I need program for making circuitboard


Paid Member
2001-02-25 7:10 pm
Northern Iliinois
For boards I make myself (via blue sheets, etc.), I like CirCAD from Holophase (www.holophase.com). I can generate a schematic and import the schematic components to a PCB sheet and lay them out. Doing things this way radically cuts down on wiring errors as opposed to just drawing a PCB layout.

For boards made by a board house, I just downloaded some proprietary software from ExpressPCB (www.expresspcb.com). With this free software, you can design boards and send directly to ExpressPCB for manufacture at the touch of a button. A quantity of 3 (2.5" x 3.8" each) double sided boards w/plated through vias, no silkscreen nor soldermask can be made for $59. I haven't used this yet, so no comments on quality.

There are lots of other CAD programs out there that have limited functionality (like limit number of parts, no saving, no printing, no gerber output, etc.), but would probably serve a hobbyiest just fine.


I haven't used it yet, but when I get some free time, I'll probably play with it. You can download the free version from http://www.cadsoftusa.com They have versions for both Windows and Linux! The free version is limited by the size of board and number of layers. (All info is available on the website) They also have newsgroups on their servers you can read and learn more through.
What a coincidence. I use Corel Draw.

I do the board at 4x and then print it at 25% to my inkjet. I then take it to a graphic arts house for a film negative from which a friend makes a board.

I've checked out the PCB layout programs and didn't like them a bit. I like the control I can achieve with Corel Draw.

Here is a board I am currently working on. This display may fail until I find out how to put images up.

<img src="http://www.kbacoustics.com/scans/bestpcb.jpg">

The bottom of the board brings in the +/- supply for op-amps, signal lines, grounding returns, etc. via a card edge connector. The selectable signal, front, rear, left, right, center (all programmable via jumpers) goes to electronic crossovers (programmable via jumpers as to band pass, high pass or low pass). The upper half of the board consists of 2 power amplifiers, less the heat sinks of course. Power for the amps comes in alongside the board via a shielded, twisted pair. This board, along with identical others, is destined for a tri-amplified home theater/audio playback system along with an appropriate speaker system which I am also working on.