

The Procedure I followed was as follows:

Schematic Symbol:

  1. Open KiCad, into a project where you want to use the components.

    Open up KiCad
    Open up KiCad

  2. Open ‘Symbol Editor’ » ‘File’ » ‘New Library’; I chose to put them into my project and make them a ‘Project Library’
  3. ‘Little Switch’ now appears on the left hand side of the screen

    Little Switch
    Little Switch

  4. Since a SPDT switch is a common item, I ran the search for that rather than drawing my own this time, and double clicked to load the first one to check that I was happy with it.

    STDP Search
    STDP Search

  5. Right click to save a copy

    Save a copy
    Right click on the symbol that you loaded

  6. I selected the libray I wanted to save the file in, and since the Microswitch is a ‘DF-M Series Micro Switch’ I saved it as such

    Save a copy location
    Save a copy location

PCB Footprint:

  1. Back to the front screen (still inside your project):

    Footprint Editor
    Footprint Editor

  2. Like before you will want to save the new library: ‘Footprint Editor’ » ‘File’ » ‘New Library’
  3. Find ‘Little Switch’ on the left hand side and right click » ‘New Footprint’:

    New footprint
    New footprint

  4. Since the first one I am going to draw is the ‘A Type‘ I have chosen to call it that,

    Land Pattern
    Land Pattern

  5. The following gets auto populated on the screen:
  6. Select the ‘Pad tool’ and place down three pads in roughly the right place, I have also moved the auto populated parts as well.

    Pads
    Pads

  7. Using the data sheet land patten as a guide
    Land Pattern
    Land Pattern

    I now use the pad » right click » ‘properties’ menu to fine tune the pad’s details:

    Properties
    Properties

  8. Check the layout and mark it up:
    Pad Details
    Pad Details

    Pad Order
    Pad Order

  9. A bit more drawing latter, using the ‘Add Graphics Line’ on the silk screen layer we have now got the A-Type drawn approximately as per the datasheet

    A Type Drawn
    A Type Drawn

  10. Now we can use the A-Type we have drawn to start working on the other two, Type C and Type D. Right click on ‘A Type’ » ‘Save as’
    Save As
    Save As

    Name
    Name

  11. For the Type C, and D we will mainly just want to move the outline box to indicate the way the switch lays.

Since this post is getting a fair bit long, I will write another one about how to import the 3D model, and make that all pretty!

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