Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design software is an excellent tool for efficiently creating error-free, high-quality designs. Without the PCB design software, designers and engineers, it can be challenging to design everything from the start, put everything together, and wait for design approvals.
Alternatively, you can design quickly and precisely with PCB software. PCB software will optimize your work and improve productivity compared to manual approaches, which need a lot of time, energy, and resources. You also won’t have to worry about blunders that could hinder production.
Therefore, deciding which PCB software will suit your demands might take time, given the wide range of available options. Below in this article, we have listed some of the top PCB software available for your use.
BEST PCB DESIGNING SOFTWARE TOOLS
There are several different PCB design software choices out there. Some are free to use, others can be downloaded from the internet, and some are commercial PCB software with copyright restrictions. The list of software EDA tools that Rush PCB Inc. evaluated for efficiency is below.
1. ALTIUM DESIGNER (PROTEL)
The ALTIUM DESIGNER (PROTEL) is the best commercial PCB CAD design tool developed in the late 1980s. With a massive library of footprints and other helpful stuff, the product is well-regarded among all other CAD applications and is supported by a large online community.
Several universities offer specialized programs that teach PROTEL usage. Many technological businesses use it. In the most recent issue of PROTEL, there are new changes that improve the user experience. Users love how smoothly and fluently it operates.
2. POWER PCB (PADS)
Another of the market’s most widely used EDA software, PADS Logic, is a collection of three tools: Layout, Router, and PADS Logic. Both small and large businesses can use this software.
Its most prominent feature is the PADS Layout/Router, which facilitates the PCB Design process. It performs various tasks, including importing schematic netlists and creating Gerber files, assembly files, and Bill of Materials (BOM) output.
Both PROTEL and ORCAD were made in the 1980s, so they are alike in that way. However, PROTEL is more popular as compared to ORCAD. The user-friendly design, specific operational features, and potent simulation capabilities of ORCAD contribute to its success.
4. ALLEGRO (CADENCE)
Cadence initially introduced Allegro as software for PCB design routing. Large businesses often use Allegro because of its highly sophisticated software features. These include companies that create computer motherboards, as Allegro offers many benefits for designing large-scale boards. In addition to designing huge industrial control boards and other large boards like server motherboards, Allegro is well-liked by people who create computer motherboards.
KiCAD is open-source software that complies with the GNU GPL copyright agreement and is a well-known EDA solution. Users find the program very comfortable with a keyboard and a mouse because of its robust graphical user interface. Windows and Linux users can both use KiCAD.
KiCAD integrates several suites, including a 2-D solid model viewer, Gerber file reader, Layout, schematic design, and more. Additionally, the package contains many symbol and 3-D model libraries that customers can download and utilize.
Free PCB design software
Deciding from among the many tens of functional pieces of software can take time and effort. Many different PCB programs are available; a few are free, and some are paid. When choosing a design package, it is generally good to take advantage of the most recent software with available support and community.
Some of the best and most well-liked software in the EDA sector are typically not free. However, a few potent free ones still are available. In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the best free PCB design tools you can get for creating printed circuit board layouts that you can choose from.
1. Autodesk Eagle
One of the most popular PCB design tools is Autodesk Eagle. Known initially as Cadsoft Eagle, but after being acquired by Autodesk, it is now known as Autodesk Eagle.
An open-source, cross-platform electronic design automation suite is called KiCAD. KiCAD is a PCB editor for designing expert PCB layouts with up to 32 copper layers and a 3D viewer for seeing the design in 3D. It comes with a schematic editor enabling designers to create and revise schematic plans.
3. PCBWeb Designer
PCBWeb is a free CAD software for creating and designing electronic devices. It comes with an arrow parts catalog, can lay out PCBs with more than one layer, and can capture schematics for designs with more than one sheet.
TinyCAD is a straightforward PCB and schematic design tool that is open-source software that can enable PCB layout applications with various netlist formats. Both standard and unique symbol libraries are supported.
How to design PCB
Would you like to design your PCB? The details of how to create a PCB are far too complex to cover here; however, if you’re eager to start, consider the following advice:
- Look for a CAD package; there are many free or inexpensive options available for PCB design. When selecting a bundle, keep the following in mind:
- Community support: Does the package have a large user base? You are more likely to locate ready-made libraries with the required components the more people use them.
- Usability: If something is difficult to use, you won’t.
- Capability: Some software imposes restrictions on your design, such as the number of layers, components, board size, etc. Most of them provide optional premium features that can be unlocked with a financial investment.
- Portability: Some free programs don’t let you save your work in other formats or convert it to another format, so you have to stick with one program if you want to use it. This is a reasonable cost to pay for price and convenience.
- Examine the layouts of others to see what they’ve created. This is now simpler than ever, thanks to open-source hardware.
- Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
- Continue to have low hopes. There will be numerous issues with your first board design. There will be fewer in your 20th board design, but there will still be some. You can always get rid of all of them.
- The importance of schematics. Attempting to build a board without creating a comprehensive schematic is a pointless task.
Eagle vs Altium designer pcb software
EAGLE provides better options despite being free projects or situations requiring team collaboration. EAGLE’s sharing mode makes it simpler for teammates to collaborate on one task simultaneously. On the contrary hand, Altium is more robust and has a better user interface.
Advanced features like multi-layer high-speed digital processing are superior in Altium. Altium’s design rule checking is much better with regex.
Online PCB designer
The online PCB design tool from Advanced Circuits is not only simple to use but also the best free PCB software tool out there. Our clients have told us they like doing business with us because of our express pcb order. Your ability to appropriately create printed circuit boards, which will ultimately save you both time and money, is made possible with our assistance.
PCB Design Company
Below are some selected PCB layout software companies based on their location or sector of business and PCB design software. Below is a list of the top PCB design company. We should design the software before the development phase. Below is the list of companies specializing in PCB design.
- CA Design
- A1 Electronics Inc PCB Assembly
- ABL Circuits
- Advanced Circuits
Lastly, there are some advantages of creating customized circuit boards. Step-by-step wiring circuits on a protoboard are tedious, and they frequently lack the strength of purpose-designed panels. The ROI of creating a board is quite good if you want to produce more than one or two examples of a specific project. If your design becomes widespread, it also enables you to sell it.