Which PCB Software is more Powerful Flexible in use?

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by Mussawar, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Mussawar

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 17, 2011
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    Hi, I want recommendation. Which PCB software you recommend as a suitable one (Powerful, Flexible and user friendly etc.) Currently I’m using the combination of Multisim 8 + Ultiboard 8 and UltiRoute 8. I draw the schematics in Multisim and export them directly to the Ultiboard. It is working batter but I assume there might be a best one and most popular among experts. Thanks.
     
  2. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    The best one is the one that does what YOU need and want it to do in the most convenient way at an acceptable price. So the answer depends very heavily on what YOU need/want it to do, what methods YOU find convenient/burdensome, and what YOU consider an acceptable price.

    Notice a theme, here?

    In order to get meaningful feedback, you should list perhaps five to ten things that describe the most important features it must/should have, give some idea of what kind of interaction with the tool you prefer, and what kind of price range is acceptable to you.

    Also, most vendors make their products available for free in some form or other, be it a crippled version or a limited-time trial.
     
  3. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    This question is like asking:

    "What car is most powerful, flexible, and user-friendly?"

    You can't answer it, it's user-specific. You really need to try a wide variety of them and decide for yourself which is best.

    Regards,
    Matt
     
  4. Grustl

    New Member

    Aug 1, 2013
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    Right now, I'm using EAGLE and am very satisfied with it.
    At first you need a couple of day, but there are many tutorials out there which help you at the start.
     
  5. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Diptrace beats Eagle hands down in my opinion..
    I use Diptrace professionally and have yet to find something it really can't do.
     
  6. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    I use DipTrace, too, and like it a lot. However, I can't find a way to make oblong pads with the hole off-center.
     
  7. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Personally I use Eagle, and for me it completely trumps DipTrace. I absolutely DESPISE DipTrace, can't do a thing with it. And trust me, I tried.

    But again, it's all up to the user. You need to try different ones and decide what's best for you.

    Matt
     
  8. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    In pattern editor (if you want to reuse it) or right in the PCB layout simply place a pad then switch layer to signal (if in layout) or signal/plane (if in PCB layout) and draw a filled ellipse.
    Done/simple.

    If you want that whole oblong to be masked for some reason then add a mask layer shape over it too.
     
  9. donpetru

    Active Member

    Nov 14, 2008
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    Choosing a soft PCB depends on what you want to build: a high frequency PCB, a PCB audio frequency, a simple PCB in DC, SMPS... So, depending on the answer to the problem stated above and considering the complexity of the project, and how fast we want to accomplish PCB, for only then can choose a PCB software.

    For example, PADS or Altium Designer are some more design programs that help high frequency, while EAGLE is a general program that limits coverage to several layers without the possibility of a rigorous control of differential paths lengths and other issues in some projects, without also tools, it is almost impossible to complete or optimized projects. EAGLE PCB software is a very useful for electronic hobbyists who build small to medium complexity circuits. Each PCB software has its own ways to place and rotate components, and libraries.

    It should be noted that there are PCB software who can learn faster or harder.
     
  10. John P

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2008
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    Well, it needs to be said: there is also FreePCB, and it works very well, without the restrictions that Eagle comes with. I can't say whether FreePCB is better or worse than KiCAD or Diptrace, though I note that Diptrace costs money, unless you can live with "300 pins limit, non-profit use only".

    http://www.freepcb.com/
     
  11. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    I tried freepcb and absolutely hated it. It's layout and quality is very poor, and is a perfect example of "getting what you pay for".

    Just my personal experience and opinion.
     
  12. John P

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2008
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  13. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    I just know there was something in the development stage that did not reach my expectations. I tried many different programs and I know there was something about FreePCB that I found very annoying. Perhaps I should re-download it and try again.
     
  14. John P

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2008
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    I think the "best" software is always the one we're most familiar with, and anything else is too difficult to use, doesn't work right etc. Not too many of us will take the trouble to learn a new program when we're already getting reasonable results with something else.
     
    DerStrom8 likes this.
  15. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    I think that's exactly right, which is why these sorts of threads tend to be pointless. "What's the best software for this?" "What's the most powerful software for that?" You'll probably never get a good answer by asking that type of question. It's all personal experience, nobody can make up your mind for you.
     
  16. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    The "best" software depends on several things:
    1) what will be the needs of the user.
    2) what is the experience level of the user with "new" software. (will he get used to it easily).
    3) does the user want to "invest" time to get used to the software.

    Bertus
     
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  17. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
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    One thing I would say about PCB software is that it saves a hell of a lot of time if your chosen software has the component footprints that you need. Many packages I've looked at don't have things like SD or Micro SD connectors.
     
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