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Discussion in 'PCB Layout, Design and Manufacture' started by shailesh, Feb 7, 2013.

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  1. shailesh

    shailesh

    3
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    Feb 7, 2013
    sorry i dont have much experience with this, but I want to know if there is any program where I can inout the circuit and it will automatically give me a pcb design ? So far whatever I have searched I have to design the layout myself. Was just wondering if there is someting which can automatically do this.

    Any help will be much appreciated. :)


    Thanks and regards.
     
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    10,309
    2,237
    Nov 17, 2011
    Unless you have a very simple circuit you will not find a program that does the full layout automatically and satisfactorily.
    At least a meaningful placement of the components is up to you.

    You can find a few layout tools that offer even free versions. Google "free pcb layout software" (without the double quotes). The feature you're looking for is called autorouter.
     
  3. shailesh

    shailesh

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    Feb 7, 2013
    ok. autorouting is the word then.

    Thanks very much.
     
  4. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

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    6
    Feb 9, 2012
    I have had fairly good luck with PCB ARTIST put out by 4pcb.com
    They have an autolayout but it never places things smartly, it just throws the parts onto a board, but it does have autorouting

    Protip: regardless of what software you end up using if autorouting does not place ALL of the traces try running it again, sometimes (like with PCB ARTIST) it only tries to autorout a certain number of times before stopping, and one more time could clear up the last of the traces... I spent 2 hours hand placing 23 traces before I had to change a design and re-route the traces, the second time I tried autorouting a second time just for shits and giggles and it worked.
     
  5. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    One word of advise, even with top of the line autorouting software, you still need to clean up after the process... Autorouting has come a LONG way but it still makes bonehead routes and does utterly stupid things...

    And component placing is a HUGE variable, sometimes moving one part or rotating one part is all it take to go from an utterly stupid routing scheme to a clean one...

    For the hobbyist Eagle PCB from Cadsoft is pretty much the go to standard, I believe they have a free trial and the built in autorouting isn't all that bad...
     
  6. pyromaniac4382

    pyromaniac4382

    61
    15
    Feb 7, 2013
    I have used Eagle many times to layout circuits in schematic form then auto-routed the layout. Its is a bit quirky of a program to get used to so I would suggest watching some videos on you tube, and reading up on its documentation. I believe there is a good tutorial on instructables. Link follows. I normally make one sided layouts for making them on copper clad at home, so the auto-router should (if you are making simple connections) take care of most of the layout.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Turn-your-EAGLE-schematic-into-a-PCB/
     
  7. shailesh

    shailesh

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    Feb 7, 2013
    any idea what would be a good free autolayout software?

    Thanks
     
  8. duke37

    duke37

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    Jan 9, 2011
    Please read #5 and #6.
     
  9. pyromaniac4382

    pyromaniac4382

    61
    15
    Feb 7, 2013
    Eagle does have a free version which can be found here,

    http://www.cadsoftusa.com/download-eagle/freeware/

    The free version lets you make as large a schematic as you want, but restricts the size of the board you can layout to a small area.

    There are programs like DIPtrace which have 30 day trials, but after that period of time you have to pay, which doesn't seem like something you want to do so...

    After a quick search on google of "Open Source Circuit Layout Programs" and I found,

    http://opencircuitdesign.com/

    This seems to be geared towards machines running Linux so if that is your platform then great, but if you have windows then,
    after another google search I came across,

    http://www.circuitstoday.com/pcb-design-and-layout-software

    This site outlines a good chunk of the free open source layout programs out there.

    I am not sure how much support or community these open source programs have around themselves. So if I were you I would get an Eagle licence.

    Eagle has a strong backing in the electronics community, and a wealth of existing designs you can just load up a pre-existing design to get a hang of the program.

    A hobby licence is about $170 US dollars and gets you a layout size of around 6 inches by 4 inches to play with and you can make up to a 6 layer board.

    The free licence gives you about 4 inches by 3 inches to play with, and gives you up to a 2 layer board. The free license seems to be fitting for a beginner however especially if you are going to fabricate these boards at home using something like the "Toner Transfer" method. Even if you are sending these boards out for fabrication, the 4in by 3in size seems to be like the first tier on most fab sites in pricing.
     
  10. grom

    grom

    23
    0
    Dec 5, 2010
    My favourite is Proteus ISIS and ARES... for Circuit design and PCB respectively... Its not free though... but maybe they have a free version. Definitely worth checking out.
     
  11. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    Labcenter used to offer a Freeware/Shareware limited version about 15 years ago that was only board size and hole restricted, now the 'demo' is much more restricted and basically just a test platform...

    It's still my preferred design suite but it's quite costly for the hobbyist...
     
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