Author Topic: Pondering a move to CircuitStudio. I have questions.  (Read 6479 times)

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Offline knotlogicTopic starter

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Pondering a move to CircuitStudio. I have questions.
« on: March 20, 2017, 06:40:16 am »
I'm currently sitting on the fence about picking up a copy of  CircuitStudio during the promo period.  I've currently got the trial version installed and am going through the starter documents on their website, but I doubt I'll have time to explore it as well as I'd like before the promo period ends.

Also, for reference, I'm coming from having used EAGLE for the past few years.  With the direction Autodesk is taking it I figured now's a good time to get out.  :scared:

So for those who have experience with CircuitStudio, I was hoping to ask you some questions...

How easy is it to create libraries of your own components?  I know EAGLE's part creation gets a lot of flak, though personally I haven't had too many problems with it.  (It helps that EAGLE finally added the capability for arbitrary pad shapes.)

If we don't stick to the maintenance subscription, do we lose access to the vault?  Is the vault a significant advantage if we can create our own libraries?

How powerful is the PCB layout aspect of CircuitStudio?  One of the projects I'd like to do down the road has a bunch of LEDs laid out in a ring, all rotated to be radially aligned.  I know I can do this in EAGLE with a script and move/rotate commands, and I'm wondering if it's as easy to do in CircuitStudio.

I'm sure I'll have more questions, I just need more time with the program.

Edit:  Spelling mistake in the title.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 02:02:28 pm by knotlogic »
 

Offline ebclr

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Re: Pondering a move to CircuiStudio. I have questions.
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 07:36:13 am »
If you came from eagle

Give Kicad an opportunity, it's free and it's decent

Circuit Studio is cool but is expensive,  and license is server controlled, if Altium goes bankrupt you no more have access, But Circuit Studio is one reasonable option, especially if you want end with Altium pro
 

Offline kaz911

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Re: Pondering a move to CircuiStudio. I have questions.
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 07:50:13 am »
If you came from eagle

Give Kicad an opportunity, it's free and it's decent

Circuit Studio is cool but is expensive,  and license is server controlled, if Altium goes bankrupt you no more have access, But Circuit Studio is one reasonable option, especially if you want end with Altium pro

Altium supports license files that installs and reside on your computer - no internet needed. And at the current prices I would not all CS expensive. Maybe compared to KiCad but not for what you get IMHO.
 

Offline hammy

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Re: Pondering a move to CircuiStudio. I have questions.
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 01:09:53 pm »
Circuit Studio is cool but is expensive,  and license is server controlled, if Altium goes bankrupt you no more have access.

You can export your perpetual license into a file.
 

Offline GlowingGhoul

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Re: Pondering a move to CircuiStudio. I have questions.
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 08:16:44 pm »
If you came from eagle

Give Kicad an opportunity, it's free and it's decent

Circuit Studio is cool but is expensive,  and license is server controlled, if Altium goes bankrupt you no more have access, But Circuit Studio is one reasonable option, especially if you want end with Altium pro

Circuit Studio costs less than Microsoft Office. The license is perpetual, you can install it without going online.
 

Online Someone

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Re: Pondering a move to CircuiStudio. I have questions.
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 08:47:09 pm »
With full AD another way to place parts would be to somehow determine (by manual calculation, script, or whatever) the rotation angle and X,Y placement coordinate for each LED.  Then in the part properties for each LED you edit the X, Y, and rotation settings to match the values you calculated.  Full AD you can even write a "make a ring of LEDs" script if you do that a lot.  Full AD has more advanced parameter manager editing for multiple parts matching certain filter experessions or whatever so you can select all the parts and then edit those parameters.  Maybe even paste in some parameters from a spreadsheet's rows/colums that match the part parameter manager row/colums.  I think scripting, advanced filtering / searching / classes, parameter manager functions of some kinds etc. are all said by some brochure to be areas where CS may not be as capable as full AD.  "Smart paste" anyway, I'm not sure about how exactly the parameter editing is limited in which ways.  Surely you can for any particular part still control the X,Y placement coordinates and rotation value (I hope) with CS but maybe such manual manipulation is the only way to do the LED ring?  I'd like to hear about other options ...
From Altium the scripting is good for processes that you will repeat on different projects, but for polar arrays there has been a way to abuse the way origins are handled in cut/paste operations:
  • change the rotation angle that the spacebar steps through to the angle between each component/group in the ring
  • set the origin of the board to the middle of the polar array
  • layout the first component that lies on a vertical/horizontal
  • copy either the component (if you don't mind renumbering them all later), or a track leading to the component pad, but...
  • after the entity is highlighted/selected move the cursor to the origin before you select copy
  • now when you paste it will be with translations from the origin, so you press paste then spacebar, and repeat until the array is filled
 
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Offline trophosphere

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Re: Pondering a move to CircuitStudio. I have questions.
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 02:47:10 am »
I migrated from using FreePCB so I never had experience with anything related to Altium and it was fairly easy to get the hang of in terms of layout and footprint creation.
 

Offline negativ3

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Re: Pondering a move to CircuitStudio. I have questions.
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 05:07:41 pm »
Library parts are a straightforward process which gets easier with practice.

Good question regarding vault access.
 

Offline jmarkwolf

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Re: Pondering a move to CircuiStudio. I have questions.
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2017, 12:11:00 pm »
Thank you, that is a good quick method to know, I wasn't aware of that technique.

From Altium the scripting is good for processes that you will repeat on different projects, but for polar arrays there has been a way to abuse the way origins are handled in cut/paste operations:
  • change the rotation angle that the spacebar steps through to the angle between each component/group in the ring
  • set the origin of the board to the middle of the polar array
  • layout the first component that lies on a vertical/horizontal
  • copy either the component (if you don't mind renumbering them all later), or a track leading to the component pad, but...
  • after the entity is highlighted/selected move the cursor to the origin before you select copy
  • now when you paste it will be with translations from the origin, so you press paste then spacebar, and repeat until the array is filled

I used to employ this practice back in the days before CAD packages had polar layout options!

Was disappointed to see that Circuit Studio doesn't have polar features, but the above procedure does indeed work, although I haven't tested it in Circuit Studio.
 

Offline knotlogicTopic starter

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Re: Pondering a move to CircuitStudio. I have questions.
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2017, 01:48:41 pm »
Thanks all!

I figure even if don't renew the subscription and lose access to the vault as a result, I'd be fine with that as long as I have my own local libraries and can add in my own parts.  That's what I've been doing in Eagle all along anyhow, with occasional dips into the provided libraries as references.

I'm also a little overwhelmed at the idea of having to choose one of out of multiple variants of the same part, eg a 0805 passive.  What strikes me is wouldn't the preferred footprint for some parts such as tiny 0402 passives be driven more by 'what works' for a particular assembly process rather than the manufacturers footprint?  I'm thinking of tweaking the footprint to minimise tombstoning.   (This is a purely academic question BTW since I'm using this for my own work.)

Good to know about that layout technique.  I'll have to make a note!

Does CS have a scripting capability?

 

Offline bugrobotics

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Re: Pondering a move to CircuitStudio. I have questions.
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2017, 02:40:00 pm »
I'd suggest downloading the trial.  Currently there are a few bugs with the most recent 1.4 release (no board define from 3D model, people experiencing component rotation bug, etc).  A good overview of the current issues can be found at the CircuitStudio forum (~objecttype~objecttype[thread]&filterID=contentstatus[published]%7Elanguage%7Elanguage%5Bcpl%5D]https://www.element14.com/community/community/manufacturers/altium/content?filterID=contentstatus[published]~objecttype~objecttype[thread]&filterID=contentstatus[published]%7Elanguage%7Elanguage%5Bcpl%5D). 

I've been suggesting to Altium (via the forum) that the Community vault, included for free with CircuitMaker, be added because the current vault is somewhat useless and annoying to use.  Haven't heard a response.  At the moment the software gets the job done (albeit clunky sometimes) and you can work around most issues.  I'm sure it will take some time for Altium to find an appropriate way to de-feature the software while still providing a good user experience.
 


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