Design an STM32-based prototype from scratch in KiCad V6 – all the way from concept to manufacturing.

What you will learn

Master the basics of KiCad V6.

Know what external circuitry is required for STM32 microcontrollers, USB, and more.

Learn guidelines and best practices for PCB layout and routing.

Understand what information is required to get your prototype manufactured.


Learn how to use KiCadย V6 and design your own printed circuit boardsย (PCBs)ย featuring STM32 microcontrollers. This course will give you a straightforward and complete way to moving from Arduino-based designs to your own, completely custom, STM32-based hardware. All the way from project creation, through to circuit design, PCB layout and routing, and final manufacturing file generation.

Lesson content:

1) Schematic

How to use KiCad V6 (free ECAD software), creating a schematic in KiCad, populating the schematic with relevant circuitry: STM32 microcontroller, required surrounding circuitry, decoupling capacitors, pin-out planning using STM32CubeIDE, USB 2.0 FS, power supply using an LDO regulator. How to perform an electrical rules check and annotate the schematic, as well as assigning footprints.

2) PCB Layout

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Setting up the KiCad V6 PCB editor, finding manufacturer capabilities and importing them into KiCad. Using the 3D viewer. Initial rough layout: placing the MCU, decoupling capacitors, and crystal circuitry. Adding USB, SWD, and GPIO connectors. Changing footprints and adding 3D models. Fine tuning placement and layout. Simple LDO power supply layout. Adding mounting holes and defining the board outline.

3) PCB Routing

Routing order and priorities. Best practices for decoupling capacitors, crystals, and sensitive traces. Signal routing, ground planes, vias, and power routing. Finishing touches with custom silkscreen and custom logo. Design rule check and final project checks.

4) Manufacturing

Producing the files in KiCad required by PCB manufacturers for assembly and production.






STM32 Microcontroller and Decoupling
STM32 Configuration Pins
Pin-Out and STM32CubeIDE
Crystal Circuitry
Power Supply and Connectors
Electrical Rules Check (ERC) and Annotation
Footprint Assignment

PCB Layout

KiCad PCB Set-Up
MCU, Decoupling Capacitors, and Crystal Layout
USB and SWD Layout
Changing Footprints and Adding 3D Models
Switch and Connector Placement
Power Supply Layout
Mounting Holes and Board Outline

PCB Routing

Decoupling Capacitors and Crystal Routing
Signal Routing
Power Routing
Finishing Touches and Design Rule Check (DRC)

Manufacturing and Outro

Producing Manufacturing Files (BOM, CPL, Gerber, and Drill)