Poll

What is your favorite free PCB design tool ?

AutoTRAX DEX
3 (3.2%)
TARGET 3001!
1 (1.1%)
Diptrace
30 (31.9%)
Circuit Maker
8 (8.5%)
KiCad
27 (28.7%)
EAGLE
19 (20.2%)
DesignSpark
6 (6.4%)

Total Members Voted: 90

Voting closed: July 02, 2015, 09:38:57 pm

Author Topic: Favorite free PCB design tool  (Read 10058 times)

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Online nctnico

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2015, 10:37:08 pm »
I have used gEDA and PCB for some projects about a decade ago but it is extremely tedious to work with.
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Offline ResR

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2015, 03:58:44 pm »
I have used ExpressPCB for years to practice PCB routing.
 

Offline abdullahseba

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2015, 04:07:36 pm »
I have used ExpressPCB for years to practice PCB routing.
isn't ExpressPCB tied to a specific manufacture?
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Offline abdullahseba

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2015, 04:30:02 pm »
I can honestly say I had never even heard of TARGET3001 let alone used it until you mentioned it.

I would argue that a community around a free package is among the most important reasons people choose it. A free package doesn't come with support so the user has to rely on asking other users for help. Eagle has a big user base by virtue of the fact that there has been a free version for a long time. KiCAD has a growing user base due to it being fully open source.

Most people would be hard pressed to find the amount of resources such as tutorials, libraries, projects etc as you get for those two packages. As a result you would have to have a good reason to choose something else. It could be that you have used a commercial version of the package but now for your personal use have the free version as you are very familiar with it. It could be some killer feature that you just must have, but otherwise most people are going to go with the crowd in the knowledge that if they get stuck there is probably someone who can help them out.
Will you try it?
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Offline ResR

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2015, 04:32:30 pm »
isn't ExpressPCB tied to a specific manufacture?
Maybe, it does make a .pcb file that seems to be used by multiple CAD softwares like Altium P-Cad and Cadstar, I'm unsure about the compatibility though, haven't tried one file on another program.
 

Offline abdullahseba

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2015, 11:01:49 am »
isn't ExpressPCB tied to a specific manufacture?
Maybe, it does make a .pcb file that seems to be used by multiple CAD softwares like Altium P-Cad and Cadstar, I'm unsure about the compatibility though, haven't tried one file on another program.
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Offline abdullahseba

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2015, 03:58:18 am »
Has any one tried AutoDesk Circuits?
https://123d.circuits.io
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Offline Josephine85

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2015, 12:30:51 pm »
i voted for eagle. for me, as hobbyist, its the perfect piece of free software. and btw they win prices over prices: http://blog.cadsoftusa.com/2015/03/eagle-won/  :clap:
 

Offline abdullahseba

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2015, 11:12:35 pm »
i voted for eagle. for me, as hobbyist, its the perfect piece of free software. and btw they win prices over prices: http://blog.cadsoftusa.com/2015/03/eagle-won/  :clap:
:palm: It must be a lot better then last time I used it.
I think the prices are far far to high for what it gives you.
AutoTrax DEX is 100x better for free or $49 :-+.
All the other programs mentioned above are cheaper and better.
Even circuit studio is cheaper.
Aultium Designer might even be cheaper?
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« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 12:21:46 am by abdullahseba »
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Offline VK3DRB

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2015, 12:22:35 am »
I only use Altium Designer.

I do not know of anyone who is sufficiently experienced to have used all the packages listed along with Altium designer and Orcad. I don't know of any good website that compares the features, ease-of-use, flexibility, bugs, cost, performance and available libraries between each of the packages.

It would take a month of Sundays for any one person to evaluated all of them and to keep the data up to date. So collaboratively, there would be only somewhat biased opinions.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 12:42:05 am by VK3DRB »
 

Offline timofonic

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2015, 03:04:54 am »
I only use Altium Designer.

I do not know of anyone who is sufficiently experienced to have used all the packages listed along with Altium designer and Orcad. I don't know of any good website that compares the features, ease-of-use, flexibility, bugs, cost, performance and available libraries between each of the packages.

It would take a month of Sundays for any one person to evaluated all of them and to keep the data up to date. So collaboratively, there would be only somewhat biased opinions.

That could be a very nice crowdfunding project for Dave or other. Add an UX expert in the equation and it can be amazing to see.
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2015, 08:03:55 am »
I only use Altium Designer.

I do not know of anyone who is sufficiently experienced to have used all the packages listed along with Altium designer and Orcad. I don't know of any good website that compares the features, ease-of-use, flexibility, bugs, cost, performance and available libraries between each of the packages.

It would take a month of Sundays for any one person to evaluated all of them and to keep the data up to date. So collaboratively, there would be only somewhat biased opinions.

That could be a very nice crowdfunding project for Dave or other. Add an UX expert in the equation and it can be amazing to see.

Very interesting point. You'd want about $30K to do it properly just for the labour alone (ie: 300 hours at $100 per hour), because there would be many hours involved learning everything about each and every package. Or do it all out of love for the electronics community. Altium, for example, is not very intuitive and some of the features like the Vault are rarely used. Also, as few if any people use non core features like the FPGA stuff in Altium, so you'd probably want to limit the scope. Also, there are some nice tips and hints in Altium that are not obvious. You'd have to research all those. Demo packages are the go... Altium is roughly $10K to buy.

It could be done and you'd want to do it well. I'd consider it if I was offered $30K plus $10k per annum to keep it up to date, not including subscription costs plus website costs.

Anyone else maybe?
 

Offline abdullahseba

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Re: Favorite free PCB design tool
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2015, 11:56:48 pm »
I only use Altium Designer.

I do not know of anyone who is sufficiently experienced to have used all the packages listed along with Altium designer and Orcad. I don't know of any good website that compares the features, ease-of-use, flexibility, bugs, cost, performance and available libraries between each of the packages.

It would take a month of Sundays for any one person to evaluated all of them and to keep the data up to date. So collaboratively, there would be only somewhat biased opinions.
here is a few basic comparison:
http://pcbshopper.com/cad/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_EDA_software
Do you know why a Eagle is more expensive then Altium Designer?
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