What is the best free PCB designing application..??

I need a PCB designing application which will be FREE....

I mostly need to make double sided PCBs.. I use eagle...Anything much better that that..?

Eagle is a very good piece of software. Specifically, the non-free versions scale up to much bigger targets. Meanwhile, you have all of those tools available for your 10x8 cm double-sided board as freeware (for non-commercial projects AFAICT).

Other free software you might want to check out:

DesignSparl PCB is another one to consider. It can import Eagle designs as well, which is always useful.

TonyD:
DesignSparl PCB is another one to consider. It can import Eagle designs as well, which is always useful.

Huuummmm.. Goddd..
I will try this... :slight_smile:

I personally recommend a paid programme that is circuit wizard its a complete suite that meshes well with user and also provides the simulation capability so you can test your pcb prior to ordering them in bulk that is crucial i think ,although i have used kiCad, eagle but they lack in the simulation thing that is provided by this circuit wizard and user interface is awesome too.

What is your competence level in pcb making?

i'm now using FRITZING i like this programme very much its completely open source and is guided towards arduino users.

Don't forget kicad free and opensource

i´m working wite EAGLEs free trial and i´m very happy. Never had any bugs etc.
perhaps i will buy the new v6 version of EAGLE, sounds very good.

NI$HANT:
I personally recommend a paid programme that is circuit wizard its a complete suite that meshes well with user and also provides the simulation capability so you can test your pcb prior to ordering them in bulk that is crucial i think ,although i have used kiCad, eagle but they lack in the simulation thing that is provided by this circuit wizard and user interface is awesome too.

Curcuit Wizard is pretty sweet, user friendly = easy to learn. In just 10 minutes, I made a schematic and a PCB of a simple circuit. My main program is Fritzing though... I like how it's laid out.

Well not exactly free but near enough!

The latest version of AutoTRAX DEX 2020 is only $49.
I know it's a bit cheaper than the others.
This gives you the latest version of DEX plus 12 months of free upgrades. DEX is great now, in the next 12 months it can only get better.
Dex has come a long way in the last 2 years and you will be truly amazed how far DEX has come

DEX is an integrated schematic capture, simulation and PCB layout program with a superb user interface and single self contained database.
It is the industry’s only unified electronic design software that gives you the unique ability to design, test and build the next generation of electronic devices.

http://www.youtube.com/user/AutoTRAXDEX/videos?view=0

These are tutorial videos not video ads.

Download it from

http://kov.com/Download/Dex.aspx

Why is is DEX so cheap? ($49) or why are the others so expensive.
• Very low overheads
• Volume. When overheads are low they are quickly covered by sales.
• I love DEX. DEX is a passion, not a 9-5 job.
• I love seeing people using it.
• I could make it free but I've got to eat!

There is only one version, no versions with restrictions - I believe this is dishonest.
What would you think if you bought a car and the passenger seats were chained up and the saleman demanded more to unchain them with each seat carrying an extra charge.

Regards
Iliya Kovac
The sole developer of DEX 2020 (Yes it's all me).

nice pitch :slight_smile:

I checked out your video tutorials and was impressed by what I saw

I have had a good experience using diptrace.

AutoTRAX:
Well not exactly free but near enough!

The latest version of AutoTRAX DEX 2020 is only $49.

Why is is DEX so cheap? ($49) or why are the others so expensive.

Iliya Kovac
The sole developer of DEX 2020 (Yes it's all me).

I have been using your program for a few hours now. It's a good concept.

1 question for now: How do you change the value of components? Searched your online manual without success. (btw, when you expand a tree, it doesn't collapse. Running Opera.)

Your "Right Click" needs some help. There is no Delete option for parts, but you have options to change settings for the entire program?
Also, when I close a panel and open the same one back up, my layout completely changes.
Cannot find any Crystals or ceramic caps.

My overall opinion of AUTOTrax from a new user stand point, Nice looking program. With some tweaks here and there and more components, I think it could be a head turner. I think it's worth the $49 price. But to say it's a $200 program, nope. If you keep it at $49, then you may get somewhere.

My OS: Win7 x64 SP1 - Latest Updates
Browser: Opera 12.02 Build: 1578
CPU: AMD Phenom II x6 1100T
MB: ASUS Crosshair IV Formula
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1600
GFX: 2x EVGA 580 3GB HydroCopper

I would Recommend EAGLES's PCB Designing Apllication!
You can try it in the free Mode and all the basics are activated, that's enough for the start.
Im using EAGLE for years now.

Ted,

You know that the free version is only okay to use for non-commercial applications, right? Also, it only does 2-sided boards, and the max board size is 4x3.2 inches (100x80 mm) and it only does a single schematic page, no multi-page or hierarchical schematics.
Don't get me wrong; I'm very productive in Eagle, and it was the first program I recommended up above, but I think it's important to call out the limitations.

After reading the other recommendations in this thread, I've taught myself KiCAD, which seems to be the best free linux-compatible schematic-and-PCB tool you can find. It also runs on Windows and MacOSX. It does any number of schematics, it does hierarchy, it does any number of layers and any size board, and you can use it for things you sell or otherwise utilize commercially. If you need anything beyond the limitations of free Eagle, you have the option of paying > $600, or re-training on KiCAD or something similar. You might as well start training on KiCAD from the beginning :slight_smile:

http://iliyakovac.com/free-but-not-free-or-im-off-to-cancun/

Free but not free or “I’m off to Cancun”

You wake up and the sun is shining. Yep, it’s a great day. “I fancy a bit of that electronic designing that I keep hearing about” you proclaim as you drink your first coffee of the day.

So you power up the laptop, click on Google and wow loads of free PCB design software, “I’ll have a bit of that” you announce to the world, but only the cat is in the room. The cat gives you a funny look.

You download the freebie feeling well pleased with your mastery of the internet and the bundles of cash you have just saved. You make a mental note to “book vacation in Cancun”.

You start up the software and off you go, Edison “eat your heart out”.

Your first Gizmo is a success.

A couple of months pass by. Now “let’s turn Gizmo into Super Gizmo” you say with a big smile. So off you go, the freebie is up and running and you are well into the new design then bang, smash, wallop a dialog pops up saying you have reached the freebie limit and it’s time to pay up. You yelp in pain. The Super Gizmo must be done; you’ve spent another 2 weeks on it. Out comes the plastic, you tap in a few digits ($500) then you are up and running.

The following week Super Gizmo is let loose on the world.

A couple of months later, you wake up with the cat licking your face, you thought it was the girl you meet last night but she dumped you as you both were leaving the bar. A bright idea enters your head “let’s turn Super Gizmo into Mega Gizmo”. So off you go, the not so free freebie is up and running and you are well into the new design then bang, smash, wallop that darned dialog pops up again saying you have reached another limit and it’s time to pay up. You yelp in pain. The Super Gizmo must be done; you’ve spent another 2 weeks on it. So you look for alternatives, you see DEX; it’s real cheap and no limits. , “I’ll have a bit of that” you yell. Download DEX but what’s this? You can’t move your design from the not so free freebie to DEX, the not so free freebie developers keep their file format secret. Nobody else can read it. You have been well and truly screwed.

Out comes the plastic, you tap in a few digits ($1000) then you are up and running. You make a mental note “cancel Cancun”. The cat hisses at you, turns round and legs it for the door.

The following week Mega Gizmo is let loose on the world and you wonder what to do during your vacation at home.

You have just been stung.

In the business it’s called the Trojan Horse.

Regards
Iliya Kovac

AutoTRAX is correct about his analysis. Also the fact he posts on here is a good sign, truthfully I know very little about the program AutoTrax; so I can't say much about it.

In general finding the right PCB CAD is a bit like choosing an OS. There are benefits and downsides to them all and LOTS of fanboys.

EAGLE is the most commonly encountered CAD for the hobbyist. It's one of the OGs when it comes to PCB CAD for hobbyists.
Benefits:
HUGE userbase - this can't be understated. If you are having problems people often have EAGLE CAD installed and can help you.
Lots of parts libraries - since its the most common, lots of parts libraries for it. No need to re-invent the wheel if someone else has already amde it for you.
Free version

Downsides:
Can be a bit counterintuitive and intimidating to a new person.
Kind of difficult to make your own parts libraries (obviously difficulty is all relative)
Limits on board size make some designs unaffordable (if you want to make large boards with relatively few parts, it doesn't matter you still have to pay up)
Can be pricey if you want to use it for profit and need larger boards

KiCAD - the open source PCB CAD
Benefits:
Full featured
Free
Open-source
No limitations

Downsides:
Can be a bit counterintuitive and complex
As with many open-source projects feature creep can be an issue.
Can be buggy from time to time (usually pretty stable though)

DipTrace (full disclosure this is the one I use and prefer YMMV)
Benefits:
The one I found most intuitve
No board size limitations (just pin and signal layer limitations, no limit on ground planes or power planes)
By far the easiest to add parts and make your own custom libraries
The developers listen to the users
Prices and upgrading is logical (upgrading between levels, you just pay the difference between them)
Free non-profit version allows 2 signal layers,500 pins (this is a LOT actually in my experience)

Downsides:
Much smaller user base
The included libraries are kind of weirdly organized (getting better but still not great)
Not free

That is true, these software designers let you into their world, make you get used to the luxuries and a week or two later, take your money and keep taking your money by releasing new versions which apparently only upgrade if you pay for it. Most of the time they claim they have fundamentally changed the software and now it designs by reading your brain waves or something like that but it's all the same thing, just new icons maybe. The easiest way to defeat them is find a good enough free software. Anyways, do try Designspark.com it's a really interesting software and it's better than many paid CAD software’s out there.

pcb assembly

@arin,
Please check the dates of posts you respond to - this topic is 8 months old now.
Moderator

I can highly recommend the time effort to learn kicad. Kicad is truly opensource and license free to use. (It is worth going through the short pdf tutorial that comes with the package located under the help menu.)

Having also extensively used top end paid ECAD tools like Altium, I found kicad can still stand up against these big players. AFAIK, Eagle has restrictions in terms of layers and board size as well as being limited to non commercial use.

Regards,

Dale
www.GorillaBuilderz.com.au