RAYPCB Plugin for KiCad Available Now

Posted by

Introduction to RAYPCB and KiCad

RAYPCB is a leading PCB manufacturing and assembly service provider that offers high-quality, reliable, and cost-effective solutions for electronics enthusiasts, hobbyists, and professionals. With a strong commitment to customer satisfaction and innovation, RAYPCB has recently launched a new plugin for KiCad, a popular open-source electronic design automation (EDA) software suite.

KiCad is widely used by engineers, designers, and makers worldwide for designing electronic circuits and creating professional-grade PCBs. The software offers a complete set of tools for schematic capture, PCB layout, and design rule checking, making it an ideal choice for both beginners and experienced users.

Benefits of the RAYPCB Plugin for KiCad

The RAYPCB plugin for KiCad brings several benefits to users, streamlining the PCB design and manufacturing process:

  1. Seamless integration with KiCad
  2. Instant quotations for PCB Fabrication and assembly
  3. Automated design rule checks (DRC) based on RAYPCB’s manufacturing capabilities
  4. Direct submission of PCB design files to RAYPCB for production
  5. Real-time order tracking and status updates

By integrating RAYPCB’s services directly into the KiCad environment, users can save time and effort, ensuring their designs are optimized for manufacturing and reducing the risk of errors or delays.

Installation and Setup

System Requirements

To use the RAYPCB plugin for KiCad, ensure that your system meets the following requirements:

  • KiCad version 5.1.6 or later
  • Windows, macOS, or Linux operating system
  • Internet connection

Installing the Plugin

Follow these steps to install the RAYPCB plugin for KiCad:

  1. Download the latest version of the plugin from the RAYPCB website or the KiCad plugin repository.
  2. Extract the downloaded ZIP file to a convenient location on your computer.
  3. Launch KiCad and navigate to the “Tools” menu.
  4. Select “Plugin and Content Manager” from the dropdown menu.
  5. In the Plugin and Content Manager window, click on the “Install from File” button.
  6. Browse to the location where you extracted the RAYPCB plugin files and select the “raypcb_plugin.zip” file.
  7. Click “Open” to begin the installation process.
  8. Once the installation is complete, restart KiCad for the changes to take effect.

Using the RAYPCB Plugin

Accessing the Plugin

After installing the RAYPCB plugin, you can access its features from within the KiCad environment:

  1. Open your PCB design project in KiCad.
  2. Navigate to the “Tools” menu and select “RAYPCB” from the dropdown menu.
  3. The RAYPCB plugin window will appear, providing access to various features and settings.

Generating Quotations

One of the key features of the RAYPCB plugin is the ability to generate instant quotations for your PCB designs:

  1. With your PCB design open in KiCad, click on the “Generate Quote” button in the RAYPCB plugin window.
  2. The plugin will analyze your design and retrieve the necessary information, such as board dimensions, layer count, and component specifications.
  3. A detailed quotation will be displayed, including the cost breakdown for PCB fabrication and assembly services.
  4. You can adjust various options, such as quantity, lead time, and shipping method, to customize the quotation according to your requirements.

Running Design Rule Checks

The RAYPCB plugin integrates automated design rule checks (DRC) based on RAYPCB’s manufacturing capabilities, ensuring your designs are optimized for production:

  1. Open your PCB design in KiCad and access the RAYPCB plugin window.
  2. Click on the “Run DRC” button to initiate the design rule check process.
  3. The plugin will analyze your design and highlight any potential issues or violations based on RAYPCB’s manufacturing guidelines.
  4. A detailed report will be generated, providing information on the identified issues and suggested resolutions.
  5. Make the necessary changes to your design based on the DRC report to ensure compatibility with RAYPCB’s manufacturing process.

Submitting Orders

Once you are satisfied with your PCB design and have generated a quotation, you can easily submit your order to RAYPCB directly through the plugin:

  1. In the RAYPCB plugin window, click on the “Submit Order” button.
  2. Review the order details, including the PCB specifications, quantity, and shipping information.
  3. Provide any additional instructions or requirements in the designated fields.
  4. Confirm your order and proceed with the payment process.
  5. After successful payment, your order will be processed, and you will receive an order confirmation with a unique tracking number.

Tracking Order Status

The RAYPCB plugin allows you to track the status of your submitted orders in real-time:

  1. Access the RAYPCB plugin window within KiCad.
  2. Click on the “Order Status” tab to view a list of your submitted orders.
  3. Select a specific order to view detailed information, including the current production stage and estimated completion date.
  4. Any updates or notifications related to your order will be displayed in the plugin window, keeping you informed throughout the manufacturing process.

Advanced Features and Customization

Plugin Settings

The RAYPCB plugin offers various settings and preferences to customize your experience:

  1. Access the plugin settings by clicking on the “Settings” button in the RAYPCB plugin window.
  2. Customize options such as default units (metric or imperial), preferred shipping method, and notification preferences.
  3. Save your RAYPCB account information for faster quotation generation and order submission.
  4. Adjust the DRC settings to match your specific design requirements or manufacturing constraints.

Integrating with Other Tools

The RAYPCB plugin seamlessly integrates with other tools and features within the KiCad ecosystem:

  1. Use the plugin in conjunction with the 3D viewer to visualize your PCB design and ensure proper component placement.
  2. Export your PCB design files in various formats, such as Gerber, drill, and pick-and-place files, directly from the plugin window.
  3. Collaborate with team members by sharing project files and quotations generated through the plugin.
  4. Leverage the extensive KiCad library and design templates to accelerate your PCB design process.


  1. Is the RAYPCB plugin compatible with all versions of KiCad?
  2. The RAYPCB plugin is compatible with KiCad version 5.1.6 and later. It is recommended to use the latest stable version of KiCad for the best performance and compatibility.

  3. Can I use the RAYPCB plugin for commercial projects?

  4. Yes, the RAYPCB plugin can be used for both personal and commercial projects. RAYPCB offers competitive pricing and high-quality manufacturing services for customers of all scales.

  5. How accurate are the quotations generated by the plugin?

  6. The quotations generated by the RAYPCB plugin are based on real-time pricing data and RAYPCB’s manufacturing capabilities. While the quotations are highly accurate, they may be subject to change based on factors such as material availability and market fluctuations.

  7. What happens if my PCB design fails the DRC checks?

  8. If your PCB design fails the DRC checks performed by the RAYPCB plugin, it means that there are potential issues or violations that need to be addressed before proceeding with manufacturing. The plugin will provide a detailed report highlighting the specific issues and suggesting possible resolutions. It is recommended to revise your design based on the DRC feedback to ensure successful manufacturing.

  9. How long does it take to receive my PCBs after submitting an order through the plugin?

  10. The turnaround time for PCB manufacturing and delivery depends on various factors, such as the complexity of the design, selected manufacturing options, and shipping method. RAYPCB provides estimated lead times during the quotation and order submission process. Typically, standard orders are processed and shipped within 5-7 business days, while expedited options are available for urgent requirements.


The RAYPCB plugin for KiCad is a powerful tool that streamlines the PCB design and manufacturing process, offering seamless integration, instant quotations, automated design rule checks, and direct order submission. By leveraging the capabilities of RAYPCB and KiCad, electronics enthusiasts, hobbyists, and professionals can bring their ideas to life more efficiently and cost-effectively.

With its user-friendly interface, extensive customization options, and real-time order tracking, the RAYPCB plugin enhances the KiCad experience and empowers users to focus on innovation and creativity while leaving the manufacturing complexities to the experts at RAYPCB.

To get started with the RAYPCB plugin for KiCad, visit the RAYPCB website or the KiCad plugin repository to download the latest version and explore the comprehensive documentation and support resources. Embrace the future of PCB design and manufacturing with RAYPCB and KiCad today!