2017-10-08 Robin Whittle
In KiCad 4.0.7 there are several Python scripts for generating BOMs
(Bills of Material). They are not documented in the Eeschema manual. There is some documentation in the file README-bom.txt
the directory where the scripts are located:
C:\Program Files (x86)\KiCad\bin\scripting\plugins\
Windows does not normally have a Python interpreter, so I installed one
as shown below. By then, I decided that these supplied Python
scripts were probably not as useful, or at least worth investing time
in, as a fully developed and well documented system from the enigmatic
(2,579 contributions to github in the last
So I explored using this instead.
Please see the parent directory for other information about KiCad: ../#bomw
KiCad 4.0.7 also comes with a basic ungrouped BoM generation script,
and one which groups components with the same value and footprint into
single lines. The latter has some bugs, which I fixed.
|01 - Installing a Python interpreter for Windows 7
|02 - Installing and using KiBom
01 - Installing a Python interpreter for Windows 7
I have no particular interest in
Python, but I known there are two different versions 2.x and 3.x which
involve language differences.
I installed a Python system from:
specifically the 3.6.3 2017-10-03 version, Windows x86-64 web-based
installer. This is a smaller single download than the full
installer. This was fairly straightforward. I enabled the tick box
for Adding Python 3.6 to the PATH, so that the interpreter can be run
from a command line just by "python", rather than by having to specify
the full directory and file name of the python interpreter.
Now from a command window I can type "python", press enter and the interpreter runs and announces itself.
02 - Installing and using KiBom
It can produce the BoM file in .csv,
.html or .xml formats. To create a "plugin" for this, from
Eeschema's BOM button on the top menu, I clicked the Add button,
selected the main script of this package:
accepted the name KiBOM_CLI for the name of the "plugin" and modified the command line which appeared, to add -KiBoM
to the name of the output file. The BoM file's name will start
with the name of the schematic project, and be followed by "-KiBoM.csv
". My command line is:
python "D:\PCB\Kicad\python-scripts\KiBom\KiBoM-master\KiBOM_CLI.py" "%I" "%O-KiBoM"
The other two "plugins" are for generating one component per line BoMs
and grouped BoMs, both with translation files which are run by xsltproc.exe
as described in the pages linked to at the top of this one.
When I clicked the Generate button, a .CSV file was created, and KiBom
reported several "Field conflicts" in the Plugin Info pane of the Bill
of Material dialogue box. These warnings concerned two or more
components which it had grouped together (correctly) but for which one
or more fields, had differing text for the value of these fields.
In the .CSV file, the reported value for that field's cell was the
concatenation of these differing values. Sometimes these fields
will differ between grouped components, such as with my PCBVal
field. Still, I appreciate the program complaining about what
might be faulty data.
Here is what the BoM looks like when opened in Excel 2003:
KiBom is very well documented, easy to install and use, produces
results which look good to me so far, and can have various aspects of
its operation controlled by a per-project .ini file (or by any other
such file as specified on the command line). It can easily be
made to generate a BoM for a specific number of boards and can handle
multiple revisions of a design in which some components may or may not
be mounted on the PCB.
Since I don't yet have a completed PCB design, I will wait until I do before I explore its operation more. For now: Salute!
- 2017-10-09: Initial version.