• Poornima Mani

Best 5 PCB Designing Softwares

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

#PCB Designing software is used to make the layout and brings life out of the #electronic circuits we design, by placing components, routing, and #integration. There are indeed a number of tools out there in varying costs and specifications. Let us take a look at some of the best #EDA tools that we can easily work with.


First, let us check a few free software available out there.


1. KiCad EDA


KiCad is an open-source EDA tool and is famous mainly because it is free and is fully unrestricted. Famous institutions like CERN, #Raspberry Foundation have contributed to the development, hence proving its potential to build well-known projects.


Why KiCad?

  1. Today, tomorrow, and forever! This PCB designing software is unlimited and doesn't need expensive or packages such as "free" or "premium". All you have to do is go and download the software and there you are; ready to go!

  2. Anywhere and everywhere! This software is cross-platform compatible and unlike certain other software, you can use it on Windows, Linux, or Mac.

  3. SPICE it up! KiCad has a simulator called SPICE for design support and allows chronological entry of circuits, simulation, and result plotting.


2. EasyEDA


EasyEDA is a zero installation web-based PCB that provides designers with comprehensive data and tools, hence allowing complete design and simulation online.


Why EasyEDA?

  1. Import from other platforms! One of the major advantages is that this platform gives freedom to import #electronic circuit designs from various other platforms like LTspice, KiCad, and Altium.

  2. Powerful! Being a cloud-based integrating tool, it allows powerful schematic capture and simulation capabilities with pretty big libraries, PCB footprints, and packages.

  3. Thousands of layers! Not only is this platform fast, but it allows working with pace even when there are thousands of pads. You can take maximum advantage of it as it is free of cost.


3. Fritzing


This is a full-featured open-source PCB designing software that became popular with #Arduino and due to its ease of use. This is a great choice among hobbyists and has a rich #interface with a growing community. Being available in #Windows, Mac, and Linux. This is indeed a great choice and is completely free.


Why Fritzing?


Be a part of a wonderful community! As mentioned earlier, Fritzing has a growing community that lets you do inspiring projects and gain mentorship also. Fritzing is robust and stands out from certain software because by letting your work to be finished in the desired shape.




These are 3 top free platforms that a beginner can work with. But there are many other paid platforms by top companies that give you high-quality advanced features.


1. Eagle


Eagle stands for Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor developed by CadSoft Computer GmbH, later acquired by Autodesk. This was one of the earliest software, started way back in 1988, but has gone through a roller-coaster of changes hence improving its quality and capability to a great extent.


Why Eagle?

  1. Best of both worlds! Eagle comes in this list because it can be used for beginners who wish to do PCB designing as well those intended for large firms designing. Eagle also has a special feature where you can add your own keyboard shortcuts.

  2. Kept it outspoken! Eagle has libraries that are handled pretty straightforward. Compared to many other Eagle is a clear winner because it not only has everything but is also easy-to-use.

  3. Beginner-friendly! The process of designing can be learned anyone is a starter in this field. It also has features such as positive and negative annotation function, batch command execution script file, and copper cladding which makes it stand out from other software.


2. Altium Designer


This is probably what you call the King of PCB designing software because it meets all the needs of professional electronics #engineers. This has endless engineering reach and enables the user for effortless design #automation.


Why Altium Designer?

  1. Pretty cool placements and routing! Altium Designer is categorized as one of the best PCB designing software for a reason. It allows the user to dynamically place the components in the board layout and align them in a neat and tidy manner. The active route, that comes along with this software redefines interactive routing by intuitive control over the selection of the connections or routes of interest.

  2. Click, Schematic Captured! Altium has cool parameters, editing workspace, and lets you select and place components from integrated libraries with real-time links to component suppliers.

  3. 3D 3D! Altium Designer lets you create high-quality layouts and lets you visualize and interact in native 3D. This gives a major advantage of fully checking the mechanical enclosures and alignments on the board.


There are also many notable other platforms such as Allegro, PADS, Solidworks, and Ultiboard and can be used keeping in mind the need, specifications desired and cost/budget. But no matter what, every software has its own pros and cons and will satisfy applications according to the desirability of the user.


See Also:

  1. Top 5 Circuit Simulation Softwares

  2. Common mistakes while PCB designing and how to counter them

  3. What is VLSI Technology

#PCB

#Designing

#Software

#EAGLE #Altium

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