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recommend circuit design software

billybob

Active Member
Cans someone recommend a circuit design software preferably for mac but pc is fine that is also completely free or a very low one time cost?
 

Visitor

Well-Known Member
Do you mean a program to draw schematics and lay out printed circuit boards? If that's what you're looking for, check out EasyEDA by JLCPCB. It's a very powerful yet easy-to-use PCB layout tool.
 

billybob

Active Member
Do you mean a program to draw schematics and lay out printed circuit boards? If that's what you're looking for, check out EasyEDA by JLCPCB. It's a very powerful yet easy-to-use PCB layout tool.
Yes. Alright thanks, Ill checkout EasyEDA then.
 

Visitor

Well-Known Member
Many fab houses offer "free" schematic/pcb layout software. There are a few things to watch out for:

¤ Does the software provide Gerber files at no charge? If not, you are tied to a specific vendor for making your circuit boards.

¤ Does the software provide unlimited, private storage for your projects? Some "free" software requires you to share your projects publicly or limits the number of active projects you may have.

¤ Does the software allow you to create unlimited schematic symbols and pcb footprints? Some packages allow creation of only a few parts and force you to use their libraries.

¤ Does the software support importing of schematic symbols and footprints from other software packages and library managers?

¤ Does the package provide access to large libraries of schematic symbols and pcb footprints?

¤ Does the software restrict board size, number of component pins and number of layers?

¤ Does the software have good support through forums and tutorials?

The above are kind of essential points. Other features may be nice to have, but are probably not so important.



For the record, EasyEDA scores high on all of the above points, with only one limitation. Any schematic symbols and pcb footprints you create are available to everybody. This increases the parts available in libraries but use caution. Nobody verifies user-provided symbols and footprints are correct, so verify when using user-provided libraries.

An advantage of using EasyEDA is that it makes in simple to use JLCPCB's nearly free SMT assembly service. You pay to have the boards fabricated, the cost of components used and a small setup fee, and they will assemble SMT parts to your boards. This makes it possible and practical to use of the the impossibility small SMT components that are difficult to use otherwise.
 

billybob

Active Member
Many fab houses offer "free" schematic/pcb layout software. There are a few things to watch out for:

¤ Does the software provide Gerber files at no charge? If not, you are tied to a specific vendor for making your circuit boards.

¤ Does the software provide unlimited, private storage for your projects? Some "free" software requires you to share your projects publicly or limits the number of active projects you may have.

¤ Does the software allow you to create unlimited schematic symbols and pcb footprints? Some packages allow creation of only a few parts and force you to use their libraries.

¤ Does the software support importing of schematic symbols and footprints from other software packages and library managers?

¤ Does the package provide access to large libraries of schematic symbols and pcb footprints?

¤ Does the software restrict board size, number of component pins and number of layers?

¤ Does the software have good support through forums and tutorials?

The above are kind of essential points. Other features may be nice to have, but are probably not so important.



For the record, EasyEDA scores high on all of the above points, with only one limitation. Any schematic symbols and pcb footprints you create are available to everybody. This increases the parts available in libraries but use caution. Nobody verifies user-provided symbols and footprints are correct, so verify when using user-provided libraries.

An advantage of using EasyEDA is that it makes in simple to use JLCPCB's nearly free SMT assembly service. You pay to have the boards fabricated, the cost of components used and a small setup fee, and they will assemble SMT parts to your boards. This makes it possible and practical to use of the the impossibility small SMT components that are difficult to use otherwise.
Thank you. I ended up going with EasyEDA. It works for the small scale schematics I'm doing right now, and anything thats not in their Libraries I am content with just labeling something similar (such as that zener diode in the schematic above) I downloaded KiCad which I might try later.
 

Visitor

Well-Known Member
I started with Eagle. No matter what your background, Windows, Mac, Linux, Eagle is (at least was) confusing and complicated to use.

I tried a couple vendor-supplied packages, and ran into various issues described above. I tried Kicad, and I know many people love it, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it.

EasyEDA really is easy to use. You should be able to find nearly any symbol and footprint you need unless it's a very unique part.
 

MacIntoshCZ

Active Member
i think we forget about Altium. But this is for commercial spectrum.
 

MacIntoshCZ

Active Member
Altium and low cost are mutually exclusive.
:), no one will probably buy it for hobby purposes. Maybe student version is free? Dont know.
 
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