In this article I will talk about the new partnership between the CERN & Society Foundation/KiCad and AISLER and our motivation behind it.
From the early days, the open source spirit has always been a part of AISLER. We use open source software every day and love the community that has formed around it (I have also created a little piece of open source software called Joseph that you might want to check out).
To be honest, a big part of our business would not be the same without open source PCB design software like Fritzing or KiCad. That is why we felt the need to take the next step in supporting the open source software community. We believe that a healthy open source software environment is essential for many projects and businesses, but usually doesn’t get the support it deserves.
Open source software is often what lets makers thrive and design amazing creations. We feel honored that we get to turn many of those designs from a file on a computer into a real physical object. As this is the step where the value that free software like KiCad creates becomes most apparent, we feel like this is just the right occasion to enable makers to give back to the free design tool that they love.
As the official Fritzing fab, we have always used a share of our profits to foster the development and maintenance of Fritzing. Now, with KiCad, we have found a way to give users an even more direct option to support the project that helps them create amazing things.
The new collaboration between AISLER and and the CERN & Society Foundation makes it easier than ever for users to contribute to the KiCad project. When turning a KiCad design into a real physical project, users now can choose to simply mark a checkbox during the purchasing process and automatically make a donation to KiCad. All proceeds will go directly to the KiCad project and will be used on its further development. This guarantees a steady development of KiCad and keeps the free PCB design tool free for good.
KiCad has always been an important PCB Design Tool for us, ever since we started supporting KiCad files natively back in 2016.
We have seen how valuable the allocation of resources to KiCad by the Cern & Society Foundation has been in the past years and how it has helped make KiCad be on par with commercial EDA tools. We think that the new collaboration will empower users to support KiCad even more and make it that much more powerful.
We truly believe that a healthy open source software environment will enable many more makers to turn their ideas into great products. Let us know what you think and tweet at us @AislerHQ.
About AISLER: AISLER provides Powerful Prototypes for the electronics industry. We allow engineers world-wide to rapidly prototype their ideas and build amazing products. By bundling PCBs, parts and stencils, and streamlining the order process, engineers can focus on their creative process. AISLER is headquartered in the Netherlands with production and logistics facilities in Germany. It has delivered Powerful Prototypes to customers in more than 100 countries.
About KiCad: KiCad is an open source software suite for Electronic Design Automation (EDA). The programs handle Schematic Capture, and PCB Layout with Gerber output. The suite runs on Windows, Linux and macOS and is licensed under GNU GPL v3.
About the CERN & Society Foundation: The CERN & Society Foundation is a charitable foundation established by CERN to fund the CERN & Society programme of projects. These projects, in the areas of education & outreach, innovation & knowledge exchange, and culture & creativity, are inspired or enabled by CERN, but lie outside of its specific research mandate. The Foundation seeks the support of individuals, trusts, international organisations and commercial entities to spread the CERN spirit of scientific curiosity for the inspiration and benefit of society.