Top 10 best free PCB design software in 2022
Almost everything in today’s high-tech world requires a printed circuit board (PCB). PCBs are found in every electronic device, from cell phones to computers, televisions, and cars. And as technology advances, the need for smaller, more complex boards increases. This has led to a growing demand for PCB design software.
While many PCB layout software packages are available on the market, not all are free. And of those that are free, some have minimal features. So how do you find the best free PCB design software?
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best free PCB design software platforms, including their key features.
Top 10 best free PCB design software
1. Autodesk EAGLE
Autodesk EAGLE is one of the market’s most popular PCB design software platforms. And it’s no surprise that it’s easy to use, packed with features, and free for non-commercial use.
EAGLE’s board and schematic editors work together in a single application. This means you don’t have to switch between applications when designing your PCB. And when it comes to designing your board, EAGLE provides a vast library of both standard and manufacturer-specific parts.
EAGLE also offers powerful routing tools. The software’s push-and-shove router lets you quickly route your board, even with complex designs. And the advanced Autorouter can automatically route your board for you.
– PCB design and schematic editors in a single application;
– Vast library of standard and manufacturer-specific parts;
– Powerful routing tools, including push-and-shove routers and advanced Autorouter.
KiCad is a free, open-source PCB design platform that’s been around for over 30 years. It’s one of the most popular PCB design software platforms available, and both hobbyists and professionals use it.
KiCad’s PCB design tools are based on a modular approach. You can add or remove features and only pay for the required modules. KiCad also offers a wide range of both standard and manufacturer-specific parts.
Regarding routing, KiCad provides both an interactive router and an Autorouter. The interactive router lets you manually route your board, while the Autorouter can automatically route your board for you.
– Modular design tools allow you to add or remove features as needed;
– Wide range of standard and manufacturer-specific parts;
– Interactive router and Autorouter for routing your board.
DipTrace is a PCB design software platform that offers free and paid versions. The free version is fully functional but is limited to 2 layers and 300 pins.
DipTrace’s board editor lets you easily design your PCB. The software also comes with a wide range of standard and manufacturer-specific parts. And when it comes to routing, DipTrace offers an interactive router that lets you manually route your board.
– Fully functional free version;
– Limited to 2 layers and 300 pins;
– Board editor lets you easily design your PCB;
– Wide range of standard and manufacturer-specific parts;
– Interactive router for routing your board.
Fritzing is a free, open-source PCB design platform for hobbyists and makers. It’s easy to use and comes with a wide range of standard and manufacturer-specific parts.
Fritzing differs from other PCB design software platforms using a visual approach. You can design your PCB by dragging and dropping parts onto a virtual board.
– Visual approach lets you design your PCB by dragging and dropping parts;
– Wide range of standard and manufacturer-specific parts.
gEDA is a free, open-source PCB design platform. It offers users many components and tutorials to help them get started.
gEDA can be used to create both simple and complex designs. It has many features, making it a powerful tool for PCB designers. However, gEDA can be challenging to use for beginners. It has a steep learning curve and can be confusing to use.
– Huge amount of components and tutorials to help you get started;
– Can be used to create both simple and complex designs;
– Wide range of features, making it a powerful tool for PCB designers.
6. Fusion 360
Fusion 360 is a 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE software platform. Engineers and designers use it to create, simulate, and manufacture products.
Fusion 360 can be used to design PCBs. The software has many features, making it a powerful tool for PCB design.
– 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE software platform;
– Used by engineers and designers to create, simulate, and manufacture products;
– Can be used to design PCBs;
– Wide range of features, making it a powerful tool for PCB design.
ETAP is a power system analysis and design software platform. It’s used by engineers to design, simulate, and manage electrical power systems. ETAP can be used to design PCBs.
ETAP was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Irvine, California.
– Power system analysis and design software platform;
– Used by engineers to design, simulate, and manage electrical power systems;
– Advanced features for designing PCBs.
Upverter is a cloud-based PCB design platform. Engineers and designers use it to collaborate on design projects. PCB design in Upverter is done using a web browser.
There are many features of Upverter that make it an excellent platform for designing PCBs. One of the most notable features is the ability to design multi-layer boards. This is a fantastic feature for designers who need to create complex designs.
Another great feature of Upverter is the ability to share designs with other users. This is a great way to collaborate on projects. Upverter also has a free version that can be used for small projects.
One of the most common problems with Upverter is that it can sometimes be slow and unresponsive. This can be a significant problem when trying to design complex PCBs.
– Design multi-layer boards;
-Share designs with other users;
-Free version available.
9. Altium enterprise solutions
Altium is a company that provides software for electronic design. Engineers and designers use their products to create electronic products. Altium’s software designs printed circuit boards (PCBs), FPGAs, and embedded systems.
Altium provides several different solutions for enterprise customers. Their solutions include the Altium Designer software, the Altium Vault software, and the Altium NEXUS hardware platform.
The Altium Designer software is a comprehensive PCB design solution. It includes tools for schematic capture, routing, and 3D PCB design. The software also includes a library of components and templates.
The Altium Vault software is a cloud-based storage solution for Altium Designer projects. It includes tools for collaboration, version control, and project management.
The Altium NEXUS hardware platform is a system-on-chip (SoC) development platform. It includes an FPGA, ARM processor, and a variety of peripherals.
One of the most common problems with Altium is that their products can be costly. This can be a significant problem for small businesses and individual designers.
-Design printed circuit boards (PCBs);
-Design embedded systems;
-SoC development platform.
10. NI Multisim
NI Multisim is a software program used to design and simulate electronic circuits. National Instruments produce it.
Engineers and technicians use Multisim to design and test electronic circuits. It can be used to develop both simple and complex circuits.
Multisim includes a library of components, which makes it easy to design circuits. It also consists of a simulator, which allows users to test their designs.
One of the most common problems with Multisim is that it can be challenging. This can be a significant problem for new users unfamiliar with circuit design.
-Design and simulate electronic circuits;
-Includes a library of components;
-Includes a simulator.
How can I get the free PCB design software?
Most of these software programs offer a free trial period. This allows you to try the software before you buy it. Some of the programs also provide a free version that has limited features.
You can download the free trials of these PCB design software programs from the respective companies’ websites.
Once you have downloaded the free PCB design software, you must install it on your computer.
How to choose the best free PCB design software for your needs?
When choosing a free PCB design software program, you should consider your needs and the important features.
If you are a new user, you may want to choose a software program that is easy to use. When designing complex PCBs, you will need a free PCB design software program with all the necessary features. An excellent free PCB design software program should have a library of components and support for multiple layers.
PCB design is a complex process that requires the use of specialized software. In this article, we have reviewed the ten best free PCB design software programs. You can also read reviews of these PCB design software programs online to help you decide. You can also ask other engineers and technicians for their recommendations.