Author Topic: (UK) Free PCB designer + tutorial, and British manufacturer  (Read 2008 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline rhydiansion01

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 3
Id like your thoughts about the best free PCB designer tool, along with good beginner tutorial. Also id like to know if there's a company that would produce a single PCB board for hobbyist in the UK?

Im a bit of a novice, but im willing to learn, and hopefully will be getting the 3rd edition of the electronics bible soon for my 21st!
 

Offline ozwolf

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 166
  • Country: au
Re: (UK) Free PCB designer + tutorial, and British manufacturer
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2015, 10:06:36 pm »
Try AutoTrax Dex, free for non-commercial use, go to http://www.kov.com.

Tons of videos on YouTube to help out.

Ozwolf

I reject your reality and substitute my own.
 

Offline Sirius631

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 31
Re: (UK) Free PCB designer + tutorial, and British manufacturer
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2015, 10:14:27 pm »
I've not heard of AutoTrax Dex.

If you look in the PCB CAD section of the forum, the broadly used CAD packages with free variants are discussed widely. I've just downloaded Eagle and am generally happy with it, despite the lack of intuitive flow, which will be overcome with experience.
 

Offline sleemanj

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2141
  • Country: nz
  • Professional tightwad.
    • The electronics hobby components I sell.
Re: (UK) Free PCB designer + tutorial, and British manufacturer
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2015, 10:40:39 pm »
DipTrace is the most intuitive of the "professional" design packages IMHO (but I haven't tried AutoTrax), the free version will see you well into getting into some moderately big hobby stuff, and the paid versions are reasonably priced.

As for board houses, don't know about in the UK, but there are plenty of cheap manufacturers in China for prototypes, usually in quantities of 10 boards for a buck of two each. 

For example, dirtypcbs.com protopack gets you "around" 10 5x5cm boards, sometimes as few as 8 sometimes as many as 12, with free shipping, for $14 USD, in a number of colours.

Of course, you have to not mind waiting a few weeks for shipping, or pay extra for faster shipping :-)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 10:42:32 pm by sleemanj »
~~~
EEVBlog Members - get yourself 10% discount off all my electronic components for sale just use the Buy Direct links and use Coupon Code "eevblog" during checkout.  Shipping from New Zealand, international orders welcome :-)
 

Offline Wilksey

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1061
Re: (UK) Free PCB designer + tutorial, and British manufacturer
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2015, 11:12:46 pm »
DipTrace, EAGLE, KiCAD (completely free and open source).

KiCAD's new windows builds are quite decent, you can do more advanced stuff like length matching and differential pairs, not that you "need" that yet, but can't hurt to have it if you are used to a package in a few years time!

WRT Board houses, meh, PCBTrain, an offshoot of Newbury Electronics, it will cost you around £40 for one board, or, you can get 10 from China delivered for under £20.
 

Offline rhydiansion01

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 3
Re: (UK) Free PCB designer + tutorial, and British manufacturer
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2015, 12:32:07 am »
Awesome, I'll get to it now I think! Tbh I never thought a PCB would cost so much from UK, would you reckon it's possible to build your own PCB maker? but one that engraves out the tracks and stuff, like a CNC machine? Would make a decent project that.
 

Online tggzzz

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7124
  • Country: gb
    • Having fun doing more, with less
Re: (UK) Free PCB designer + tutorial, and British manufacturer
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2015, 02:06:02 am »
Awesome, I'll get to it now I think! Tbh I never thought a PCB would cost so much from UK, would you reckon it's possible to build your own PCB maker? but one that engraves out the tracks and stuff, like a CNC machine? Would make a decent project that.

Have a look at my experiences on https://entertaininghacks.wordpress.com/tag/pcb/

You can engrave PCBs, but the "laser toner" technique might be suitable for simple boards.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Gliding aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Wilksey

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1061
Re: (UK) Free PCB designer + tutorial, and British manufacturer
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2015, 09:16:10 am »
Yes, it is possible, in fact, Maplin used to sell a starter kit for etching your own boards, you will need a laser printer for optimum results, for me, I prefer the £20 from china route, but you should at least have a go at making your own, just to experience the mess :)
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf