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The scoop on PCB layout software


Well-Known Member
Mosaic - no, it's scrap pine from some furniture that was being scrapped - I made the mistake of trying to lubricate it with some spray when the wood got slightly damp and a bit too "grippy", but the super slippery spray actually made it bind quite badly, however some grease sorted that problem out!
Spec - yes I did. At first I was using steel bits and had to tighten the chucks so much the outer sleeve split. But I had to get a bigger chuck (and change the motor for one with a bigger spindle) for the TC bits, and have had no problems with it as it's a close fit and very little tightening required.


I've been using 2 simulators, Profilab Expert (mostly for simulating digital circuit 'modules) and LTSpice (digital/analog/discrete ECAD and simulation), then recently downloaded Diptrace, an ECAD/EDA suite with (free) demo version limited to 300 nodes.
I've personally found Diptrace to be fairly easy to learn so far, and since downloading their 3D component model library, can view / display / save / print 3D models.
Our local PCB service actually suggested Diptrace when I queried decent software for design /PCB manufacture.


Well-Known Member
For the hobbyist, Diptrace is perhaps the easiest to learn and use as well as output gerber files for printed circuit boards. The top of the list is Eagle but steep learning curve and pros use it.
Upgrading to increase nodes is free IF YOU USE IT FOR YOUR HOBBY.


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Most Helpful Member
Need to bump this thread. I have not done PCB layout in some time. Is the current free version of eagle ok to use? I have some concern about the licensing. Maybe switch to a PD program.
If I ever need to use Eagle I just use an old installation. None of this AutoCAD [email protected]


Well-Known Member
Designspark PCB (from RS Components) is totally free, has a pretty good library and links to a depository of parts. If you need anything not in that, they will even make the component symbol etc. for you..

Can highly recommend the service from Samacsys, the component you download comes bundled for many different layout programs, you can put in the details to create a footprint on their site if it doesn't already exist and download straight away, but they review it and send you updates if you want to get their approved version later.

I just had a go with DipTrace. Sticking with DesignSpark,

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