Is there a free program out there to do circuit board design

Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
13,149
Welcome to AAC!
Kicad will allow you to design a board layout.
LTspice will allow you to draw a schematic for, and simulate the function of, a circuit you have designed.
 

bassbindevil

Joined Jan 23, 2014
554
You might just need a wiring harness to link up an Arduino and various sensor and actuator modules. But having all the modules soldered to a board could be more reliable in the long run.
 

metermannd

Joined Oct 25, 2020
332
I use KiCAD as well.

DipTrace has a 'free' version, but it is feature-limited.

Its "saving grace" is that it has a "autorouter" (but good luck optimizing the plate of spaghetti it leaves behind!)
 

boostbuck

Joined Oct 5, 2017
239
I used eagle for many years - the free version's 3" x 4" board limitation was not often a barrier to my projects. When I finally ran up against the board size limit for a project, I wrote a set of ULPs (User Language Programs) to shrink ALL the components in the libraries I used by 50%, which effectively doubled the board area I had available to 6" x 8".

I SHOULD have learned a free product without size limits, but the learning curve was much greater than writing heaps of ULPs and getting the project finished.
 

panic mode

Joined Oct 10, 2011
2,299
years ago i was trying to do PCB for a company. it was a only handful of parts but it exceeded free version limits. then i checked license and it explicitly stated that using free version for commercial products is not allowed. also number of connections was limited etc. version that would do the trick was way over the budget so i looked into open source. since then, i have done countless designs without any restrictions. commercial or not, number of layers, board size... everything goes. and can install it on as many computers as i like and with any OS.... better yet, 3D view was available, a very helpful feature to check clearances, mating of boards etc. Eagle managed to get 3D view only years later.
 
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