Why PCB CAD appears to cloud and subscription?

Many a PCB cad appears to be going over to cloud and subscription, wonder why that is, Eagle comes to mind, going over to Fusion and a subscription being asked for, is this a good or a bad thing?

I've been using Labcenter and was looking for something a little better.... no wonder I couldn't find Eagle, kinda leaves their users in a lurch if they start asking for a monthly fee.... I myself would avoid Cloud based CAD like a plague so that means RS Design Spark and others is a no. no for me, what do other folks think here?

As time goes by my choices seems to dwindle.

Dave
 
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Many a PCB cad appears to be going over to cloud and subscription, wonder why that is, Eagle comes to mind, going over to Fusion and a subscription being asked for, is this a good or a bad thing?
Money. DUH! Good or bad? Maybe somewhere in between.

KiCAD is fantastic. Especially version 6 and beyond. I suggest giving them a donation if you enjoy using the program: www.kicad.org

Tom
 
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Hi all, many thanks for the replies. It looks like these companies are shooting themselves in the foot..... and if they have a 'cloud bust' goodbye all the hard work.

I was looking at KiCad, I remember trying it in it's early years, now read everybody is gettng to like it, maybe I ought give it a re-try since it's very much improved, so thanks for that suggestion.

I don't mind paying for something but certainly not forking out what is being asked on a subscription basis, that sound's plain stupid to me be it small home user or a company big or small.... I'm the kinda person who suspect they would go 'poking their noses in' to see what ya' up to?

My usage would be for personal home usage, amplifiers be it audio or RF power and radio receivers as well as some digital, not forgetting PIC chips.... some of the 'Big name brands' took the entire computer over, took a month of Sundays to clear all the left-over files after I removed the program.

Dave.
 
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I was looking at KiCad, I remember trying it in it's early years, now read everybody is gettng to like it, maybe I ought give it a re-try since it's very much improved, so thanks for that suggestion.
Yeah. I'm with you there. I tried KiCAD 5.x and found the UI/UX very "1990s Solaris" in its way of working. I dismissed it for that reason. The UI was completely redone for version 6 that came out about 18 months ago. I started using the nightly builds of the beta version before the official release and really came to like it. It's very mature software now. I also like that there's a Mac version available - including for the newer M1/M2 CPUs.

Many companies now use the subscription model. It's basically a way to force you to buy the new version every year instead of every five years.

Tom
 
You are about right Tom, it was around there, I remember trying a couple, Target 2001 was one of em' which I found a bit buggy on XP pro, then Cadstar caught my eye and then settled on Labcenter starting with Ares light version and never budged since, I did try Design Spark when that came along, just wasn't 'my cup of tea', I wasn't keen my filese being in Cloud Cuckoo land, that lasted no longer than a week!

Dave
 
I wanted to like KiCAD before v6 but it wasn't for me. However, like Tom said, at least since v6 it really has become a very capable and usable set of tools and the electronics community should realize how lucky they are in this regard. In the 3D CAD space there is only FreeCAD in the open source realm, and in my experience its everything people used to dislike about earlier versions of KiCAD - but 10 times worse.
 
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I guess I did not notice, just migrated from one version to the next as they became available. The biggest change I can recall was that between V5xx and V6xx. V7xx incorporates some additional improvements. The area where I notice the most meaningful improvements is in pours, creating multiple planes on a single layer is now very easy whereas before it was not. Creating new symbols and footprints or modifying existing ones has gotten very easy as well. Lots of other improvements I probably take for granted. I have lost count of how many boards I have created in KiCad since 2016 (when I decided I wasn't going to pay others to do this work anymore) is something in excess of 100 boards.

I have a licensed copy of OrCad from about 4 years ago and I used it only briefly before switching back to KiCad. I wasted my money.
 
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The Rhino 3D CAD software has been recommended to me by a client. I have no experience with it but it looks capable: https://www.rhino3d.com/ 90-day free trial, $1k license. So not cheap but also not a subscription.

Fusion360 is great for parametric 3D CAD and Autodesk used to have a very generous DIY/hobbyist/small business license of the full version. Now they offer a crippled version for hobbyists and charge everybody else around $50-60/month. "A hobbyist user must generate less than $1,000 USD in annual revenue, using Fusion 360 for home-based, non-commercial design, manufacturing, and fabrication projects." Oh... And the hobbyist licence is only good for three years. Then you have to get the full version. Greeeeaaaaat... Now about those TPS reports. Sssss... Yeah...

If you don't need three-dee, QCAD Pro is a pretty decent 2D CAD program: https://qcad.org/en/ Free trial that works for 15 minutes at a time. $40 for a full licence with one year of updates.

Tom
 
..... The area where I notice the most meaningful improvements is in pours, creating multiple planes on a single layer is now very easy whereas before it was not......

Ah, copper pour that is very useful, with Proteus I have to draw the area then do a 'fill', the others I had tried had copper pours and you just clicked the area I recall..

Think what I'll do is dedicate a 'pewtur' for cad and then will install KiCad, that way I can play n' try to my hearts content, that way I won't be interrupted.

Orcad, I've an old version of that somewhere , there's a couple that was far too cumbersome I think that may be one of them..... I just didn't like it, just wanna get the job done without going bald me does, thanks for that info, really appreciated.

Edit:
QCAD Pro a new one to me, I'll give it a look up, no not really interested in 3D Mug shots .

Dave

 
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Using a layout tool like sprint that does not use a netlist is problematic and just does not make any sense when you have something free like kicad to use
I still use orcad16 for simple audio design. Cadence allegro has been around for decades for sota designs but that comes with a big cost.
 
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Every ecad s/w does it slightly differently, sort of, like a pad stack editor or drawing graphics for a symbol, etc. In some circumstances the schematic capture tool operates differently than the layout tool.
Look in the install folders for tutorials, read the on line documents
I see Elektor selling books on using kicad too.
 
I recently got up to speed on Kicad 7 with the video tutorial starting here:
I see the same channel has an all-in-one video "Master New KiCad 7 In Under 2 Hours" but I haven't seen it and don't know if that claim is true or not. The series is several hours and I had to watch some portions more than once. As is probably typical with videos, I found much of it frustrating as I was often thinking "I know that, show me something I don't know" but I dare not skip much ahead as a few minutes later there's something I didn't know and needed to know.
 
For most analog audio related stuff, I prefer EasyEDA much more than KiCAD.
The interface is far more intuitive and there are millions of parts and footprints that are ready to use and updated daily.

For hobby work it works great, it's free and you can order directly at JLC.

For just schematics, one could use either KiCAD, Ltspice or draw.io/diagrams.net