Which one is the best PCB designing tool for carrier growth?

Thread Starter

alex.will

Joined Jan 13, 2021
16
Hi I want to become a professional PCB Designer, please suggest me which one is best software Orcad, KiCAD, Altium & Allegro etc
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
That is the sort of question to be answered by your future employer once you become qualified to apply for a job. What have you done to become qualified?
 

TechWise

Joined Aug 24, 2018
151
Different companies use different software. It's generally more important that you learn the principles of PCB design on a software package of your choosing then you can apply those same principles using whatever software your employer happens to pay for. I haven't used Orcad or Allegro but I have used Altium and KiCad. You're comparing apples and oranges though. Altium is a professional-grade premium PCB design tool with all manner of advanced features and a steep learning curve. It is also very expensive so not ideal for learners or hobbyists. KiCad is a much simpler open-source program (but excellent imo). It will serve you well if you want to design some simple boards to learn the principles.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,871
The programs you can use are less important than having the skill to do good component placement and being able to do a good routing. PCB layout programs have autorouters, bit I've found them to be quite dumb. They will rarely be able to do a 100% route, so they leave you the most difficult and the routing is rarely very aesthetically pleasing.
 

eetech00

Joined Jun 8, 2013
2,361
I recommend software that has a capability of automating design from prototype to final assembly. Mentor (cadence) Or IC design comes to mind.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,104
I have used Orcad and am now using Kicad, I find Kicad equal or on par of the ver of Orcad I was using.
There is a bit of a learning curve, but there is no shortage of tutorials out there, and also an official Kicad forum, where answer are received very quickly.
Max.
 

BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
1,776
Hi I want to become a professional PCB Designer, please suggest me which one is best software Orcad, KiCAD, Altium & Allegro etc
I personally prefer DIPTrace for both PCB & Schematic.

No matter what you choose, you need to choose software that has at least these features:
  • Supports universally accepted output formats (like Gerber, for example)
  • Net list Linking between schematic and PCB
  • The ability to create your own components (both Schematic & PCB)

Being a professional PCB designer isn't about the tool you use, so much as the knowledge and experience you acquire in how to design PCBs. Understanding inductive and capacitive issues, thermal issues, EM interference issues, FCC regulations, conductivity aspects for trace widths, corners, designs, etc. Understanding ROHS, Solder, and PCB oxidation issues, growths, and more. Having access to information for TH and SMT components and having some skill in reflow work. And more. IMHO.
 

Lo_volt

Joined Apr 3, 2014
189
Do you see a demand for PC Board Designers in your area? I'm not sure if it is a particularly good career path. Smaller companies will more often than not have an Electrical Engineer that will do his own PC board layout. I've worked at 4 companies where that was the case. Larger companies may have dedicated PC board designers, but I can't imagine the demand for them is great. As a career, there's very little upward mobility as well. Why do you want to limit yourself to a narrow niche of electronics? I'd suggest that you study to be an EE. As a career path, it will give you many more options.

As for learning PCB layout, go the cheap route and learn Kicad. Once you've got the fundamentals down you should be able to use any layout package. I had formal training on Mentor Graphics Pads about 25 years ago. My employer paid for the courses at the time. Since then I've used Cadence, Kicad and Altium without formal training.
 
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