Forums

Affordable PCB Layout Software ???

Started by Blackwater July 30, 2008
Joel Koltner wrote:
>[...]Beside Eagle and KiCAD that others mentioned, >gEDA is the "heavyweight" of 100% free[...] > >[...]You do have the occasional individual and small company >(e.g., Eaglesoft) [...] write EDA tools >
Eaglesoft writes *flight simulator* software. The company that produces the Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor (acronym: EAGLE--all caps) is *Cadsoft*.
>This topic comes up regularly here (and on sci.electronics.cad) >-- if you search the archives you'll find long threads >discussing the various packages, pricing, etc. >
http://groups.google.com/groups/search?q=ingroup:electronics+KiCAD+intitle:PCB&scoring=d&filter=0&num=100
"JeffM" <jeffm_@email.com> wrote in message 
news:0b1611f2-5666-4dab-b5d4-fd86d852d143@a1g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...
> Eaglesoft writes *flight simulator* software.
Oops! Thanks for the correction, Jeff. :-)
> The company that produces > the Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor > (acronym: EAGLE--all caps) is *Cadsoft*.
I didn't know it was an acronym before either. ---Joel
I've been using Orcad's PCB Editor formerly known as Allegro.  I'd give it
about a 7 out of 10 but have still never seen anything better.
On Jul 30, 11:27 am, b...@barrk.net (Blackwater) wrote:
> > Is there any hope ? Something I've missed ? Winders ? Linux ? > Address of the "Society For The Prevention of Software Rip-Offs" ???
One that is not as well known, but works very well is FreePCB at freepcb.com. I have used if for commercial boards including a very dense six layer mixed signal board which I going into production as we speak! Rick
James Arthur <bogusabdsqy@verizon.net> wrote:

>Blackwater wrote: >> Um ... has there been some kind of conspiracy at work over >> the past few years to totally drain the marketplace of >> decent PCB layout/routing software ??? >> >> Circuitmaker, Protel, Traxmaker ... the sub-$200 kind of >> goodies that combined all the good features with intuitive >> no-BS interfaces - gone. Seems they've all been bought-up >> and destroyed by Altium - which will now generously sell you >> their "complete system" for more than your slightly-used >> SUV will get you at trade-in nowadays. >> >> >> Is there any hope ? Something I've missed ? Winders ? Linux ? >> Address of the "Society For The Prevention of Software Rip-Offs" ??? >> > >I've done several boards with Sprint-Layout 5.0. > >http://www.abacom-online.de/uk/html/sprint-layout.html > >39 Euros, download and go. > >(sPlan, their schematic editor, is available for the same >price, but I haven't used it.)
Looks nice, but how about importing netlists from other schematic editors? -- Programmeren in Almere? E-mail naar nico@nctdevpuntnl (punt=.)
I usually use:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/pcb
with gschem (from gEDA) for schematics.
--
HTH, Wojtek


rickman wrote:

>One that is not as well known, but works very well is FreePCB at >freepcb.com. I have used if for commercial boards including a very >dense six layer mixed signal board which I going into production as we >speak!
Does it have schematic capture? If not, what brand of schematic capture works well with is? -- Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
On Jul 30, 11:27=A0am, b...@barrk.net (Blackwater) wrote:
> Um ... has there been some kind of conspiracy at work over > the past few years to totally drain the marketplace of > decent PCB layout/routing software ??? > > Circuitmaker, Protel, Traxmaker ... the sub-$200 kind of > goodies that combined all the good features with intuitive > no-BS interfaces - gone. Seems they've all been bought-up > and destroyed by Altium - which will now generously sell you > their "complete system" for more than your slightly-used > SUV will get you at trade-in nowadays. > > Well, I don't *need* a "complete system" ... I just need to > be able to blast out smallish PCBs using mostly manual routing > and create files that the cheap commercial boardmakers can > use with their latest machines (lately we seem to see a lot > more boards produced by milling technology). > > Oh sure, some of those boardmakers will generously let you > use THEIR layout software ... "theirs" in that they've tweaked > it so you can only send the design to THEIR company instead > of a competitors - unless you want to toss all your old > designs and start from scratch. > > Conspiracy, or racket ? > > For now I'm using my creaky old TraxMaker-3 program. GREAT > package, EASY to use, LOTS of options, point-n-click and > spin and drag stuff anywhere you want ... but it's OLD and > can't do the trick for milled boards. OK if I want to make > phototemplates and do a few prototype boards myself, but ... > > I've looked at some of free/cheap stuff - Vutrax, Pad2Pad, > Eagle etc and frankly they STINK. Not intuitive or overly > attached to autorouting or miniscule component libraries > or mostly some combo of "all of the above". > > Is there some middle ground left out there SOMEWHERE ? > I'd love something that has much the look & feel & ease > of Traxmaker but a more modern selection of capabilities, > libraries and export options. My wallet isn't that deep > however... I could afford maybe $250-$350, somewhere in > there. > > Is there any hope ? Something I've missed ? Winders ? Linux ? > Address of the "Society For The Prevention of Software Rip-Offs" ???
Hi, I recommend the combination of KiCad and FreeRouting.net. It is an almost unbeatable combination. KiCad is free as in beer and speech, runs on Windows and Linux. It has an interface to use FreeRouting.net for autorouting or manual routing of PCB traces. I used KiCad and FreeRouting.net for my N8VEM SBC project. You can check out a sample on the Google Groups of the SBC PCB and ECB backplane PCB. http://groups.google.com/group/n8vem/files?&sort=3Ddate KiCad has large part library support and can import Eagle parts. It can import and export Specctra and GenCAD as well. Try KiCad! You'll be happy you did! Thanks and good luck! Andrew Lynch
On Jul 30, 7:06 pm, Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/> wrote:
> rickman wrote: > >One that is not as well known, but works very well is FreePCB at > >freepcb.com. I have used if for commercial boards including a very > >dense six layer mixed signal board which I going into production as we > >speak! > > Does it have schematic capture? If not, what brand of schematic > capture works well with is?
It is schematic capture agnostic. It only cares about the net list which should be PADS compatible, IIRC. I used Orcad with it and many users use TinyCad which is another open source program. I didn't find TinyCad suitable for my needs, but I am still looking... Orcad is ok, but I would prefer something open source. Rick
Nico Coesel wrote:
> James Arthur <bogusabdsqy@verizon.net> wrote: > >> Blackwater wrote: >>> Um ... has there been some kind of conspiracy at work over >>> the past few years to totally drain the marketplace of >>> decent PCB layout/routing software ??? >>> >>> Circuitmaker, Protel, Traxmaker ... the sub-$200 kind of >>> goodies that combined all the good features with intuitive >>> no-BS interfaces - gone. Seems they've all been bought-up >>> and destroyed by Altium - which will now generously sell you >>> their "complete system" for more than your slightly-used >>> SUV will get you at trade-in nowadays. >>> >>> >>> Is there any hope ? Something I've missed ? Winders ? Linux ? >>> Address of the "Society For The Prevention of Software Rip-Offs" ??? >>> >> I've done several boards with Sprint-Layout 5.0. >> >> http://www.abacom-online.de/uk/html/sprint-layout.html >> >> 39 Euros, download and go. >> >> (sPlan, their schematic editor, is available for the same >> price, but I haven't used it.) > > Looks nice, but how about importing netlists from other schematic > editors? >
I don't know. In fact, I'm not even sure either package supports netlists. I poked around the menus and help, but couldn't find "import." That's not a drawback to me--I've been doing large layouts by hand since I was a kid--but you might find it so. The OP said he wanted to do quickie boards and get fab files out. Sprint-Layout does that great, the .EXE is just 2MB, and it's flaming fast. I love that. Please don't consider mine the last word on the netlist thing-- I really don't know. Cheers, James Arthur