Forum Rule: Always post complete source code & details to reproduce any issue!
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Odd question #2: What programs do you use for schematic capture and board layout?

  1. #1

    Odd question #2: What programs do you use for schematic capture and board layout?

    I used Orcad ages ago, but want something free

  2. #2
    Senior Member+ KurtE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    5,424
    A lot of people use Eagle, there are free versions of it. http://www.cadsoftusa.com/download-eagle/freeware/
    There are lots of libraries of parts out there for different parts including ones by Sparkfun and Adafruit

    I use diptrace: http://www.diptrace.com/
    There is a freeware version of it which has a max of 2 layers and 300 pins and not used for commercial purposes. I purchased a version in case I ever decided to sell anything... Not likely

    Not as many libraries out there for diptrace, but, you can go into Eagle and export whatever library you wish as script and diptrace has the ability to create their libraries...
    Last edited by KurtE; 07-01-2016 at 01:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    253
    I use Kicad.

  4. #4
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    20,576
    I use an ancient version of PADS for PCB layout, and for schematics I use messy & woefully incomplete random scribbling mostly on Post-It notes. When/if a design actually becomes a product, I draw a bitmap schematic with the Gimp.

    I'm kind of a Luddite like that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Posts
    149
    I use the free version of Eagle as most Arduino components seem to have a library symbol. Adafruit and Sparkfun use Eagle for their products.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    306
    Despite its flaws, I use designspark PCB.
    Free and totally unrestricted. Pretty straightforward to use. But I'll admit, the only real reason I use it now over KiCAd is because I've built up a fairly big library of custom components that I trust for PCB designs.

    If I were starting fresh now, I'd probably use KiCad (all will probably move over to it after this current project at work).

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    651
    Eagle for small boards and Kicad when things get big.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    253
    Would be interesting to know how well this works for converting Eagle libraries to Kicad.

    https://github.com/lachlanA/eagle-to-kicad

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ben's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    401
    I'm using Eagle. My biggest project yet was a mixed signal four layer board about 80*100mm. My smallest was a 6 component passive filter to "tune" the sound of a pair of cheap headphones I own: http://www.rock-grotto.co.uk/HD6812.pdf

  10. #10
    Senior Member Epyon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    443
    I use a (licensed) Eagle. Despite its UX quirks it's imo still the most powerful ECAD software in terms of library/footprint availability and industrial support. My PCB fab also accepts .brd files, saves me the hassle with Gerbers.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    966
    I've used the free version of Eagle for a number of projects. The nice thing with Eagle is that it also works natively on Mac OS X.
    For the most recent project that included unusual shaped PCBs with cut-outs and Components at odd angles I used Altium CirquitMaker and it's been a very pleasant experience. The drawback is that it only works on Windows, so I had to fire up Windows / VM Ware Fusion on my Mac.
    I found that working with imported DXF files as very pleasant with CircuitMaker. The ability to snap to center points makes thins a lot easier when the geometry of PCBs does not adhere to a fixed grid.
    Both PCBs mechanically interface with 3D printed parts and the entire product was designed in Fusion360. The PCBs were then exported as DXF and imported into CircuitMaker.

    While it has it's own idiosyncrasies in general I find CircuitMaker much, much more intuitive to work with than Eagle.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1988.jpg 
Views:	64 
Size:	152.3 KB 
ID:	7517

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ring-O-Star main PCB.jpg 
Views:	62 
Size:	82.7 KB 
ID:	7518

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •