pcb design

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by mik3, May 11, 2008.

  1. mik3

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    4,846
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    Hi guys,

    do you know which is the best software for designing PCB's ?
     
  2. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    EaglePCB lite is what I use.

    hgmjr
     
  3. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
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    It's really a matter of personal preference. I still use a DOS CAD program because I find the Windows apps feel awkward and look bad at the schematic level.
     
  4. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Last edited: May 11, 2008
  5. mik3

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    4,846
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    The one i like is an old version of the Easy-pc software. But this has problems with printing with windows xp.
     
  6. ametso

    Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    13
    0
    Well it debends what you mean about "the best". If you mean the "best free" layout tool - I do not know.

    But if you mean the best tool for professional use then I can recommend a "PADS system". There is included a schematic capture as well as a very powerfull layout tool... Espesially i have had like a dynamic route editor, which will push (on the fly) allready routed traces away from new one. Only minus is costs... The license is quite expencive.
     
  7. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    I want a freeware one that will accept my hand-drawn schematic, correct any errors automatically, and spit out a low-noise multi-layer through-hole-plated etched PCB from my DVD slot. :p
     
  8. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
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    Is it feasible to run it on a supported OS, perhaps inside a virtual machine? This is what I do with both OrCAD and AutoCAD.

    Dave
     
  9. DC_Kid

    Distinguished Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    638
    9
    i use DipTrace. you can get a free version of it (limited in pins and layers). it takes schematics and does auto-routing to pcb layout. it has lots of features i am still learning about.
     
  10. Caveman

    Active Member

    Apr 15, 2008
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    One trick that I've found that works when you can't get printing to work with old software is to print to pdf. Get cutepdf from cutepdf.com. It acts like a printer to windows, but it prints to a pdf file instead of a printer. Then you print that out to paper using Adobe, which has more updated print drivers.

    If it works, you won't have to change your cad software.
     
  11. Caveman

    Active Member

    Apr 15, 2008
    471
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    I tried and hated DipTrace. It was so hard to see 4 layer boards because of the limited ability to control layer visibility. But to be fair, for two-layer boards it works great. I just need more.
     
  12. roddefig

    Active Member

    Apr 29, 2008
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    0
    I use gEDA. I used to use Eagle but the free version will only do two layers, and I needed to make a four layer board. gSchem (the schematic editor...) is really well done and I liked it a lot. PCB (the layout software...) is powerful, but the UI is a little awkward. I didn't try the auto-router. Overall, documentation is lacking for the whole project, but with a little persistence you can accomplish quite a bit.

    I guess in conclusion, if you're willing to put in the time, it's great software, and I would recommend it.
     
  13. nigelwright7557

    Senior Member

    May 10, 2008
    487
    71

    Have a look through the electronic mags for something second hand or try ebay.

    Some of the "best" packages cost hundreds or thousands of pounds !
     
  14. John Luciani

    Active Member

    Apr 3, 2007
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  15. Steve Jones

    New Member

    May 14, 2008
    1
    0
    Hi,

    I use Cadstar myself. I find that it is easy to use and very professional.

    What are you considering?

    Steve
     
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