When it comes to printed circuit board design, todayâ€™s software engineers have developed applications to make things easier, faster, and more efficient. Through the use of third party applications available for download on the web, young engineering enthusiasts can take advantage of creating professional-level schematics of printed circuit boards, or PCBs, with just a computer and a curious mind.
The following are printed circuit board software tools available on the Internet that will help in developing a quality PCB design faster and easier:
- KiCad EDA Software Suite
KiCad EDA Software Suite is an open-source, free of charge, third party application used for creating high quality schematic diagrams and printed circuit boards of up to more than two dozen copper layers. KiCad is compatible with the most common OSes. It was developed by a researcher at GIPSA-Lab. It utilizes four main independent software tools with a rich set of libraries available. There are 3D models added in package as well.
PCBWeb is a free CAD application for the design and layout of electronic hardware and PCBs. It claims to be suited for full service design and manufacturing. It utilizes a schematic capture for laying out or designing multi-layered schematics through the use of an easy wiring tool. It also makes use of an integrated digi-key parts catalog with a bill of materials manager.
FreePCB is an open source PCB editor thatâ€™s available for download under the GNU General Public License. Itâ€™s compatible with the Microsoft Windows operating system. Some of its features are layering up to 16 copper layers, with board sizes of up to 60 inches by 60 inches. It utilizes metric units, has an auto save function, and much more.
gEDA software offers PCB applications for attribute management, generation of Bill of Materials or BOM, PCB design layout, digital simulation, and more. It is compatible with the Linux operating system and is equipped with useful tools for fleshing out PCB design concepts and layouts.
- DesignSpark PCB
DesignSpark PCB is a free software designed for â€śRapid Prototypingâ€ť and conversion of circuits into real-time simulations. It is the worldâ€™s most accessible design software when it comes to electronics hardware; it also boasts of a unique and powerful means of capturing schematics and layouts. Its comes with a Bill of Materials generator, online libraries of almost eighty thousand parts and lastly, it is home to prototype designs made by over a quarter million engineers.
ExpressPCB is a software package for creating circuit board layouts; users are able to select parts from the softwareâ€™s component manager dialog box, and adding part numbers is also an option. The software also utilizes a â€śSnap to Gridâ€ť feature, making it easier to position the components on the board. Making changes in layouts using ExpressPCB is definitely easy, as standard commands (like Copy, Cut, and Paste) are available.
TinyCAD is a third party application for creating electrical circuit diagrams and turning them into high-quality schematics ready for use. It utilizes PCB layout programs with a handful of formats for simulation netlists. It also supports custom and standard symbol libraries for PCB layouts.
- Cadsoft Eagle PCB Design Software
Cadsoft Eagle PCB Design Software is a tool for young engineers worldwide. The software claims a variety of product combination and more user-friendly program for a better configuration of individual options. Cadsoft Eagle PCB Design Software runs on both Linux and Windows.
If youâ€™re planning to create your very own printed circuit board, you should check out some of these applications. Of course, once youâ€™re done creating a proper schematic, you might want to search the web for a reliable printed circuit board manufacturer.