Author Topic: Free Schematic & PCB Layout Tools  (Read 1829 times)

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Offline Elantric

« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 10:25:05 AM by Elantric »

Offline Elantric

« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 10:25:17 AM by Elantric »

Offline Elantric

Re: Free Schematic & PCB Layout Tools
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2014, 10:22:45 AM »
http://www.mouser.com/multisimblue/support/
http://www.mouser.com/multisimblue/support/About/About-MultiSIM-BLUE


Features of MultiSIM BLUE
All-in-one tool, including schematic capture, simulation, PCB layout & BOM
Over 100,000 of the industry's leading manufacturer components built-in
Faster and more advanced autorouter
Newest components from Mouser included with parts database updates
Supports unlimited board size and up to 64 layers
Functional simulation of linear circuits using the Berkeley SPICE Engine
FREE
For more information about MultiSIM BLUE, read our FAQs.


http://youtu.be/xYDSEVi_dVM?list=PLBFFfxVbvpNS9yMgGkl-Nsqx3j_Hw3LHL





« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 10:24:50 AM by Elantric »

Offline sixeight

Re: Re: Free Schematic & PCB Layout Tools
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 11:46:20 AM »
Downloading and installing. Looks like a great tool.

Offline Elantric

Re: Free Schematic & PCB Layout Tools
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 02:44:22 PM »
http://circuitmaker.com/#why_circuitmaker

Free CircuitMaker PCB Tool From Altium
Max Maxfield
http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1324416

10/28/2014 01:30 PM EDT
The folks at Altium are poised to leap onto the center of the stage with a free PCB tool called CircuitMaker. This little rascal is targeted at hobbyists and makers, or people who are just starting to get into PCB design.

Now, the guys and gals at Altium could simply have taken their Altium Designer environment and shrunk it down and stripped a lot of functionality out, but they say that they wanted to do something different to all of the other free software that's available out there.

The thing about Altium Designer is that it contains a lot of high-end features that are tailored for expert users who are designing PCBs day in and day out, but this means that there's a lot of stuff to learn. By comparison, hobbyists and makers may only wish to create a PCB "now and again," so the last thing they need is a humongous learning curve. Thus, one key aspect of CircuitMaker is its intuitive and easy-to-use interface -- all of the important "stuff" is presented in an easily accessible manner in a ribbon at the top of the display.

(Click here to see a larger image.)
(Click here to see a larger image.)
Another major consideration is that Altium has decided to make CircuitMaker all about "Community," so users can easily share ideas and designs, comment on designs and offer suggestions for improvement, and generally help each other along the way.

(Click here to see a larger image.)
(Click here to see a larger image.)
One of the problems hobbyists and makers tend to run into is sourcing components. Companies like Allied, Digi-Key, Mouser, and RS Components are great for many things, but they may not be ideal when it comes to certain obscure items. In order to address this, CircuitMaker boasts a Community Library of components. Furthermore, CircuitMaker is interfaced to the Octopart database and search aggregator, which allows users to search across hundreds of distributors and thousands of manufacturers.

(Click here to see a larger image.)
(Click here to see a larger image.)
Octopart boasts millions of component records. In addition to standard components, it allows users to track down unusual parts from obscure vendors, and it also identifies the distributors who currently have those parts in stock.

Last but certainly not least, in addition to schematic capture and board layout, CircuitMaker boasts native 3D capabilities.


Altium expects to release CircuitMaker before the end of the year. The folks at Altium also say that Beta Testing will be starting "Very soon." If you are interested in learning more and receiving email notifications of ongoing developments, bounce over to the CircuitMaker website and take a look around.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 02:50:16 PM by Elantric »

Offline Elantric

Re: Free Schematic & PCB Layout Tools
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 11:21:05 AM »
Yet another Electronic Design with collaboration - all in a Browser - but there is a monthly $99 fee! 
https://upverter.com/Beagle/afdfe0be7c0bcec5/BeagleBoneBlack/

 

Offline Elantric

Re: Free Schematic & PCB Layout Tools
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2015, 06:25:58 PM »
http://fritzing.org/home/


Fritzing is an open-source hardware initiative that makes electronics accessible as a creative material for anyone. We offer a software tool, a community website and services in the spirit of Processing and Arduino, fostering a creative ecosystem that allows users to document their prototypes, share them with others, teach electronics in a classroom, and layout and manufacture professional pcbs.




Review:
http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1326876&

Fritzing and CircuitMaker: Adventures in PCB design
As easy as building Ardiuno breadboard
Bernard Cole, Editor of the EE Times' Microcontroller and Printed Circuit Board Designlines
6/16/2015 09:42 AM EDT
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Fritzing fills the the gap between tools for complete beginners and developers with some experience in printed circuit board design.

This is the first in a series of blogs exploring open-source and free printed circuit design tools and online communities for developers who either do not have the experience or the bankroll to go to a professional tool.

After reading a few comments on Altium's new free CircuitMaker PCB design tool and community, I decided to take a closer look at the Fritzing tool and community web site, which several readers recommended to me. If you have some free or open-source tools that have impressed you, let me know and I will review them here.

Better yet, write your own blog for publication on the PCB DesignLine and its twice monthly newsletter. For the guidelines on writing for EETimes, click here. If you need some help or have some ideas, don't hesitate to send me an email at bernard.c.cole@gmail.com. Or call me at 928-525-9087.

Altium's CircuitMaker
I have been familiarizing myself with Altium's new free PCB design tool and community and so far I like what I see. It encompasses much of what I like and need in such a community. In addition to dozens of online video tutorials it has several dozen detailed written presentations. During its first nine months or so of existence many designs and examples have been added that you can learn from, or modify to fit your needs.

It is also a social and comfortable site, which makes it easy to wander in and out of projects and discussion groups. The ambience is much like cafeterias at high tech companies I used to visit, where design teams would sit together for lunch, talking about their work or some general tech topic. If I wandered by and got interested in what they were talking about it was easy and comfortable to just take a seat and listen in.

But while the CircuitMaker site will be useful to fairly sophisticated open source hardware design DIYers, it seems a big jump for students and other beginners as well as design dilettantes like me who are still at the kicking-the-tires and the moving-the-pieces-around stage of such design efforts.

Also, even though the CircuitMaker site has a community willing to support fellow PCB designers in their efforts, it is almost too helpful, with constant comments from members when they see someone making a mistake. For me - and I think for many beginners and students – it is more useful initially to work in an environment where I am able to putter around making mistakes and learning from them without being distracted by well-meant comments. At the very beginning I like to just experiment, Tinker Toy constructor kit style, and see what works and what does not.

Fritzing and learning from mistakes
That’s why I was pleased to be introduced to the Fritzing open source tool and community web site. Although I am not abandoning Circuit Maker, the Fritzing site has a set of tools that are more helpful as I explore all the ins and outs of PCB design.

Created by a team of engineering students at the University of Applied Sciences of Potsdam in Germany, the Fritzing PCB design approach draws its inspiration from the Arduino breadboard-based paradigm that is popular among hardware do-it-yourselfers. But as Arduino users eventually discover, that platform’s breadboard approach is too fragile to be practical in any sort of commercial end product. If it is targeted at some sort of IoT application it is just too big.

That’s where the Fritzing tool comes in. It is designed for non-engineers or first semester engineering students who are just the first couple of steps beyond an Arduino or other bread-boarding prototype platform. Indeed, if a user of the Fritzing tool has created an Arduino design and wants his or her first Fritzing PCB to interface to it, the defaults are set to an “Arduino shield” to allow it to plug in to the Arduino platform.

Starting out on Fritz
Unlike professional PCB tools and free open source ones that start with a schematic diagram view, the starting point on a Fritzing design is the image of a blank Arduino-like breadboard. But it incorporates two additional views, one a schematic based on the electrical features that are created in the breadboard view and the other a PCB view with the look and feel of a professional tool, in this case the one from Eagle.

The Fritzing PCB design tool's default view is of a breadboard, similar to the look and  feel of a standard physical Arduino breadboard.
The Fritzing PCB design tool's default view is of a breadboard, similar to the look and feel of a standard physical Arduino breadboard.
Similar to CircuitMaker, the Fritzing site has a library of components from which you can create your basic designs. Though it is not as comprehensive as CircuitMaker, it does allow you to create your own custom components and add them to the library on the site.

In the breadboard view, a designer can drag and drop visual representations from the library of common electrical parts. In a palette, you can create a new image for a component you need. In this view you can easily create the wiring to and from part leads and breadboard holes using your earlier physical breadboard design as your guide.

The final result in the breadboard view is then converted into a schematic diagram where circuit mistakes are identified and can be corrected. The final result is then displayed in a traditional PCB view, where the user can make modifications to the board size or geometry. Once a design is created, changes in one view are reflected in all the others via an XML schema that links all of the underlying native files.

The Fritzing tool converts the breadboard view into a standard PCB that allows you to define the dimensions of the board you want to create.
The Fritzing tool converts the breadboard view into a standard PCB that allows you to define the dimensions of the board you want to create.
When a part is selected (or added) in a particular view, its icon is visible in all other views and in a commonly displayed parts inspector. There is also a navigator widget that provides a small preview of the other views next to the currently selected one.

Similar to CircuitMaker, the Fritzing site has a library of components from which you can create your basic designs. Though it is not as comprehensive as CircuitMaker, it does allow you to create your own custom components and add them to the library on the site.

Because the breadboard view is similar to the Arduino physical layout, it will allow DIYers who want to create a product based on what they have created to go to the next step and use it as the template using the Fritzing tool.

Playing around with the Fritzing tool has inspired me to think more seriously about a couple of ideas I have, such as a glucose blood tester that is actually useful to a diabetic. I have a couple of old ones that I can tear apart and use their components to create a design on an Arduino board, and if that works I will take it to the next step with the Fritz tool.

Some caveats
Similar to most free-open source PCB tools, Fritz limits design of printed circuit boards to no more than two layers, while CircuitMaker places no limits on the number of layers.

The Fritzing tool has a schematic view that shows the electrical specs and connections of the components you have selected, which can then be modified and corrected.
(Source: www.Fritzing.org)
The Fritzing tool has a schematic view that shows the electrical specs and connections of the components you have selected, which can then be modified and corrected.
(Source: www.Fritzing.org)
If you want to progress to a more sophisticated design with all of the professional bells and whistles, the developers of the Fritzing tool have provided a migration path to the Eagle PCB design tool.

All in all, between the two on-line tools I now have a combination that will allow me to be more informed about developments in PCB design: Fritz for hands-on experience in an environment that allows me to just putter around, and CircuitMaker for learning from a community of more experienced PCB developers.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 06:40:04 PM by Elantric »

Offline admsustainiac

« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 05:53:00 PM by admsustainiac »

Offline Elantric


Offline Elantric

Re: Free Schematic & PCB Layout Tools
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2016, 12:30:06 PM »
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 06:21:50 PM by Elantric »