Best PCB Design Software Tools

In Today’s market PCBs (printed circuit boards) are the backbone of any production level electronic device. PCBs are used to assemble electronic circuits by assembling electronic components on it. There are many PCB design software available to design the circuit boards. PCB is a thin board made of fiberglass or any other laminate material. By using a breadboard, we can build electronic circuits, but the method is often time-consuming and error-prone.

Some electronic components owing to their very small size are not easy to connect to a breadboard, particularly during the soldering process. However, by using PCBs we can efficiently connect these components to the breadboard. There is no scope for loose wiring and tight circuit design.

In many of the simple electronic devices, PCBs are single layered, but in complex hardware setups like motherboards and laptops, PCBs have nearly about twelve layers. The information given in this article highlights different PCB boards and their designing software.

Free PCB Design Software

A few of the best and free PCB Design software in the embedded system design process include the following.

ZenitPCB

ZenitPCB is outstanding printed circuit board software which is used for layout design to make specialized PCB (printed circuit board). This software is a flexible and very simple to use a CAD program that permits you to understand your projects in a small time. This software includes enormous part libraries. ZenitPCB includes two applications like ZenitCapture, and ZenithPCB, ZenitCapture is used to design hobby projects whereas ZenithPCB is used for PCB layout. But it is limited to 800 pins. Please refer this link to download- ZenitPCB

Osmond PCB

Osmond PCB is a flexible tool used to design PCBs (printed circuit boards). It works on Macintosh. The main features of this PCB tool include almost unlimited sizes of board, no. of parts, unlimited board layers, support for both surface mount parts and through-hole and more. Please refer this link to download- Osmond PCB

FreePCB

Free PCB software is open source software for designing PCBs and it supports for Windows systems. Although it doesn’t contain any auto-router tool, an open routing tool based on the web named as free routing is used for full or partial auto-routing. This tool can support up to 16 copper layers. Please refer this link to download- FreePCB

KiCad

KiCad tool is extremely simple to employ and has enormous support within the community of open source hardware. It supports Mac, Linux, and Windows. This tool includes Eeschema for schematic entry & Pcbnew for PCB design with some tools namely bill of materials, GerbView- generation of Gerber file, and 3D visualization of PCB (GerbView). The components import can be done using the inbuilt tools from external tools like an eagle. Please refer this link to download- KiCad

gEDA

gEDA tool supports Linux and includes tools which can be used for designing schematic capture, electrical circuit design, simulation, and prototyping. At present, the gEDA tool provides free software applications for different applications like electronics design, schematic capture, quality management, BOM (bill of materials) generation, network listing into above 20 network list set-ups, analog & digital simulation, & PCB design layout. Please refer this link to download- gEDA

TinyCAD

Tiny CAD software helps to draw circuit diagrams that need to be printed on the PCB. This software comes with many symbol libraries. In addition to this, it also allows drawings to be copied and pasted into a word document. Please refer this link to download- TinyCAD

Paid PCB Design Software

A few of the best and paid PCB Design software in the embedded system design process include the following.

Altium Designer

Altium Designer is an electronic and PCB design automation software. This tool is mainly developed by Australian software company namely Altium Limited. Altium is the best EDA software tool for printed circuit board, embedded system, and FPGA design. It is one of the popular PCB design software and suitable for product development such as PCB design, schematic capture, layout, FPGA design, embedded software development, etc. Please refer this link to download- Altium Designer

Proteus

The Proteus is one kind of software tool used for electronic design automation, and mainly it is used by technicians as well as electronic design engineers to design electronic prints, and schematics to make PCBs (printed circuit boards). It supports different platforms such as MAC, windows, and Linux. The main features of this tool include PCB layout, Schematic Capture, Visualization of 3D Board, Auto routing based on Global shape, etc. Please refer this link to download- Proteus

OrCAD

OrCAD software is very popular PCB design software from Cadence. It includes OrCAD Circuit design set, OrCAD PSpice Designer, OrCAD Capture, etc. The main features of this software include DRC (design rule checks) and board-level analysis. The PCB design routing can be done physically or with the help of auto-router. It supports different platforms like Linux and Windows. Please refer this link to download- OrCAD

DipTrace

Dip Trace software is used to design simple otherwise difficult multi-layer PCBs (printed circuit boards). It has four modules which include schematic capture, component, pattern editor, 3D modeling of PCB, PCB Layout editor. It supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. The different versions of this tool mainly include standard, full, and starter with Dip Trace complete edition being the final edition will no limits. Please refer this link to download- DipTrace

EAGLE

The EAGLE means Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor. It consists of three main modules: Layout editor, schematic editor, and autoroute. It runs on Windows, Linux, Macosx Operating Systems. It comes with an extensive library of components. Please refer this link to download- Eagle

These are some of the PCB design software, and – in addition to this, there are a number of software available to design electrical circuits boards or electrical and electronic projects. You might be aware of this software particularly the ones listed above and their designing processes as well. Furthermore, If you have got further doubts regarding this PCB designing process, then you can comment in the comments section given below. Here is a question for you, what are the different types of PCBs?

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