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Topic: What PCB design software (Read 5245 times) previous topic - next topic

Jane1

I would like to learn PCB design software to be able to design my own BGA stencil.
Can you please reply to my questions:

What PCB design software   you use and why
What PCB design software you would suggest to start with
Are there any GOOD tutorials for that kind of PCB design software
Are there any support forums for that kind of PCB design software
?

Thank you for your help

Coding Badly

What PCB design software   you use and why


Eagle.  I tried ... I think it was five ... others.  They were: buggy, limited, difficult to use.

Don't misunderstand me.  I really dislike Eagle.  But, it works, it has not yet crashed, and I have found a plethora of libraries for it.

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What PCB design software you would suggest to start with


If you plan to design one thing over the next few months spend a few minutes to an hour with as many as you can then use the one that worked the best for you.  If you plan to design three or more things over the next few months use Eagle.

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Are there any GOOD tutorials for that kind of PCB design software


I found several on blogs and instructables.com that help me a great deal.

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Are there any support forums for that kind of PCB design software


You can probably get some help here.  Beyond that I have no idea.

Grumpy_Mike

This one is free:-
http://www.kicad-pcb.org/display/KICAD/KiCad+EDA+Software+Suite
I like it much better than Eagle and there are lots of tutorials for it.

westfw

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What PCB design software   you use and why

EAGLE.  Initially because it was free (for the  limited version) and ran on X11/linux.  Later because it ran on a Mac.  And since then because ... it keeps getting better, and community support is very good.  And because even the non-free versions are "within reach" price-wise if I were to decide I wanted to do a for-profit design.

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What PCB design software you would suggest to start with

I hear that they ALL "suck" to start with.  PCB/Schematic drawing has a meta-structure not present in traditional drawings, and it takes a while to get used to figuring out which parts of that are important, and how it is done in that particular program.   People keep expecting something like "Windows Paint", and I don't think that that is even possible.
Your desire to work with BGAs is relatively advanced; you'll probably need to start out simpler...

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Are there any GOOD tutorials for that kind of PCB design software

There are a LOT of EAGLE tutorials.

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Are there any support forums for that kind of PCB design software?

EAGLE gets questions (and answers) posted on several forums (Arduino, Sparkfun, AdaFruit, EEVBlog), has at least one yahoo "group", and has an active vendor-provided set of newsgroups.

All that said, EAGLE is usually rated much inferior to true professional-level PCB packages (Altium, Mentor Graphics, Cadance, etc)
As you should expect give that it's price is also very much lower.  If you work for someone who is willing to throw $100k at a PCB design solution, you shouldn't be looking at EAGLE, and you shouldn't be asking *here*!

mmcp42

EAGLE every time
All software has a learning curve
But EAGLE is great once you pass that point!
It's free and even the bought versions are good value
They give bigger board sizes and more layers
There's plenty of forumites who can help when you get stuck
there are only 10 types of people
them that understands binary
and them that doesn't

CrossRoads

Sparkfun has Eagle tutorials as well, whole series on using it.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

ralphd

KiCad has my vote since it's open source and does not have the limits of the free edition of Eagle.  One thing in Eagle's favor is it came with a bigger parts library than KiCad.
Neither package does a good job autorouting traces, IMHO.


CrossRoads

I think Eagle does just fine autorouting. If you pay attention to parts placement, it does quite well. With good placement, all that is typically needed is finishing up some ground connections. Move a trace or two a little, add a Gnd via or two, usually not too much more is needed.  Maybe add 45 degree bend to some right angle corners.
If your parts placement stinks, the autorouting will really struggle.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

Thorsten

always a good question to dicuss, and the same answer every time  :) in my eyes cadsoft eagle is the best pcb design software. best tutorials, a very good support, a lot of forum-discussion. we use it in university, never had any problems.
the free version is also excellent for beginners.

greets

polymorph

I found DipTrace much simpler to get started with than Eagle and comparable for price. However, there is a lot smaller pool of people to ask for help, and a lot smaller pool of tutorials.

It is just so blasted easy to use compared to Eagle! For both Eagle and DipTrace, you are not supposed to use the free versions for commercial use. KiCAD does not have that limitation.

You can import Eagle schematics and PCBs into DipTrace. The limitation for the free version of Eagle is board size, for DipTrace it is the number of pins.

There is also a free package called Design Spark PCB. It is completely free for any use. I've downloaded it but have not tried it yet.
Steve Greenfield AE7HD
Drawing Schematics: tinyurl.com/23mo9pf - tinyurl.com/o97ysyx - https://tinyurl.com/Technote8
Multitasking: forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=223286.0
gammon.com.au/blink - gammon.com.au/serial - gammon.com.au/interrupts

SalomonSchwarz

I share the same opinion as Thorsten. I use Eagle for a few years an never had any problems. The excellent community and tutorials helped me a lot. But check it out yourself http://www.cadsoftusa.com/training-service/

DuaneDegn

I found DipTrace much simpler to get started with than Eagle and comparable for price.
I agree. I started with Eagle but it didn't take long for me to become much more proficient in DipTrace than I had ever been with Eagle.

I found Eagle aggravating to use. I find using DipTrace fun.

DuaneDegn

Here's a link to a thread on the Parallax forum about their decision to switch from Eagle to DipTrace.

They seemed so impressed with DipTrace, I decided to give it try. I was very glad I did. Switching from Eagle to DipTrace changed PCB design from an irritating chore to a very pleasant activity.

CrossRoads

I enjoy using Eagle. Not willing to put the time into learning another tool at this time.


@SalomonSchwarz, check the date on stuff you respond to. This topic is like 18 months old.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

doughboy

#14
Nov 05, 2015, 05:50 pm Last Edit: Nov 05, 2015, 05:50 pm by doughboy
there is no substitute to using a product (any product for that matter) that has a large user base. any problem you run into, you will find an answer by a simple google search. there is a good reason why a product becomes widely used. using another product just to be a contrarian will not get you a better result.

I use eagle.

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