The internet is filled with numerous circuit design software. However, there are only a few which can be beneficial to engineers. Figuring out the most effective software can be a difficult task not only for beginners but for veterans too.
Before investing in software, it is important to carry out extensive research. Only then can design engineers understand their needs and decide on the best-suited software.
What to Consider in any PCB Design Software
- The Library
Extensive component libraries ensure that designers avoid errors which might occur during the process of creating new components. A big library contains many features and tools which make the software dependable.
Software that contains numerous non-beneficial features can be slow. Designers should lay down their requirements and invest on software which fits their project’s needs.
The user interface is an important feature in any computer design software. It should be easy to operate and understand. Designers should be able to access the toolbars, components, and other features with minimum struggle.
- Well Established
Designers should seek to understand how well established the software is. They can do this by reading reviews to determine how long it has been in existence. Today, software is launched every day. Therefore, the chances of investing in dubious programs are high.
PCB Design Software reviews
- PCBWeb Designer
PCBWeb Designer software is free. It is compatible with Windows. The manufacturers plans to avail it on other operating systems soon. Electronics hardware is developed and manufactured using this software.
- PCBWeb Designer has a large library and an easy to access user interface.
- It is easy to use, learn, and install.
- It comes with an inbuilt Digi-key catalog to enable users purchase components with ease.
ExpressPCB provides a good learning platform for beginners. Veterans in the industry can use it for personal projects. However, this software does not have a large library and some of its features need to be upgraded.
- DesignSpark PCB
DesignSpark PCB is one of the most used software.
- DesignSpark PCB is easy to learn
- It is easy to navigate through
- The manufacturers update it frequently
- Designers can design PCB boards, schematics, upgrade layouts, and other features using the software.
TinyCAD software is used for schematic drawings. The software is free to download and easy to use. Even though it does not come with a large library, designers can easily create new components. Sharing and printing of designs is easy. Users can achieve this by copy-pasting them in an Ms Word document and saving them as PNG, PDF or a word file
Kicad is free software which is used to develop layered designs on differently sized boards. It does not have a big library but is quite reliable for orienting learners, designing, and research.
- Kicad comes with a schematic editor which supports limitless development of designs.
- The software has a 3D viewer to enable designers to preview their designs
- Design appearance can be changed using multiple rendering
Free design software enables designers to scrutinize their performance before deciding to invest in a paid version. They are advantageous because users can also use them for commercial purposes. Learners can take advantage of these free programs to develop their talents and careers.