KiCad Gets Banana For Scale

Over the years we’ve seen KiCad grow from a niche, somewhat incomplete, but Open Source PCB design suite to a full-featured extravaganza of schematics and board layouts. We’ve plumbed the depths of keys and kais and queues and quays, and KiCad just had its first conference last weekend. While we wait for the rest of the talks to be published, there’s a special treat for KiCad users everywhere. Here’s a banana for scale.

Have you ever worried your PCB was too big? Confused if you’re working in inches or millimeters? Do you just want to know the scale of your PCB? Just add this footprint to your KiCad project, and you’ll have a banana on your board view. This is immediate visual feedback, giving you all the information you need to continue on with your design. There’s a 2D view and a 3D view. It’s something no electrical engineer should be without. All of this can be yours for the low, low, cost of free because KiCad is Open Source.

If you’re wondering what official features are in the works for the EDA suite, the first two talks from the con delve into that. project leader Wayne Stambaugh’s talk covers features new to version 5.1 and plans for 6.0. There was also a developers panel that provides insight on what goes into a large project like this one.

38 thoughts on “KiCad Gets Banana For Scale

    1. The answer is “no”. Rulers come in all different sizes, compact discs are expensive (and kinda two-thousand-and-late, frankly).

      Bananas, being essentially a monoculture, are about the same size everywhere they can be bought.

      “Banana for scale” started out as a silly joke, but honestly it’s pretty solid.

      Of course, there are obvious things you might use for size comparison, like the width of a fist or the length of a foot. But we’ve already seen how that one plays out, and it’s not pretty.

      1. Well, the bananas I’m familiar with vary in size by a factor of two or so (linearly). And as far as I know, they’re the same variety. Add in other varieties and can only get worse.

      2. The, “African or European,” comment above was probably more apropos than its tongue-in-cheek referenced intention… there are a significant number of places in the world where a generic banana is a scaled-down (worst case here) version of what an ordinary, say, American, world assume.

        I wasn’t at the conference and I haven’t checked the statistics but I live in Texas so I’m assuming it’s the larger variety.

  1. How is scale an issue? when you design a pcb you should know about the size you need if not the exact size.
    I also print out the pcb actual size on paper for review. – maybe I am missing something, but how is this an issue?

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