Author Topic: Design & layout software for beginners  (Read 11312 times)

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Offline tkline98

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Design & layout software for beginners
« on: September 10, 2014, 09:38:22 pm »

What's is a a good software program to get started with layout and circuit design?

Anything good that runs on a Mac osX?

(I've done a few searches and didn't see any relevant results.)
 

Offline Matje

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 10:26:40 pm »

What's is a a good software program to get started with layout and circuit design?

Anything good that runs on a Mac osX?

(I've done a few searches and didn't see any relevant results.)

KiCad runs on OSX, it is Open Source and available for free. As for good - you would need to define your criteria, KiCad is most likely more than good enough.
 

Offline tkline98

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2014, 12:35:56 am »
It's my first jump into this area, so my definition of "good" is pretty vague. 

Maybe some name of other software to check out would be helpful.  I've heard of Altium (waiting for their free version as Dave talked about) and Kicad.  Any others worth researching?
 

Offline DanielS

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 02:05:01 am »
I am really curious about what Altium will be axing in their 'free' version.

Anyone who tries would probably be able to list a dozen things that one schematic/PCB tool does better than another. I am mostly playing with DIPTrace lately and will probably try KiKad later.

If free Altium does not cripple any of the features we take for granted in DIP, Eagle, KiKad and other low-cost packages, it will be a tough choice to ignore.
 

Offline fww

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 02:24:53 am »
Search from Internet for reference, But not sure there are OSX versions.

1)Protel more used in china, protel 99se, protel DXP, Altium, these are a company's constantly upgrade software;
2) Cadence spb software  is  Cadence  software. ORCAD schematic design which is the international standard; The PCB design, simulation, very well equipped.
complex than protel.
3)Mentor's BORDSTATIONG and EE, which BOARDSTATION due only applies to UNIX systems not designed for the PC, so rarely used.
4) EAGLE Layout ,this design software is most widely used in Europe  .
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 02:39:14 am by fww »
 

Offline westfw

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2014, 05:57:58 am »
Quote
Anything good that runs on a Mac osX?
EAGLE for MacOSX is pretty good (as good as EAGLE in general, anyway.  There are differences in opinion on how good that is.)
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2014, 06:04:07 am »
If been working with diptrace, actually bought a license but I'm not overly impressed, the autorouter is crap. I'm also interested in Altiums cut down version. I used Kicad but got fed up with the lack of progress, it's autorouter and autoplacement are both pointless and should be taken out to avoid confusion. I also had problems with libraries and changes i made reverting so basically I'd have to redraw every symbol and footprint to be certain.

My main reason for selecting diptrace was it's cheapness and ability to export 3D CAD models of the boards which is very useful to me as i work in mechanical engineering so colleagues need models of my boards to work out enclosures or I have to to do it and having a realistic model on demand is very nice.
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Offline Kremmen

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 06:12:03 am »
All autorouters are crap :)
It only ever "works" if the board is idiot simple with no requirement that the routing should make any sense. Of course some routers are "better" at minimizing trace length while some have real curious ways of introducing unnecessary layer changes and all other kinds of idiosyncrasies.
I don't think anybody who is at all serious about PCB design has much use for autorouters as they are today. Certainly i don't, which is why i haven't paid any attention to the state of the autorouter in DipTrace. Other than that i have been a happy camper - it has almost all that i need and is well worth the price (i have the extended commercial license).
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Offline Simon

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2014, 06:56:51 am »
I bought the lite (500 pins 2 sig layers infinite power planes), I do manually route essential stuff like a SMPS and any power stuff but it's nice to sit back and let the autorouter take it from there. I use the freerouting program that used to be available on freerouting.net, it is excellent, I cannot see how anyone can beat it and even if it takes half an hour it's faster than me spending 2 days to a week. If the board comes out looking a mess it's because I did not place parts very well so i ditch, relay and rerun, very efficient. diptraces built in autorouter is awful and comparing the two you can see that autorouting(.net) if far far better but then can you really compare a result obtained in 30 minutes of crunching with one spat out in 30 seconds ? me thinks its not worth it.

I just completed a board with 6 connectors with 12 pins each that I want to carry 10amps each, yea you bet i routed that by hand, handpicking each trace width and making it just right, but then I let autorouting.net finish off the signals as really i could not have done a better job myself.

I do find manual routing with diptrace clunky, kicad is better but I don't think it's reliable enough for me and I have a boss to please.
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Offline jlmoon

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2014, 09:22:53 pm »
Hello,

Have you taken a look at OrCAD?  They have been around since the mid to late 70's.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2014, 09:33:10 pm »
good god, to use orcad you need a degree in.... orcad
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Offline charlespax

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2014, 12:56:54 am »

What's is a a good software program to get started with layout and circuit design?

Anything good that runs on a Mac osX?

(I've done a few searches and didn't see any relevant results.)
Start with Eagle. There's tons of tutorials and part libraries available. Basically, if you go with Eagle, you will be able to do everything a beginner might need.

I'm running OSX and Eagle works fine. I've tried KiCAD, but the install never worked well. I'm not even sure what file to download. I Build robots, 3D printers, and open source lab instruments and I can't get KiCAD to compile on OSX. It's just not worth your time.

If you want something that just works, go with eagle.
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2014, 01:04:12 am »
I've never had any issues getting KiCAD working on Linux or Windows, but I've never tried on OSX.
I did give Eagle a shot for a very brief time, and the interface just seemed so backwards that I never really got into it.  KiCAD's interface makes more sense to me, and is much easier to use, despite it's occasional "oddity".
 

Offline westfw

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2014, 01:28:33 am »
I'd tried Kicad on Mac a couple of times, and not had much luck.  A more recent version (from http://www.mdx4.org/index.php?/categories/5-Kicad&serendipity[lang_selected]=en ) seems to work much better, but in my initial attempts to do anything with it, the UI seems horribly clunky.  I mean, the whole "verb/object" model in EAGLE, that results in so many complaints about obsolete UI design, seems sorta nice when what I'm actually applying the same action to a bunch of objects (let's clean up these wires.  "move", click/drag/click; click/drag/click; etc) (and I can't figure out how to grab and move the corner of a wire at all...)
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2014, 01:48:05 am »
If free Altium does not cripple any of the features we take for granted in DIP, Eagle, KiKad and other low-cost packages, it will be a tough choice to ignore.

It won't. The idea is to have in it all the stuff you expect a good PCB package package to have, albeit with limits like Eagle et.al
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2014, 02:11:16 am »
Eagle works very well on Mac OSX and it's a easy single package install (this is what I am using and am happy with it). You can start with the free version. There are also many tutorials on y YouTube.

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Offline zapta

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2014, 02:16:40 am »
I've heard of Altium (waiting for their free version as Dave talked about) and Kicad.  Any others worth researching?

Altium is Windows only. Kicad doesn't have good release for Mac OSX. You can also try diptrace.
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Offline DanielS

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2014, 02:29:59 am »
If free Altium does not cripple any of the features we take for granted in DIP, Eagle, KiKad and other low-cost packages, it will be a tough choice to ignore.

It won't. The idea is to have in it all the stuff you expect a good PCB package package to have, albeit with limits like Eagle et.al
I sure hope they don't. But with the number of companies lead by marketing, the way they decide to approach new markets do not always make engineering sense. Since I have not seen their preview, I am still at the "cautious pessimism" stage like you were when you originally heard about their plans.
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2014, 03:08:17 am »
yeah i'm also curious just as the OP, is there any good pcb layout program for android? i'm expecting newer version of diptrace or altium to support android. they must be because they have to, or just because i'm using android in my portable samsung.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2014, 03:15:07 am »
yeah i'm also curious just as the OP, is there any good pcb layout program for android? i'm expecting newer version of diptrace or altium to support android. they must be because they have to, or just because i'm using android in my portable samsung.

Splashtop?
Access your remote system that runs the layout program ;)
There has to be a ton of remote desktop apps as well.

And hopefully soon virtual desktops will make this a thing of the past at least for layout, not sure for programming/debugging.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2014, 10:44:21 am »
uh, who the hell wants to run engineering software on android ? or does it make a decent PC OS ? my main consideration for any engineering platform is how much screen real estate I have and preferably 2 screens.
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Online EEVblog

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2014, 10:52:25 am »
I sure hope they don't. But with the number of companies lead by marketing, the way they decide to approach new markets do not always make engineering sense. Since I have not seen their preview, I am still at the "cautious pessimism" stage like you were when you originally heard about their plans.

Well, they have told me almost exactly what they plan to do, and it sounds good in that department. So unless they change course (again) before the announcement, you have little to worry about in that department.
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2014, 10:59:29 am »
yeah i'm also curious just as the OP, is there any good pcb layout program for android? i'm expecting newer version of diptrace or altium to support android. they must be because they have to, or just because i'm using android in my portable samsung.
Splashtop?
Access your remote system that runs the layout program ;)
There has to be a ton of remote desktop apps as well.
And hopefully soon virtual desktops will make this a thing of the past at least for layout, not sure for programming/debugging.
you mean this slashtop? http://www.splashtop.com/personal but the point of this thread is that... why you need a "Windows Remote PC" (and Windows based PCB software) when you already have other "robust" OS such as Linux, MacOX or android for that matter? ;)

uh, who the hell wants to run engineering software on android ? or does it make a decent PC OS ? my main consideration for any engineering platform is how much screen real estate I have and preferably 2 screens.
ditto. and who want to run engineering, or "top of the class" or "the best" bunch of softwares in the "other than Windows OS"?
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2014, 11:02:38 am »
LOL, Android PCB design software!!
Comedy gold!
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Design & layout software for beginners
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2014, 02:40:04 pm »
Yes and it's Splashtop just like I typed and what your link says.
The remote system could run in the cloud with full GPU support and streaming the output to your tablet or TV or whatever.
VMWare with Nvidia Grid and it should be quick enough if you have a decent internet connection.

But it's cheaper to just purchase a PC and get it over with :)
 


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