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Old 22nd January 2011, 11:06 PM   #1
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Default New free unrestricted PCB design software from RS Components

I have seen several threads about schematic capture/PCB layout software.

Those of you who receive the Elektor newsletter will already be informed about this, but for those who don't, there is a new, free and unrestricted tool available from RS Components:-

DesignSpark PCB | DesignSpark

Elector's review seems to rate it on a par with Eagle, with the exception that it has none of the restrictions that Eagle does in its free version, and if it acquires a substantial user base, it can only improve.

w
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Old 22nd January 2011, 11:23 PM   #2
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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several free PCB sw options exist - the question is how do they comapre - KiCad would be one of the more recent with ongoing development activity

Comparison of EDA software - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 22nd January 2011, 11:30 PM   #3
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I tried it and found it poor even compared to other free or cheap programs.

I would rather pay a bit of money and get the benefit of full error checking.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 09:52 AM   #4
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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The one advantage of this software to the DIYer is the increased number of layers, somthing that will become critical as more and more digital based designs are attempted.
For a freebie its OK.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 10:31 AM   #5
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I have had very positive experiences with Kicad once I got used to its quirks, and even turned down the opportunity to buy a commercial package through my employers.

For me, one of the best possible features would be an automatic link to a parts suppliers' catalogue. One should be able to press a button and generate a BOM complete with catalogue numbers and current prices. It does seem ridiculous that in this day and age the electronics engineer should have to devote time to literally typing in catalogue numbers, and designing symbols and footprints, with all its potential for errors.

I even wrote a program to extract RS catalogue numbers from HTML pages and generate Kicad symbols automatically for various ranges of resistors and capacitors. If RS could supply their catalogue in a simple text-based format it would help people to translate their parts into any PCB design package's format. (Maybe they do already..?)

If (over several years, obviously!) RS were to make their entire catalogue available as symbols and footprints (and 3D models) within a free PCB design package, dynamically linked to stock and pricing information, then they could take over the world.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 05:38 PM   #6
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Not for bulk prices
But agree, they could make a killing, even more so if they came up with some simple 3D interface that would allow the import of STEP, STL, ASIC or IGES format models of cases.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 07:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wakibaki View Post
.... and unrestricted tool...
It is restricted to running under Windoz.

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Old 4th October 2011, 10:01 AM   #8
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Just found it in my latest RS Email.

Will try a download and see. I found Eagle far too complicated.
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Old 4th October 2011, 10:22 AM   #9
Francec is offline Francec  Australia
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Andrew,
Please let us know how you found it?

dave,
Being a martyr isn't what it is cracked up to be (and is a personal choice.)


Frank
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wakibaki View Post
Elector's review seems to rate it on a par with Eagle, with the exception that it has none of the restrictions that Eagle does in its free version, and if it acquires a substantial user base, it can only improve.

w
Its been out for quite a while on the RS website.

I believe its an old version of EasyPC but thats what I read in anotehr forum.
I gave it a try and couldnt work it but maybe thats just me lol
Found it hard to use.
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