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Board Layout Tool

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by BeeJ, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. BeeJ

    BeeJ Guest

    Looking for a freebie Board Layout Tool that produces a drawing and
    Gerber files. Need up to four layers and up to 100 components.
    Anything out there?

    How about one that produces a layout from a LT schematic capture or
    some other schematic capture app?

    Just a hobbyist.
    Long time ago I did dot and tape ups but getting too old for that.
     
  2. There are Ubuntu and other Linux distro Live CD and DVDs which are EDA
    oriented.

    On Ubuntu's site and elsewhere. easy to find.
     
  3. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    http://kicad-pcb.org

    Packages available for Windows & Linux. Includes schematic capture and
    board layout. I get the boards done at Sunstone, no problems. A Gerber
    viewer is included but I also do a preview of the Gerbers with ViewMate
    <http://www.pentalogix.com/viewmate.php> just for the warm'n'fuzzy of
    having a third party app look it over.
     
  4. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    SunStone PCB people have their own program you can use..
    http://www.sunstone.com/PCB123.aspx

    ExpressPCB and ExpressSCM is another..

    Jamie
     
  5. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    looks like they have a newer version than what I have in this machine..

    Maybe I'll do the updates..

    Jamie
     
  6. rickman

    rickman Guest


    I highly recommend FreePCB for layout in Windows. It will import a
    netlist from any schematic programs that outputs in PADS format.

    Many people who use FreePCB also use TinyCAD. I haven't tried it yet as
    I am still using an old version of OrCad.

    Both programs have very helpful support forums. FreePCB is on the web
    site at freepcb.com and TinyCAD is a yahoo group.

    I have used FreePCB commercially to produce designs for Fortune 1000
    companies.

    Rick
     
  7. Bill Sloman

    Bill Sloman Guest

    http://www.terrypin.dial.pipex.com/ECADList.html

    If you've got a Linux distribution running on any of your computers,
    take a close look at the gEDA project . It's been around for more than
    ten years now, and it's certainly easy to install under SuSE.
     
  8. KiCad does the job for me and is available for both Windows and Linux.
    Schematic capture plus PCB layout, uses standard format netlist files
    so presumably can import from other schematic capture tools, BOM
    generation, Gerber and Excellon output.

    Chris
     
  9. Nico Coesel

    Nico Coesel Guest

    I guess not. A customer of mine is using gEDA and PCB exclusively
    though. Also for multilayer boards with large BGA packages. I guess it
    is a package with a steep learning curve. I have used gEDA and PCB
    once and decided to shell out a couple of grand on a real EDA package.
     
  10. Chris

    Chris Guest

    If you don't mind the (free) registration to activate and the commercial
    affiliation...

    http://www.designspark.com/pcb

    Latest version integrates LTSpice (which has to be separately installed)
    via custom libraries.

    The included library set is reasonably comprehensive (esp for hobby
    work) and the lib editor is also quite slick for a low-end product.

    HTH Chris.
     
  11. Rene

    Rene Guest



    Just another hobbyist just giving another vote for KiCad.

    Have fun with your hobby!

    Sincerely,
    Rene
     
  12. Bill Sloman

    Bill Sloman Guest

    The gEDA package does have a steep learning curve, and I've not yet
    had the motivation to get very far up it - it seemed to be mostly used
    by people who were happy to re-write the bits they didn't like. The
    impression that I've got is that it can do anything you need but you
    may have to dig around a bit to find out how to do more complicated
    stuff.

    Commercial packages aren't immune from this kind of problem. I used
    Orcad 4 happily for schematic capture for a couple of years, but the
    up-grade after that was horrible, and the first version of the up-
    graded printed-circuit layout package that came with it was a total
    disaster - you couldn't do manual layouts (though you could edit the
    results of the machine-generated layout) and you had to add a huge
    pile of information to every component on the schematic before the
    system would condescend to start generating a layout for you.
     
  13. rickman

    rickman Guest

    That is one of the advantages of the FreePCB package if you are using
    Windows. It is easy to learn. It has just one stumbling block about
    how to route traces. You have to have a rat line on the layout first.
    People expect the tool to follow their arbitrary routing and it can't do
    that. But if you start by routing points connected by a rat line it
    works great. Not hard to learn, but not obvious if you don't know.

    Rick
     
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