Author Topic: Eagle has moved up, way up.  (Read 8870 times)

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Offline rx8pilot

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Eagle has moved up, way up.
« on: February 17, 2019, 01:14:41 am »
In the past, I have been particularly critical of Eagle. There was so much to fuel my disappointment - enough that I was just about to pull the trigger on a 'real' piece of software Altium Designer. I use Eagle for commercial designs and it was so slow, cumbersome, and limited in capability that my business was being hindered by sticking with it.

A day or two before I jumped ship, Eagle released the beta option to 'sync' with Fusion360 which I was demo'ing on trial to replace Solidworks and Mastercam. This is where I turned a corner with Eagle. All of a sudden, I would marry my EE and ME efforts in a productive way. The Eagle team has since made huge improvements in most areas including routing and package creation. They still have a pile of crusty legacy issues, but overall the performance gains are enough to keep me from diving into another solution which not only costs big $$$ but also has a huge learning curve and transition cost where old designs are Eagle - new designs are Altium.

Curious if anyone else using Eagle for commercial designs has a similar experience. My current project has 14 PCBs in a very tight enclosure - very integrated and high-density packaging. Not sure I could have pulled it all off without the integration with F360. This feature really starts to pull Eagle out of the muck of hobby oriented software and into the realm of pro software. Still low-end overall, but professional nonetheless IMHO.

Altium and Solidworks are not only massively more expensive but also much more clumsy to collaborate EE and ME efforts.

Now, with all that said.....
Eagle needs an all-new graphics rendering engine for real transparency and mouse-hover net highlighting
Space mouse support
Separate layers for blind/buried/thru vias
The ability to open multiple projects at the same time
....and dozens more.
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Offline Deridex

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2019, 07:10:47 am »
As far i know, the sync and 3D-Model-creation is cloudbased. And this is where the problem starts in my sight: I would probaly need to transfer customerdate to a cloud that is not in the control of the company i work at. While it might work etc. it would probaly cause us serios trouble with our customers.

Otherwise: We just export Step or Parasolid-files with Altium and the Solidworks can just import em.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2019, 07:31:17 pm »
There is no doubt that that cloud-based nature is a deal breaker for some. I do a lot of aerospace work now and Eagle/Fusion 360 is not even a conversation - it is all Altium, Solidworks, and HSMworks that are ITAR compliant.

For my non-ITAR work, Eagle and Fusion 360 covers a LOT of territory at a much lower cost and no one cares about how or where the data is generated or stored.
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Offline BigMark

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2019, 07:58:56 pm »
There is no doubt that that cloud-based nature is a deal breaker for some. I do a lot of aerospace work now and Eagle/Fusion 360 is not even a conversation - it is all Altium, Solidworks, and HSMworks that are ITAR compliant.

For my non-ITAR work, Eagle and Fusion 360 covers a LOT of territory at a much lower cost and no one cares about how or where the data is generated or stored.

GDPR is going to be the main problem for many companies, and having spent a near full week implementing it at work, I can say any sort of cloud solution is out of the question now as I cannot see my employers even wanting to go down that route. Easier to buy off the shelf and keep on internal computers and servers.
 

Offline matseng

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2019, 04:33:14 pm »
GDPR?  Isn't that protection for personal data of individuals? How is that related if one company keeps cad design files that they create for another company in the cloud or not?
 

Offline timgiles

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2019, 06:10:08 pm »
Correct Matseng. The main part of GDPR covers the storage and use of personal data. This is considered to be anything from name, personal number (SWE), National Insurance number (UK), address, DoB, ..... that identifies you.

It also covers any unique IDs that are generated to reference you - even if those IDs are random, the instance of the ID being linked to you means it is covered.

However - GDPR is also much broader. Importantly for us in Europe, is that it gives us the right to know who a company will use our data, have the right to have any data related to ourselves deleted or cleaned (ie. the personal data or link to personal data is replaced - in logs this means you keep the log, you know the number of unique users - but - you dont know any particular log record was down to me or you using the system in question)...

Tons more good stuff in GDPR. Cloud services are AOK, if the user is informed that they are storing data, publishing / sharing data - GDPR has no effect.
 
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Offline KE5FX

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 06:48:51 pm »
Of course, since they now own your design files, every feature they add represents another potential point of failure added to another aspect of your business.  But hey, shiny.
 
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Offline matseng

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2019, 07:54:49 pm »
"they now own your design files".  Eh? What kind of bullshit is that?   So you say that the files I create in Eagle and 360 is owned (as in ownership/copyright) by Autodesk and not me?

I guess you show me the paragraph in the ToC and license that says that they own the files? Or that that just FUD?

I keep both my eagle files and the 360 files in Github as well as in the Autodesk cloud.  The Eagle files can be read/converted by other ecad systems.  Whether the 360's can be opened by something else I don't know, and since they are not that important to me I currently don't care that much about it.

I also keep my code in the (gasp!) cloud at Github and use google drive for cloud storing files (again synched to folders on my computers). So I guess that Microsoft now owns all my code, and Google is the legal author of all my documents....  :-DD

And yes, I do hardware and software design for a living and I'm an oldtimer that rather read dox on paper than on a tablet - but I'm not a Luddite that can't change my ways and spreads hate when the old ways is changing.
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2019, 08:08:11 pm »
Of course, since they now own your design files, every feature they add represents another potential point of failure added to another aspect of your business. 

I'm afraid you are not thinking straight here.
Three strange claims in a single sentence:
  • "they now own your design files" -- what?!
  • Yes, newly added features might introduce new bugs or break backwards compatibility. But that has always been the case, wit ny software. What does this have to do with "owning your design files"?!
  • What other "aspects of your business" beyond PCB design were you thinking of? Is Autodesk now about to hijack my coffee maker?
Sorry, gotta run and get my tinfoil hat. "They" are coming!  :P

 

Offline langwadt

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2019, 08:48:54 pm »
Of course, since they now own your design files, every feature they add represents another potential point of failure added to another aspect of your business. 

I'm afraid you are not thinking straight here.
Three strange claims in a single sentence:
  • "they now own your design files" -- what?!
  • Yes, newly added features might introduce new bugs or break backwards compatibility. But that has always been the case, wit ny software. What does this have to do with "owning your design files"?!
  • What other "aspects of your business" beyond PCB design were you thinking of? Is Autodesk now about to hijack my coffee maker?
Sorry, gotta run and get my tinfoil hat. "They" are coming!  :P


figuratively "own" in that they have the on-off switch for the tools, even with the design files switching to different tool is no small task

 "other aspects of your business" in that is just another thing that could disrupt you business, though it might remove others
 

Offline stj

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2019, 08:58:58 pm »
read the TOC on everything with online functions.

a surprising amount of apps make claims of ownership of "works" placed on their network.
it's why i wont have any part in it.

if a company tries that shit, i wont use it or recommend it to others - the same applies to software that sends logs home.
using teamviewer? yours is not the only "team" viewing!!
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2019, 09:06:05 pm »
read the TOC on everything with online functions.
a surprising amount of apps make claims of ownership of "works" placed on their network.

Would you have an example or two?
Tx!
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2019, 01:11:17 am »
read the TOC on everything with online functions.

a surprising amount of apps make claims of ownership of "works" placed on their network.
it's why i wont have any part in it.

if a company tries that shit, i wont use it or recommend it to others - the same applies to software that sends logs home.
using teamviewer? yours is not the only "team" viewing!!

Assertions made without evidence will be dismissed without evidence.
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Offline stj

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2019, 01:26:27 am »
2 people who never read the EULA.
you probably also think that gmail doesnt scan your mails and open your attachments for a good look.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2019, 01:31:39 am »
figuratively "own" in that they have the on-off switch for the tools, even with the design files switching to different tool is no small task

 "other aspects of your business" in that is just another thing that could disrupt you business, though it might remove others
Not too many people seem to analyse what would go into restarting production when the cloud infrastructure they rely on disappears, with or without the design files in hand.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2019, 02:07:41 am »
2 people who never read the EULA.
you probably also think that gmail doesnt scan your mails and open your attachments for a good look.

Assertions made without evidence will be dismissed without evidence.
Gmail is not Autodesk.

Not too many people seem to analyse what would go into restarting production when the cloud infrastructure they rely on disappears, with or without the design files in hand.

Likely true. I did, to some extent. I decided to gain a lot of functionality with subscription and cloud software at the expense of the various risks of not controlling everything.

My overall costs went down. I no longer have dedicated servers, complex backups, large UPS's, and all the in-house software maintenance - all on top of the big $$ I was paying for software updates and upgrades. I have a small operation and was just overwhelmed with the IT costs, so I generally went with old, unsupported software running on old hardware. It is easy, and I have not been burned in quite a few years of being almost entirely cloud/subscription based.

Of course, it can all go sideways if Autodesk bizarrely decides to steal design data and simultaneously abandon cloud products. Technically possible, but the likelihood is so small it is not worth all the trouble and money I was burning in the traditional software 'ownership' scheme.

It would be bad and very disruptive if Autodesk abandoned Eagle or Fusion360 or Inventor or HSMworks for me - but the alternative is also disruptive. The aerospace company that I work for is a medium sized business and entirely operated on a cloud-based management system. It is far more capable than the previous in-house solution.

I am not an advocate either way - just saying that I weighed the options and decided the gains far outweigh the risks.
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Offline KE5FX

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2019, 02:12:21 am »
Assertions made without evidence will be dismissed without evidence.

The question, I think, is where the burden of proof belongs.  Given the rate at which the rantings of tinfoil-hat wearers are being vindicated by actual events, the burden of proof is on the companies to prove that they are currently operating in good faith and will continue to do so far into the future. 

Remember that Autodesk's stewardship of EAGLE began with a lie.  What are the odds that it was the last?

Of course, it can all go sideways if Autodesk bizarrely decides to steal design data

I don't think they are going to "steal design data."  (Although after they're absorbed in a joint venture led by Altium and backed by Huawei and ZTE in the Great CAD Vendor Liquidation of 2026, who can say what will happen, right?) 

But the fact is, you can't open your files and work with them without their permission.  That means they own those files.  And that means they own you.
 
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2019, 02:34:45 am »
But the fact is, you can't open your files and work with them without their permission.  That means they own those files.  And that means they own you.

In the case of Eagle - that is not true.
Altium has a very good import for Eagle files. The files are not locked at all. All XML right now.
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Offline KE5FX

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2019, 02:37:17 am »
In the case of Eagle - that is not true.
Altium has a very good import for Eagle files. The files are not locked at all. All XML right now.

I know they're all XML, as I've written a metric assload of software to do various things with them. :)

What I don't know is Altium's native file format.  So I get to keep the data, but I lose my processes.  Yay.
 

Online Psi

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2019, 02:41:11 am »
Altium and Solidworks are not only massively more expensive but also much more clumsy to collaborate EE and ME efforts.

They do have a system for that.
You can be working on the PCB in Altium and the enclosure in Solidworks and the system makes it easy to push PCB changes to solidworks.

We had someone come in from either Solidworks or Altium (cant remember which) to demo the new integration system.
They were all excited about their new system.
First thing we asked was if can we now export the 3D PCB design into Soildworks with all the layers (something we have been after for ages).
Nope, you can't. No seeing tracks in Solidworks.
They left unhappy.

(I expect this is probably something they don't want to do because it would make it easier to create converters to other PCB design formats)

« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 02:44:28 am by Psi »
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2019, 02:42:19 am »
In the case of Eagle - that is not true.
Altium has a very good import for Eagle files. The files are not locked at all. All XML right now.

I know they're all XML, as I've written a metric assload of software to do various things with them. :)

What I don't know is Altium's native file format.  So I get to keep the data, but I lose my processes.  Yay.

I did some import tests with Altium and it gave me some confidence that if I had to quickly transition from Eagle to Altium - the biggest sting would be the check I have to write. It was remarkably easy.

I am going to guess that transitioning from Altium to anything else would not be so easy.
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2019, 02:48:27 am »
We had someone come in from either Solidworks or Altium (cant remember which) to demo the new Solidworks <--> Altium integration.
They were all excited about their new system.

First thing we asked was if can we now export the 3D PCB design into Soildworks with all the layers (something we have been after for ages).
Nope, you can't. No seeing tracks in Solidworks.
They left unhappy.

(I expect this is probably something they don't want to do because it would make it easier to create converters to other PCB design formats)

A few clicks from Eagle to Fusion360.....

I can manipulate features in Fusion360 and push to Eagle and make changes in Eagle and push to Fusion360.

Traces, vias, whatever is in the design. It is quicker and more detailed than just a simple solid export/import workflow.
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Offline boB

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2019, 03:04:11 am »
Looks like they're doing well with the newer Eagle version but we still use Eagle version 6.  Last 2 companies have been using Eagle for PCBs and schematics for almost 20 years now.  (used to use PADS PCB, Logic and oRcad before that)

We have 10 seats and it works plenty well enough.  We do integration with the mechanical engineers too and they take care of the 3D checking.

Many products shipping for the last almost 20 years and Eagle works just fine.  No one year software rental for us in the near future anyway.

We are using all 10 seats of Eagle I think.  We're not that big of company (80+ people).

Everybody knows how to use Eagle 6 and it works so why change  now ?

K7IQ
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2019, 03:33:27 am »
Everybody knows how to use Eagle 6 and it works so why change  now ?

If it works, keep it!
2 things pushed me to upgrade one way or another.....density and overall circuit complexity. High-speed digital needed differential routing (which still sucks in Eagle), blind/buried vias, lots of parts, and lots of schematic pages, etc. The routing improvements overall increased my speed even as the complexity was increased.

And, of course, the integration with the mechanical design which was really critical for me.
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2019, 03:36:56 am »
Assertions made without evidence will be dismissed without evidence.
Gmail is not Autodesk.

Likely true. I did, to some extent. I decided to gain a lot of functionality with subscription and cloud software at the expense of the various risks of not controlling everything.

My overall costs went down. I no longer have dedicated servers, complex backups, large UPS's, and all the in-house software maintenance - all on top of the big $$ I was paying for software updates and upgrades. I have a small operation and was just overwhelmed with the IT costs, so I generally went with old, unsupported software running on old hardware. It is easy, and I have not been burned in quite a few years of being almost entirely cloud/subscription based.

Of course, it can all go sideways if Autodesk bizarrely decides to steal design data and simultaneously abandon cloud products. Technically possible, but the likelihood is so small it is not worth all the trouble and money I was burning in the traditional software 'ownership' scheme.

It would be bad and very disruptive if Autodesk abandoned Eagle or Fusion360 or Inventor or HSMworks for me - but the alternative is also disruptive. The aerospace company that I work for is a medium sized business and entirely operated on a cloud-based management system. It is far more capable than the previous in-house solution.

I am not an advocate either way - just saying that I weighed the options and decided the gains far outweigh the risks.
I'd probably worry most about buyouts by companies with a different goal in mind than supporting the product, or the company going bankrupt. We've already seen this happening to cloud services in real life and I think we'll see it happening more often when the magic of the cloud wears off a bit and companies need to survive based on their merits. We've run the numbers
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2019, 05:34:58 am »
2 people who never read the EULA.
you probably also think that gmail doesnt scan your mails and open your attachments for a good look.

Just give us two relevant examples from the many EULAs you have read, wise guy.
 

Offline stj

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2019, 07:16:30 am »
i already gave you one - go read the bs that comes with teamview.
all data goes through the company servers (why? VNC was p2p)
all traffic is logged. ( i wonder why, and who they give/sell it too............)

if you want to live the dream go ahead - but dont go trying to trick others into thinking they live in a decent world with respect & privacy for all.
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2019, 07:26:52 am »
i already gave you one - go read the bs that comes with teamview.
all data goes through the company servers (why? VNC was p2p)
all traffic is logged. ( i wonder why, and who they give/sell it too............)

If TeamViewer is the best example you have, I am not impressed.

Of course all traffic goes through their servers -- it's the whole point of these connection management servers that both clients reach out to the server to establish the connection. You do want local firewalls on both clients to stop illicit incoming connections; only outgoing connections are allowed. That's why a pure peer-to-peer approach does not work. Once the connection is established, the actual traffic between the clients is end-to-end encrypted; no third party (including TeamViewer) can read it.

Anyway, I'm done here. You have lost a few credibility points with me.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2019, 07:48:19 am »
p2p (peer to peer) networking usually means being able to setup a connection between two systems behind a firewall (like Bittorrent). If VNC has this capability then it can do the same what teamviewer does.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 07:49:59 am by nctnico »
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Offline stj

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2019, 11:25:29 am »
VNC was secure and encrypted.
claiming routing via a strangers server is more secure than a direct link is ridiculous - would you like to see some puppies?
 

Offline langwadt

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2019, 11:57:58 am »
i already gave you one - go read the bs that comes with teamview.
all data goes through the company servers (why? VNC was p2p)
all traffic is logged. ( i wonder why, and who they give/sell it too............)

if you want to live the dream go ahead - but dont go trying to trick others into thinking they live in a decent world with respect & privacy for all.

teamviewer is also p2p when ever possible, which it is in most cases. The servers are used for establishing the connection and if it isn't possible
to get a direct connection
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2019, 05:20:06 pm »
@Rxpilot, looks impressive.
So how far does this integration between eagle and fusion go?
Can you for instance make an aluminium enclosure where the lid is milled so it barely touches some "hot" components so it acts as a good heatsink after applying some tiny thin thermal conductive layer?
Is it reliable enough?
Do you need to enter the exact height of those components, how?
Just curious how far they are.
 

Offline BigMark

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2019, 09:09:25 pm »
Correct Matseng. The main part of GDPR covers the storage and use of personal data. This is considered to be anything from name, personal number (SWE), National Insurance number (UK), address, DoB, ..... that identifies you.

It also covers any unique IDs that are generated to reference you - even if those IDs are random, the instance of the ID being linked to you means it is covered.

However - GDPR is also much broader. Importantly for us in Europe, is that it gives us the right to know who a company will use our data, have the right to have any data related to ourselves deleted or cleaned (ie. the personal data or link to personal data is replaced - in logs this means you keep the log, you know the number of unique users - but - you dont know any particular log record was down to me or you using the system in question)...

Tons more good stuff in GDPR. Cloud services are AOK, if the user is informed that they are storing data, publishing / sharing data - GDPR has no effect.

Seems I poorly explained the problems which my employer has. But to expand.

The main reason for implementing GDPR in the way my employer has; was mainly engineering drawings have editorial details which can contain engineer’s names and client details such as individual names and associated contact details that can be added to the editorial notes alongside the drawings. These editorial notes can also contain client requested changes which have been added to a version of the drawing for specific reasons.

For example, if a client asks for a bespoke update to be made to a production item then the editorial notes along the drawings will contain information on the client and the requests made including the project numbers. This item might have ten associated drawings and with the notes alongside the drawings will also have details such as engineer’s names, client names, client project numbering, client email addresses and so on. These for practical reasons are always kept together to trace historical changes which have been made.

On top of this, our clients require complete confidentiality to the stage that all engineering drawings are treated in the same way as other confidential information, hence applying GDPR as a global rule to all technical and none technical documentation. So, any drawing or associated technical notes always are considered to contain personal identifiable information.

To make changes to the way projects are manged to accommodate a new software package or a method of working would be too complex and time consuming at present.

At the moment we are looking to replace our old version of AutoCad and we might end up having to look at alternatives to AutoCad due to issues which might conflict with our client requirements as we have to read the EULA details in detail to see if the EULA meets our client’s specification and legal requirements such as GDPR, even location of servers outside of Europe might need to be considered. For this reason, a change from the older version of AutoCad will take years to implement, but thankfully Windows 10 works fine with this older AutoCad package.

All this might seem odd to some, but I have heard similar from engineers who work with a government contractor who are not allowed to use any method of sending data between offices such as email, Dropbox or even remote access directly into a server. All data has to be sent on passworded hard drives which meet certain US Government specification (FIPS 140-2) were more than three attempts at the password the HDD is deleted. Even the servers are isolated from the internet and very limited access in the office. Drawings and project details are always secured behind a passworded vault.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 10:01:43 pm by BigMark »
 
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Offline langwadt

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2019, 09:42:44 pm »
@Rxpilot, looks impressive.
So how far does this integration between eagle and fusion go?
Can you for instance make an aluminium enclosure where the lid is milled so it barely touches some "hot" components so it acts as a good heatsink after applying some tiny thin thermal conductive layer?
Is it reliable enough?
Do you need to enter the exact height of those components, how?
Just curious how far they are.

as always, it depends on how accurate your models are

 

Offline radioactive

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2019, 10:06:44 pm »
In the past, I have been particularly critical of Eagle. There was so much to fuel my disappointment - enough that I was just about to pull the trigger on a 'real' piece of software Altium Designer. I use Eagle for commercial designs and it was so slow, cumbersome, and limited in capability that my business was being hindered by sticking with it.

I have been happy with Eagle <=7.6 for >20 years now.  I am still using version 7.6 as of now.  I realize that it doesn't have all the features that a $30k package would, but it has served me very well over the years.  The subscription model will never work for me.  I have been donating money to CERN (in amounts equal to usual Eagle updates in the past) for Kicad development since Autodesk took over, but haven't quite been able to get used to the UI enough to make the switch.  Getting closer, but as most would probably admit, it is very hard to give up what you know after decades of use.

Quote
Curious if anyone else using Eagle for commercial designs has a similar experience. My current project has 14 PCBs in a very tight enclosure - very integrated and high-density packaging. Not sure I could have pulled it all off without the integration with F360. This feature really starts to pull Eagle out of the muck of hobby oriented software and into the realm of pro software. Still low-end overall, but professional nonetheless IMHO.

I found Eagle to be perfectly fine for advanced designs before Autodesk, so not sure how the new stuff compares.  I do really like the push-and-shove routing that CERN added to Kicad  (I understand that made it into the newer versions of Eagle).  Have to admit, that would be nice.  As for the integrated mechanical design...  dont care.  I would rather have Cadsoft non-subscription based licensing back.  Luckily, the import on Kicad does seem quite good now, even for the really advanced layouts.  Once the UI gets cleaned up a bit more, I don't think the move will be all that difficult.
 
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2019, 02:04:57 am »
@Rxpilot, looks impressive.
So how far does this integration between eagle and fusion go?
Can you for instance make an aluminium enclosure where the lid is milled so it barely touches some "hot" components so it acts as a good heatsink after applying some tiny thin thermal conductive layer?
Is it reliable enough?
Do you need to enter the exact height of those components, how?
Just curious how far they are.

I have done a number of very tightly integrated designs where electronics are coupled closely in the mechanical design in Eagle/Fusion360. From full enclosures to delicately designed heat spreaders that need to make contact with specific components. The component models only need to be very basic geometry, but obviously, the dimensions need to be accurate. Some people go nuts modeling every stupid detail including solder joints which is a waste of time.

The components can be defined in a web-based Autodesk app that can deal with fairly common packages. I mainly downloaded STEP models from manufacturers, UltraLibrarian, and SnapEDA. Of course, you can model from scratch if you really need to. Inside Eagle, you marry your footprint, schematic symbol, and 3D models into a complete device. For devices that have various values or attributes, I create a family which is a single set of symbols, models, and footprints but with a list of values/configurations to choose from. All of my library parts are mapped to my internal part numbering system. That allows integration with pick and place, BOM's, storage, and semi-automated DigiKey and Mouser orders - directly from the Eagle data.

As long as you build the parts correctly in the library - output is a few mouse clicks to push to Fusion360. It is pretty reliable overall, but there are unwritten rules you have to follow to keep a complicated design stable. When I ran into trouble, Autodesk set up an hour-long conference call with a product manager and two software engineers to develop an approach that was stable.  My current design is a little over 1,000 parts and still nice and stable even on Windows 7 and very old PC hardware.


In general, I rough in the mechanics and use that to define the PCB's with provisions for hard external features like buttons, connectors, LEDs, etc. The PCB outlines and proposed hard points are pushed to Eagle where I can rough-in the layout. As I run into physical conflicts - I can make the changes in Eagle or Fusion360 depending on what is driving the decision.
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2019, 02:21:25 am »
This is one of the enclosures for a project that was really packed tight. A lot of custom PCB's handling high-speed data IO and power management of multiple power sources and backup battery with an Intl NUC PC guts stuck in the middle. A lot of connectors, wiring and thermal management.

Photos are prototype assembly, but at least show how packed the enclosure is. The empty space was filled with connectors and LiFePO4 battery pack.
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Offline dcarr

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2019, 03:00:09 am »
That looks expensive.   :D
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2019, 07:23:41 am »
That looks expensive.   :D

Looks great.  It has to be admitted that you don't see that kind of engineering coming out of an EAGLE shop (including mine) very often!  :-+
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2019, 07:48:20 am »
Very impressive.  :-+
The housing is milled from a solid block of aluminium?
Are these prototypes so the customer can test before starting mass production or just small series?
 

Offline radioactive

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2019, 10:02:07 pm »
@rx8pilot,

The milled enclosures do look really nice!
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2019, 12:12:36 am »
Very impressive.  :-+
The housing is milled from a solid block of aluminium?
Are these prototypes so the customer can test before starting mass production or just small series?

Thank you!

Yes - they started as solid blocks of aluminum that I machine in my garage factory. The money I saved sticking with Eagle over Altium was directly responsible for me being able to get a fancy CNC. For those unaware of my background....I spent nearly 10 years focused on machined parts as an engineer and machinist. The enclosures really taxed my skills developed as a designer and machinist over all that time.

Video from roughly a year ago - still crazy messy.
https://youtu.be/ly1U-pdtnlw

An 'unboxing' video showing the arrival of the enclosure making machine.
https://youtu.be/Ls82wasotFU

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Online ebastler

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2019, 05:44:47 am »
Loved the unboxing video! I like your style, and it helps when one has a cool story to tell!   :-+
 

Offline Tmstony

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #43 on: March 15, 2019, 09:48:28 am »
Hi rx8pilot

I have watched your Eagle videos/pictures with great interest - thx for putting those up. :-+ It's helping me a lot to understand the progress Autodesk made in the last year. Right now i am in a position were i can choose either Eagle, Circuit Studio/Solidworks Pcb or Orcad as an Ecad Pcb program. I have made some small test projects with their trial programs, but i am curious - why did you select Eagle?

Since i need an Mcad program as well - the same decision is on the table with Fusion 360 and the integration between Mcad and Ecad. The price point would be a key point but can be neglected as i am a student. Known issues like cloud based, licencing and bug fixing from these manufacturers are well known and need no in-depth discussion (from my point of view).

It would be very helpful to hear your view on this. :)
Thx Benjamin
 

Offline Christina

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #44 on: March 16, 2019, 06:28:29 pm »
I just wanted to echo @rx8pilot's sentiments about Eagle moving up.

I started using Eagle in 2014, so did not experience a lot of the trauma most old timers had to go through. However, even I noticed, less than a year after Autodesk bought Eagle in August 2016 (mid 2017?), that the updates were introducing a lot of useful features and I started to really pay attention to learn the content of each release.

The Autodesk Eagle features which were released thereafter in 2018 continued to make my life a little less painful and Eagle more easier to use (paintroller, etc.). Yet the introduction of linking Eagle to Fusion 360 was a complete game changer for me. I could now make enclosures with a lot more spatial information about the board and components at my fingertips.

That being said, it took a host of swear words for me to get up to speed on Fusion 360. As a ME novice, my only prior experience had been via SketchUp. I am still struggling with the Fusion 360 side, but I think that there is huge potential here to be explored and leveraged to improve product quality (my enclosure fits even better!) and speed up the development cycle (hand-off from EE to ME is quicker and with more information).

To nail it down further, Autodesk Fusion 360 has a ton (100?) of videos about learning the ins and outs of the product, and I tried to allocate time to go through this library even before I learned about the merge. However, all of the information seemed irrelevant to me as a beginner because I simply wanted to make an enclosure for my PCB. Yet, especially now that Eagle has been linked to Fusion 360, what is desperately needed is a handful of videos which can help us learn and leverage Fusion 360 around the topic of making an enclosure around a PCB. Kevin Schneider’s casual yet extremely valuable CrowdSupply video https://youtu.be/oqSg1mZ-1vU?t=1980 just scratched the surface on the potential of making even your library component's have a 3D "Keep Out" space (skip to ~minute 32:00), so that you can add them to multiple projects and yet reduce the amount of work each time. I would love the information in his video, broken into 3 videos, written for the beginner (What is a Sketch? How do you manipulate Planes? Etc.).

GDPR: Also, even though GDPR can be a topic all on it's own, I realize the subject will creep into a plethora of topics over the coming years, and I wanted to give thanks for the GDPR discussion on this thread. I think all of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the regulations, and it is helpful to hear about the ramifications people are experiencing at their current jobs, especially in different parts of the world.
 

Offline macegr

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #45 on: March 16, 2019, 10:01:26 pm »
All true enough. I'd love to pay ~$1500 for the current version of Eagle without the login requirement. Maybe even do it again in a couple years, or buy an upgrade pack along the way for several hundred. It's a lot more than the $0 I'll pay for subscription software.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #46 on: March 16, 2019, 10:34:05 pm »
All true enough. I'd love to pay ~$1500 for the current version of Eagle without the login requirement. Maybe even do it again in a couple years, or buy an upgrade pack along the way for several hundred. It's a lot more than the $0 I'll pay for subscription software.
I concede that the software and integration sounds interesting, but the subscription model and especially the cloud dependency ends any interest.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #47 on: March 16, 2019, 10:45:52 pm »
All true enough. I'd love to pay ~$1500 for the current version of Eagle without the login requirement. Maybe even do it again in a couple years, or buy an upgrade pack along the way for several hundred. It's a lot more than the $0 I'll pay for subscription software.
I concede that the software and integration sounds interesting, but the subscription model and especially the cloud dependency ends any interest.
I agree the features look mighty interesting but I also agree on the licensing model. Software must be able to run forever. What if Autodesk discontinues the software? Or what if you have to open an old design 5 years from now but you moved to a different package?
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #48 on: March 16, 2019, 10:54:31 pm »
I agree the features look mighty interesting but I also agree on the licensing model. Software must be able to run forever. What if Autodesk discontinues the software? Or what if you have to open an old design 5 years from now but you moved to a different package?
Not just that, but continuity is rather important. Just the other day Microsoft had issues with their cloud services. I can only assume they've got their bases in that regard covered better than pretty much anyone, possibly bar Google or Amazon. You're essentially relegated to sitting tight when that happens and Murphy will ensure it happens at the worst possible time.

Companies spend fortunes on high end enterprise graphics cards with enhanced support to reduce the chances of downtime as much as possible. Depending on a cloud infrastructure under someone else's control seems counterproductive in that regard. I don't even want to think about what happens when there's a more persistent outage.
 

Offline Karel

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2019, 08:20:42 am »
All true enough. I'd love to pay ~$1500 for the current version of Eagle without the login requirement. Maybe even do it again in a couple years, or buy an upgrade pack along the way for several hundred. It's a lot more than the $0 I'll pay for subscription software.
I concede that the software and integration sounds interesting, but the subscription model and especially the cloud dependency ends any interest.
I agree the features look mighty interesting but I also agree on the licensing model. Software must be able to run forever. What if Autodesk discontinues the software? Or what if you have to open an old design 5 years from now but you moved to a different package?
Same here. Software must be able to be installed and used without an internet connection.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2019, 04:50:04 pm »
Same here. Software must be able to be installed and used without an internet connection.

I have been using Eagle during business and personal travel without issues. Fusion360 is far more restrictive when your internet connection is unavailable - but I have learned to manage that as well with local caching.

With all of that said - I would certainly prefer a forever license with annual maintenance overall. Right now, that is not an option so I have two choices [broken record]:

  • Buy Solidworks/Altium Designer/Mastercam for Solidworks/Keyshot Pro for $30k plus around $4k/yr in maintenance
  • Rent Eagle/Fusion360 for $800 year

I know there are a lot of people that hate the subscription model and have good reasons for it. They advocate the buy it forever business model and I get it. How well did that work out for CadSoft and Element14? Quick answer is that it did not work. People like me would buy the license and upgrade every four years but complaining about lack of new features. CadSoft was like - "We don't have any cash flow to support development, but please for the love of God - give us some money even though we have nothing to offer in return"

That was/is a trap that was shit for the customer and shit for the company. If they were going to continue that forever license model - the costs needed to go up or the user base would need to massively grow but that could only happen with a total do-over from the ground up. Eagle simply was not worth more than a few $100 dollars to me in the CadSoft days. It totally sucked, which was why I was hours away from just biting the bullet and jumping into Altium Designer. There is no question that Altium would beat the pants off of Eagle in nearly every category - but I would have no cash and chewing on a line of credit for the privilege.

I am not going to lose much if Eagle is abandoned by Autodesk - the files are mine and exist entirely on my computer. None of my Eagle design work is in the cloud services except a select number of libraries. All of that data can be imported into AD with nearly perfect fidelity if I ever have to do that. I don't see much of a risk there. So, 5-10-15 years after Autodesk cancels Eagle - I can still read and refer to XML based Eagle files.

For those that can afford the big-bucks software - go for it! For me, I simply do not have the cash-flow to support it and the low-cost subscription options are my only financially practical way to keep my small business viable. If Autodesk stabs me in the heart in some way - so be it. If these options did not exist, neither would my small business. At least for now, I am enjoying the ability to exist and make money.
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Offline Kjelt

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2019, 08:36:10 pm »
 Rx how important is the synergy between Eagle and Fusion really?
I mean if you design your pcb and place the parts you could make a 3d scan of the pcb and use it in any cad program ? Can you elaborate on the extra's ?
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2019, 09:01:49 pm »
Rx how important is the synergy between Eagle and Fusion really?
I mean if you design your pcb and place the parts you could make a 3d scan of the pcb and use it in any cad program ? Can you elaborate on the extra's ?

I'm sure rx8pilot will also respond. But for the rather tightly packed gadgets he designs (see reply #36, for example), I am sure it's not a linear process of "design the PCB, then design the enclosure around it". I imagine a fair number of back-and-forth iterations to optimize the integration of mechanical and PCB design. And that is what the Fusion integration is meant to be good at.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #53 on: March 17, 2019, 09:48:43 pm »
Rx how important is the synergy between Eagle and Fusion really?
I mean if you design your pcb and place the parts you could make a 3d scan of the pcb and use it in any cad program ? Can you elaborate on the extra's ?

I'm sure rx8pilot will also respond. But for the rather tightly packed gadgets he designs (see reply #36, for example), I am sure it's not a linear process of "design the PCB, then design the enclosure around it". I imagine a fair number of back-and-forth iterations to optimize the integration of mechanical and PCB design. And that is what the Fusion integration is meant to be good at.

It is certainly fair to say that the process is non-linear. In a disconnected environment - I have to do a ton of export/import/placement efforts. This is prone to errors and omissions in addition to costing more time overall. That method requires a lot more planning up front because it is more rigid by nature. While Fusion360/Eagle integration still needs some details dealt with, it does work bi-directionally. My latest project has 11 PCB's in an enclosure slightly larger than a deck of cards. It also includes a myriad of connectors, data ports, display, and LED's that have positions largely defined by the mechanical design - but still restricted by the PCB layouts. Two of the PCB's are so close that the components on one had to be meshed with the components of the other. This was very easy to see and manage in Fusion. Cutouts for connectors and wire routing, as well as assembly planning all, conspired against success as you can probably guess.

The approach I was able to take was to freely move back and forth between mechanical and PCB designs to slowly arrive at the best possible compromises to get past interference and conflicts. It was quick and easy and I really liked the freedom to approach various issues from either the EE side or the ME side of the project and quickly see the impact of my changes without having to do anything.

Keep in mind - Only a short while ago I was rather vocal about how much I disliked Eagle. I hated it.

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Offline Kjelt

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #54 on: March 17, 2019, 10:01:49 pm »
It is certainly fair to say that the process is non-linear.
But you have to functionally test the pcbs beforehand right?
You're not saying that if in the end you made a mistake for instance you need a larger component you also have to redesign the enclosure?
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up. could KICAD export to freeCAD?
« Reply #55 on: March 17, 2019, 11:15:23 pm »

I have never tried diff routing before, ....

Diff routing in Eagle is VERY basic, limited, annoying.

It is certainly fair to say that the process is non-linear.
But you have to functionally test the pcbs beforehand right?
You're not saying that if in the end you made a mistake for instance you need a larger component you also have to redesign the enclosure?

Yes, of course. I just received the PCB's a few days ago and in the process of assembling the first ones for testing. If I made a mistake (or 100) that requires changes that impact the mechanics - I have not yet locked it down. Like any design approach - I have to decide how to best accommodate the change.  At the moment, I have started programming the CNC for the enclosure but any last-second changes auto-update. Like when a hole moves or a relief for a large capacitor. I can run the analysis looking for any mechanical interference and deal with it by changes to the enclosure or the PCB or even both.

If I have taken the time to associate a component with the enclosure model - it can be parametric and automatically enlarge a hole if a larger component is substituted in. After that, the CNC programming for that feature is also automatically updated. The last major thing I will do on this design is the heat spreader for all the MOSFETS. That is as easy as choosing the MOSFETS and extruding them to the case so I can perfectly aligned contact pads for the mosfets that work around all the other parts. If a FET moves, the heat spreader automatically updates, as does the G-code for milling.

Overall - pretty cool. Very quick way to design a multi-discipline complete product. It also has excellent animation and rendering feature for marketing or assembly training. When I was using Solidworks, I had to use a $1,500 3rd party application for animation and renderings.
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Offline mc172

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2019, 01:01:07 am »

We had someone come in from either Solidworks or Altium (cant remember which) to demo the new integration system.
They were all excited about their new system.
First thing we asked was if can we now export the 3D PCB design into Soildworks with all the layers (something we have been after for ages).
Nope, you can't. No seeing tracks in Solidworks.
They left unhappy.

http://www.desktop-eda.com.au/solidworks-modeler-for-altium-designer/
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2019, 01:43:54 am »

We had someone come in from either Solidworks or Altium (cant remember which) to demo the new integration system.
They were all excited about their new system.
First thing we asked was if can we now export the 3D PCB design into Soildworks with all the layers (something we have been after for ages).
Nope, you can't. No seeing tracks in Solidworks.
They left unhappy.

http://www.desktop-eda.com.au/solidworks-modeler-for-altium-designer/

Great - another 3rd party band-aid in the mix.
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Offline macegr

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #58 on: March 18, 2019, 07:03:22 am »
I don't see much of a risk there. So, 5-10-15 years after Autodesk cancels Eagle - I can still read and refer to XML based Eagle files.

Depending on some other subscription program in the future (since if subscription is the only viable way to make software there will be nothing else) to support 15 year old Eagle files...might as well start learning to route PCBs in a text editor now.

 

Offline MitjaN

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up. could KICAD export to freeCAD?
« Reply #59 on: March 18, 2019, 07:41:16 am »
I wonder, could KICAD export to freeCAD and do the same? I have not tried the newer KICAD, but I suppose one could create the box and everything? (w/o an external 3D CAD?)
it be great if KICAD users chime in
(and I just discovered KICAD has the auto diff routing too)
There is an option for KiCad/FreeCad synchronization (), which is quite good. But for there is no support for a multi PCB projects, so you are on your own.  But they are doable though with a bit of ingenuity.
 
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #60 on: March 18, 2019, 12:30:36 pm »
I don't see much of a risk there. So, 5-10-15 years after Autodesk cancels Eagle - I can still read and refer to XML based Eagle files.

Depending on some other subscription program in the future (since if subscription is the only viable way to make software there will be nothing else) to support 15 year old Eagle files...might as well start learning to route PCBs in a text editor now.

I can't say I am worried about needing a 15 year old file to save me and doubt that XML will be impossible to parse either.
The reality is that I will not abandon or ignore opportunities today just because there is a non-zero chance that Autodesk will no longer support Eagle. KiCad, from what I can tell, is really only a hobby level option that lacks the support and development needed for professional use. Eagle was in that same category for a very long time, just recently joining the ranks of professional applications (but just barely). The other alternative is exceptionally expensive. In the context of choosing my battles - I am willing to deal with the subscription compromise to gain access to a level of functionality that would otherwise be out of financial reach.

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #61 on: March 31, 2019, 08:32:51 am »
I think, like many, I was disappointed in Autodesk's decision to switch to a rentware model at the start of 2016. To provide no alternative to the thousands who had funded the software development over a decade or two was quite surprising. But all of this has been said before. It seems like the new funding has allowed some new features to come out, but for 683€ per year for "dynamic" software (to put it politely): hmm...

I would like to hear from users who have jumped on board what is significantly different from 7.7. I know EAGLE fairly well, including its annoying features and necessary workarounds and I can do good layouts.

Just looking at a set of features here, I honestly don't see much that would sell it for me:
https://www.autodesk.com/products/eagle/features

SPICE simulator: could save a bit of time, but there are simulators elsewhere
PCB layout software has new modular design blocks: already in 7.7; is the implementation any better? Normally I import the .brd to replicate layouts.
Schematic rule check: already in ERC; anything new or helpful?
Schematic to PCB synchronization: fundamental to EAGLE, nothing new here
PCB layout editor: routing engine looks interesting, but as I said, I've learned how to work with 45° corners, careful rip-up/dragging of traces etc.
PCB object alignment: snap to grid, changing the grid size dynamically is enough for me
Obstacle avoidance PCB routing: as above
PCB routing: as above
Simpler selection and editing: old way works okay
High-speed design: is diff pair any better than before?
Design rule checking (DRC): old hat, unless there are new, useful checks?
PCB library content: I mostly make my own library parts and I'd rather not rely on online stuff. Trust issues with parts means I would probably have to consult the datasheet anyway.
PCB component 3D model: could be handy but I can export to DXF and this is usually enough for 3D CAD
Complete component: I can copy an existing component footprint, even though it has a strange workflow. Reusing existing libraries carries the same risk as before.
Link component to supplier: with BOM ulp and our own tools we have this covered already
Online PCB community: CAM processor and choose your own board house
Fusion 360 Integration: as above
User language programs (ULPs): very useful but nothing new
BGA fanout: personally I don't work with BGAs. I remember that the integration was a bit buggy at the start, is it better now?

There's a good rundown of new features here:
https://www.autodesk.com/products/eagle/blog/autodesk-eagle-9/

As above, the new routing and auto net/label placement for schematics look quite neat. I just think at the moment that this is not worth some 700€ per year in perpetuity on a software model I don't really support. If I had the option of a one-time permanent licence now that I can actually see what I am paying for in advance, I might consider it.



 

Offline rachaelp

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #62 on: April 01, 2019, 07:51:20 am »
SPICE simulator: could save a bit of time, but there are simulators elsewhere

Yes there are simulators elsewhere but then you have to draw things multiple times in different tools. Better to draw it once surely?

PCB layout software has new modular design blocks: already in 7.7; is the implementation any better? Normally I import the .brd to replicate layouts.

They've basically wrapped it up in the UI and added a dbl file containing the portions of the sch/brd. You can create it from a small section of an existing design too.

Schematic rule check: already in ERC; anything new or helpful?

Nothing new in the ERC really.

Schematic to PCB synchronization: fundamental to EAGLE, nothing new here

Yep, nothing new here.

PCB layout editor: routing engine looks interesting, but as I said, I've learned how to work with 45° corners, careful rip-up/dragging of traces etc.

The new move tool with preserve angles is SO much better than in earlier versions of EAGLE. It's actually a huge productivity increase for me.

PCB object alignment: snap to grid, changing the grid size dynamically is enough for me

There are actually some additional alignment tools too but honestly I don't use them much because I use grids a lot.

Obstacle avoidance PCB routing: as above

It can be useful but it's not grid aware so tends to leave things off grid which I then have to go clean up. It's useful for quickly seeing routing options.

PCB routing: as above

There are actually quite a few new routing tools, the most notable of these being push and shove which can be hugely helpful when you need to get some traces through on a congested board. Another additional routing mode is loop removal which makes rerouting traces a different way a lot quicker. There are also a whole bunch of modes associated with the ripup tool now too which can be very helpful at times.

Simpler selection and editing: old way works okay

Old way works better. Fortunately you can still use the old way by turning the "Group command default on" setting off.

High-speed design: is diff pair any better than before?

Not yet but hopefully this is something they'll improve upon soon.

Design rule checking (DRC): old hat, unless there are new, useful checks?

Well, there are some new checks and some additional settings to help determine what gets checked but the biggest changes to the DRC are:

1) Live DRC. It's running all the time so you can see violations as you are routing and deal with them as they occur rather than only find out when you've manually run it at some later point. It's actually much better than it sounds and I find it incredibly useful.

2) The DRC results window has been improved so you can find and see the errors you wish to deal with more easily.

PCB library content: I mostly make my own library parts and I'd rather not rely on online stuff. Trust issues with parts means I would probably have to consult the datasheet anyway.

Yep you should always make your own stuff and if you do use anything else from a 3rd party it needs thoroughly checking. The libraries which are supplied aren't improved and I don't use them. However, there is now an IPC package generator which creates quite a lot of standard package types along with 3D models to go with them.

They have also introduced "Managed Libraries" but these have some usability and workflow issues. For the most part the regular libraries are better but in order to fully utilize the integration with Fusion360 you do really need at least one managed library for dealing with mapping STEP models to footprints.

PCB component 3D model: could be handy but I can export to DXF and this is usually enough for 3D CAD

Being able to create a proper 3D model of your board and seamlessly go between ECAD and MCAD in either direction is quite a big bonus if you are designing anything with any significant mechanical design challenges. You can move parts and alter the PCB outline in Fusion360 and push them back to EAGLE so it's much closer integration than just exporting a static model from ECAD and loading it into MCAD.

Complete component: I can copy an existing component footprint, even though it has a strange workflow. Reusing existing libraries carries the same risk as before.

Yes, there are no real changes here.

Link component to supplier: with BOM ulp and our own tools we have this covered already

I've never used this part at all, I do my own thing for BOM's etc. I think the DesignLink stuff came in v7 under Farnell?

Online PCB community: CAM processor and choose your own board house

Yes.

Fusion 360 Integration: as above

It's actually quite useful. See above!

User language programs (ULPs): very useful but nothing new

Yes there haven't been any improvements in ULP really.

BGA fanout: personally I don't work with BGAs. I remember that the integration was a bit buggy at the start, is it better now?

The BGA fanout isn't useful. It was one of the first things they did early in v8 and hasn't been improved at all since. I do a lot of BGA designs and I always end up just routing them out myself. This is now part of a larger fanout tool which provides better support for fanning out components in general.

As above, the new routing and auto net/label placement for schematics look quite neat. I just think at the moment that this is not worth some 700€ per year in perpetuity on a software model I don't really support. If I had the option of a one-time permanent licence now that I can actually see what I am paying for in advance, I might consider it.

There are other improvements too which aren't covered in the above list. In the schematic editor busses now have good support in the UI. Previously you had to explicitly write the bus strings to create them and I wrote a ULP to add some UI functionality to this previously, but now there is a proper UI built it which does make creating and managing busses a lot better.

In the board you now have true bottom side view which is an actual flip of the view and not the design editing mirror.ulp which was provided previously. You also have single layer mode so all but your currently active layer are greyed out so you can get a clear view of where you are routing but still see what is of interest on other layers too.

It's up to you whether you feel €700/year is too much but at least they are now actually providing the updates people had been asking for which could never have been achieved with the old CADSoft model as they just couldn't sustain the amount of engineering required. When the subscription was first announced there was a lot of anger and an assumption that it was just a money grab and nothing would come of EAGLE. I think they've definitely shown they're willing to put a significant investment into the development of EAGLE now so I think we'll continue to get significant improvements with future releases so the subscription model isn't an issue for me, I know it goes to paying for software development and I will see the results in time.

Best Regards,

Rachael
I have a weakness for Test Equipment so can often be found having a TEA break (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/test-equipment-anonymous-(tea)-group-therapy-thread/)
 
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Offline latigid on

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #63 on: April 06, 2019, 10:47:41 am »
Thanks for the detailed reply.

Quote
It's up to you whether you feel €700/year is too much but at least they are now actually providing the updates people had been asking for which could never have been achieved with the old CADSoft model as they just couldn't sustain the amount of engineering required. When the subscription was first announced there was a lot of anger and an assumption that it was just a money grab and nothing would come of EAGLE. I think they've definitely shown they're willing to put a significant investment into the development of EAGLE now so I think we'll continue to get significant improvements with future releases so the subscription model isn't an issue for me, I know it goes to paying for software development and I will see the results in time.

If my memory serves me right, the first year had a lot of complaints about unstable releases and bugs, so although admirable and maybe a worthy investment in hindsight, that first year's subscription didn't really pay off. Now I think it's pretty solid but the same holds for the future: I don't have a crystal ball, so I can't guess if what they may or may not add will be worth the blind sunk cost....

 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2019, 06:10:23 pm »
Thanks for the detailed reply.

Quote
It's up to you whether you feel €700/year is too much but at least they are now actually providing the updates people had been asking for which could never have been achieved with the old CADSoft model as they just couldn't sustain the amount of engineering required. When the subscription was first announced there was a lot of anger and an assumption that it was just a money grab and nothing would come of EAGLE. I think they've definitely shown they're willing to put a significant investment into the development of EAGLE now so I think we'll continue to get significant improvements with future releases so the subscription model isn't an issue for me, I know it goes to paying for software development and I will see the results in time.

If my memory serves me right, the first year had a lot of complaints about unstable releases and bugs, so although admirable and maybe a worthy investment in hindsight, that first year's subscription didn't really pay off. Now I think it's pretty solid but the same holds for the future: I don't have a crystal ball, so I can't guess if what they may or may not add will be worth the blind sunk cost....

My Altium rep (desperate) called yesterday.....
I told him that Eagle is many years behind AD, but its most critical upgrade has been integration with F360. He had nothing to say after that. All he could do is point me to a brand new band-aid they call Concord Pro that is a pseudo-integration effort that has no demos or documentation available. After I explained the workflow of Eagle/F360 he put me on hold to talk to one of his FAE's for about 5 minutes. He came back with nothing to offer other than a quote that did not address any technical or workflow challenge that I face. I asked what the value proposition was, he had nothing to say. If I spent $9500 for Altium (plus annual maint of about $1500) and reinstated my Solidworks license (~approx $5500 or so) - What do I get out of the $15k? Not much and a disjointed ECAD/MCAD workflow on top.

AD is fantastic. Solidworks Premium is fantastic. They are standalone applications that only have crude options for integration.
Eagle/F360 is 5% less function for 95% lower cost = a pretty outstanding value for any business that does not need the extra 5% function.

From the post-call email....
Code: [Select]
So these are the promos:

Altium Designer: floating, perpetual commercial license + 2 free years of subscription/maintenance = $7995 ($13k value)

Concord Pro: library data-management tool; Concord Pro ($2500/year) + User ($500/user/year) = $1500 ($9000 value/3 years) (promo on this is $1500 per user will give you this tool free for 3 years)

It is kind of hard explaining the Concord Pro promo so if you did not understand please let me know. Once we make the info on Concord Pro public, I will send you a link to that. And If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will be more than happy to help. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.

Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. https://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Offline macegr

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #65 on: April 07, 2019, 05:41:34 am »
You can hire people skilled in Altium, and you can hire people skilled in Solidworks. You can send either type of file to any design or manufacturing company worth their salt and they will also have people skilled in understanding and using these files. It's not a great option for a hobbyist, but a typical industry is rightly horrified at the idea of the PCB layout designer ever touching the mechanical CAD files. Not only is it worthwhile to have actual experts in a task rather than a bunch of jumped-up interns waiting for a cloud-based tool to recover from an authentication meltdown, many companies also have to document and justify the reasons for every change they make in the process of creating a product.

None of this relates to Eagle or Kicad or Fusion 360 in the slightest, they aren't comparable tools, have almost no overlap in customer base, and shouldn't be compared either on merit or cost. I can be upset at the infection of SaaS spreading into the tools I want to use while knowing what Altium and Solidworks cost.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #66 on: May 19, 2019, 12:29:20 am »
If I spent $9500 for Altium (plus annual maint of about $1500)

what does annual maintenance do?

The annual maintenance primarily props up Altium and pays for all the trade shows they go to. A small percentage seems to go into the product.
In effect....the $1500 does not get you much. I suffered the same annual cash outflow for a number of high-end software products. Eventually, I just started skipping updates for years, but the software manufactures retaliated with BIG penalties. They effectively force you to pay now....so I abandoned Solidworks and  Mastercam for Fusion360 and declined to jump into Altium in favor of Eagle. It is very clear and obvious the Eagle is far less of a product, but since cash is king - it is winning at the moment.
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. https://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #67 on: May 19, 2019, 12:41:36 am »
Here is an area that Eagle sucks beyond comprehension:

 THE LIBRARY

It is such a mess, even on the best of days. Yes, there are workarounds and many people have figured out how to make the best of this pile of pig poo. In the end - it is the worst part of the Eagle experience by a large margin.

That negative view has been tempered by a recent system crash that I had. My old Windows 7 system that was my primary design workstation finally took a dive. I was not really worried and got another system to replace it rather quickly. I had made a considerable effort to backup all my user data both local and offsite and all of it was sperate from the system disk anyway....or so I thought.

The new managed library system in Eagle is required if you need to use the 3D models of the parts. I did not fully understand the way it worked but found out the hard way. It saves the data on your system drive as /appdata/ so it is not bundled with any of my other user data. It only goes to the cloud if you intentionally save a new version under the Library menu. When I got my new system up and running, the managed libraries are >1week out of date. That was the week that I spent 40 hours updating all the part data for a new design - hundreds of parts were painstakingly updated and it appears that data is gone. It did not save with everything else.

What a kludgy mess.
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. https://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2019, 01:54:16 am »
I am not sure how large it is. My current problem is that I did not know the managed libraries were located in the /user/appdata/.....location which is not part of the backup.
I just figured out that about a week before the system tanked, I had pulled a VM image that was able to boot up in VMWare.

Eagle was able to open and I created a new version of the managed library - effectively recovering some data. There is still some missing information.

Now, I am manually going through the remaining parts and updating the attributes. I cannot tell how many there are since I can only take it one part at a time.

Going forward, I am not sure how to best manage this kind of thing. The best option seems to be 'just remember to create a new version' since Eagle does not do this automatically. Before managed libraries, I simply had my data folders automatically backed up and all was taken care of. I keep all the configuration/preferences related files on my NAS - which is always off-site backed up.



Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. https://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 
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Offline rachaelp

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2019, 01:13:24 pm »
The new managed library system in Eagle is required if you need to use the 3D models of the parts.

That was true when the 3D integration with Fusion360 first came along but it's not been the case that all your libraries need to be managed for a long time now and since 9.4 it's been possible to add models to parts from within a design thus avoiding managed libraries altogether if that's your preference (but not ideal because your associations for models are within the scope of that design). Just have a single managed library to map STEP models to footprints and then copy the pair back into your proper (non managed) libraries and all the 3D integrations still work fine.

Going forward, I am not sure how to best manage this kind of thing. The best option seems to be 'just remember to create a new version' since Eagle does not do this automatically. Before managed libraries, I simply had my data folders automatically backed up and all was taken care of. I keep all the configuration/preferences related files on my NAS - which is always off-site backed up.

Just don't use managed libraries, they cause more issues than they solve, and use the method I use as described above and (and on the Autodesk forum) to manage associating STEP models to footprints. It works 100% flawlessly and I can back up all my library data just the same way I have in EAGLE for many years. Fortunately for me I realised very soon that the managed libraries system was a recipe for disaster so held off using the Fusion 360 integrations until it was possible to do it without jumping fulling into managed library hell. Hopefully you can get the remainder of your lost data back without too much more pain.

Best Regards,

Rachael
I have a weakness for Test Equipment so can often be found having a TEA break (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/test-equipment-anonymous-(tea)-group-therapy-thread/)
 

Offline sauerwald

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #70 on: June 05, 2019, 11:33:32 pm »
I worked for 25 years for National Semiconductor/Texas Instruments which was an Altium shop.   Overlapping that for a bit, and now my main thing, I have a small separate company where I design build and manufacture a niche (small volume ) product.   For my own company I used Eagle for PCB.   For the work that I did for TI (5Gbps serial interfaces), Altium was a great tool, and I loved the component library that TI maintained for it.   The cost of Altium was out of reach so I used Eagle for my own designs.  I bought the full professional license for Eagle and there are many things where I feel Eagle does a better job than Altium does - I like the fact that the Schematic and Board are kept in sync all the time, rather than having to run ECOs to bring them back into sync - and I liked the large library of ULPs that are available for Eagle to do all sorts of cool things - the 8X difference in cost was also a plus.   When AutoCAD bought eagle, I was worried (and still am), but it hasn't been as bad as I had feared.   The subscription cost for Eagle is reasonable and I am able to keep everything local.   
I also found that I needed to do some mechanical designs - and for that, I added on a subscription to Fusion 360 to my Eagle Subscription.   Although I got a couple of designs done in that, it was a disaster, largely because it is all cloud based, and it and I never really gelled.   I thought that part of the issue was just my lack of familiarity with MCAD in general, so I tool a CAD class at a local community college - where they taught Solidworks.
I now use Solidworks for MCAD and Eagle for ECAD, and it works - I can ship designs from Eagle to Solidworks by exporting STEP models - which is clunky but it works.   My biggest gripe with Eagle is that I'd like to see better tools for managing libraries (my libraries, not libraries in the cloud).


 

Offline Sylvi

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #71 on: August 01, 2019, 06:20:48 pm »
Hey

I'm using the same Eagle package I bought in 2003 and will never change. It was the pro package for the day and I paid one time and can put it on as many computers as i need to (since computers don't last a terribly long time).

Now i see that Autodesk has taken over eagle it is all by SUBSCRIPTION - no more BUY IT ONCE !! To me that is reason enough never to "upgrade".

Now this thread suggests that much of Eagle is gong cloud-based? has the whole world gone mad?

The cloud is Google's server and Google has pretty much turned into the kind of company that paranoid people think all companies are - megalomaniac. For example, a couple of years ago I bought a Chrome desktop because it was super cheap and the linux computer I had could no longer access Digikey and Mouser - then other thing became inaccessible. One day i turn on the chrome thingy and the desktop has changed. Did I change it? no. Did I request it to be changed? no. Google decided that my experience with my computer should change for no reason other than they can (and supposedly so that a standadrd desktop can be used for all the silly portable toy computers and tablets - none of which i use). google had also eliminated opting out of automatic updates and a lot of people were annoyed by that. At that instant I knew Google was as close to being "evil" as companies get these days and got linux mint for other computer and no longer use the chrome craptop.

The whole "thin web browser" is crap too - you can't even print things. I used a USB key to transfer files to my other computer that was connected to a printer.

When I got that chrome thing, the fine print said I have 2-years free access to the cloud... whoa... that means you have to pay for it at some point - hopefully well after you've committed all your personal files to the thing and have no way to have local storage.

I'm not paranoid but I do value having control over my own security, and that means using an off-line computer for Eagle design work and for customer data and book keeping. Why should any of that be in an online computer? think about your own security and privacy.

yes, Eagle is buggy but what software isn't? I don't really understand the "library" complaints above. How difficult is it to make parts, make libraries, access parts using the "add" command? When I started to learn eagle there was a whole lot of basic computer file management that I had to learn,, too, but I got over the hump and use eagle almost every day. I do not use the auto router. I made a mechanical library for laying out chassis and checking space and such like, so have no need to connect eagle with another program to learn.  many of my own products have several boards, up to thirty or so in a few products but once over sixty. Really, it is just a matter of visualising the end product and then inputting it into Eagle the right way..

I like my old eagle! I own it and it has paid for itself many times over.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 06:25:48 pm by Sylvi »
 

Offline Quarlo Klobrigney

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #72 on: August 01, 2019, 11:58:45 pm »
Google's telephone number is 666

Eagle 7.3 and will NEVER upgrade my paid license. I agree with you. There is however, more stuff in 7.3 than 4.16 as I used to use. The main thing was to change the look and feel mouse and menu functions back to the way 4.xx used to function. That and blocking it in my firewall.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 12:03:11 am by Quarlo Klobrigney »
Voltage does not flow, nor does it go.
 
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Offline Karel

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #73 on: August 02, 2019, 08:21:50 am »
Why not using V7.7? It's the last version before autodesk put their claws on it.
You can find it here: ftp://ftp.cadsoft.de/eagle/program/7.7/
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #74 on: August 02, 2019, 10:00:04 am »
Why not using V7.7? It's the last version before autodesk put their claws on it.
You can find it here: ftp://ftp.cadsoft.de/eagle/program/7.7/

It's actually the first release after Autodesk put their claws on it -- but the last before they switched it to subscription. It seems that they made superficial changes only compared to 7.6: https://www.autodesk.com/products/eagle/blog/eagle-7-7-out-now/

I would assume that this was still done by the CADsoft team, so hopefully they didn't break anything. But I will stick with my trusted 7.6 anyway, and live without net names overlaid on traces...
 

Online MarkL

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #75 on: August 02, 2019, 12:13:44 pm »
Why not using V7.7? It's the last version before autodesk put their claws on it.
You can find it here: ftp://ftp.cadsoft.de/eagle/program/7.7/

It's actually the first release after Autodesk put their claws on it -- but the last before they switched it to subscription. It seems that they made superficial changes only compared to 7.6: https://www.autodesk.com/products/eagle/blog/eagle-7-7-out-now/

I would assume that this was still done by the CADsoft team, so hopefully they didn't break anything. But I will stick with my trusted 7.6 anyway, and live without net names overlaid on traces...
I'm stuck on 7.2.  Starting with 7.3, Cadsoft updated the version of Qt they were using and introduced a big graphics performance hit, at least for me on Linux with Nvidia.  This rather significant change did not appear in the release notes.
 

Offline TomS_

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #76 on: November 03, 2019, 02:45:18 pm »
all by SUBSCRIPTION - no more BUY IT ONCE

1. You pay your one time fee for software that has been developed up to that point in time; or
2. You pay a subscription to have access to software that is continually updated.

Although, if you can constrain yourself to the limited board area of the free version you can always have access to the latest features anyway.

By the way, you only need to pay a subscription while you need access to the features of that subscription. If you need to develop a larger board for a few months, pay the subscription for just those few months then cancel it or drop back.
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Eagle has moved up, way up.
« Reply #77 on: November 03, 2019, 04:53:26 pm »
1. You pay your one time fee for software that has been developed up to that point in time; or
2. You pay a subscription to have access to software that is continually updated.

Yes, I think we all understand that. And we regret that, courtesy of Autodesk, option 1 is no longer available.

(And neither is option 1a: You pay an additional, reduced one-time fee for access to features that have been added, if and when these features are relevant to you.)
 


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