How to Choose the Best PCB Designer Software

There are many different PCB designer tools out there. Cadence Altium, KiCad, SolidWorks, and Cadence OrCAD are just a few. Each offers unique features and is worth looking at. However, regardless of the software you choose, it is vital to choose the right one for your needs.

Cadence OrCAD PCB Designer

Cadence OrCAD PCB Designer is a powerful and feature-rich PCB design solution that combines the power of advanced design capture with the speed and flexibility of a PCB editor. The software includes a comprehensive library of library tools and a PCB editor to help designers create high-quality boards quickly and easily. It also has an integrated signal integrity framework and a Constraint Manager for signal integrity analysis. The OrCAD PCB Design Suites combine proven technology and innovative features to offer the best value for your design budget.

OrCAD PCB Designer has advanced PCB simulation, routing, and layout capabilities and is powered by the Allegro engine, offering quick results. In addition, the software’s Constraint Manager lets users capture design rules and manage them in a single workspace. It also supports high-speed routing and automation to produce your manufacturable board faster.

Cadence OrCAD PCB Designer supports flat and hierarchical designs, allowing you to use it for complex designs. It also offers advanced capabilities for back-annotation and gate/pin swaps, as well as a large library of schematic symbols.

Cadence OrCAD PCB Designer is available as a perpetual license or a trial version. Trial versions are usually limited in feature and may contain ads or in-app purchases. Paid versions may also come with a perpetual license or an ongoing subscription. There are also a variety of different platforms supported by OrCAD.

Cadence OrCAD PCB Designer and Allegro PCB Designer are built on the same platform but include different routing tools and features. The Allegro version has additional features such as contour routing (Flex) and interactive delay tuning. It also has an advanced CAD toolchain manager.

Cadence Altium Designer

PCB design and manufacturing company

Altium Designer is a PCB design tool that Cadence makes. It is an extension of the Altium Project. It is an essential tool for any electronics designer, as it helps them create circuits quickly and easily. This software is free to download and can be used to design circuits for various applications.

Altium Designer comes with powerful filters and tuning tools to help you create more accurate designs. It can also provide parts details directly from suppliers, generate a Bill of Materials, and track design changes and updates. It also offers pin-compatible backups and extensive library access. In addition, it has over 400k components and templates to choose from.

Although Allegro is cheaper than Altium Designer, it is not as feature-rich as Altium. However, compared to Altium, it is easier to use. It also has more tools for all types of projects. Whether you purchase Altium Designer or Allegro depends on your preferences. The latter is better suited for simulation.

Cadence is a well-known and profitable EDA software provider. Its revenue has been increasing steadily over the past five years. In FY2020, Cadence reported $2.7 billion in revenue. However, its parent company, Dassault Systemes, is much larger: it posted a $5.7 billion revenue in FY2021, up 15% from FY2016.

Altium Designer has several features that make it a superior tool for electronic engineers. Its interface allows designers to make precise circuits and schematics quickly and easily. The software also supports multiple languages. It is available in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

SolidWorks PCB

SolidWorks PCB Designer offers a streamlined user interface, robust PCB Design engine, and standard component libraries. It also supports the capture and layout of boards and produces manufacturing data. In addition, the tool offers a unified design environment and powerful editing tools, including a full history of all changes.

This program is industry-proven for routing and layout of printed circuit boards. The SOLIDWORKS environment inspires the user interface. Moreover, the software offers Managed Engineering Change Order Process for managing design changes.

SolidWorks PCB is an excellent option for both beginners and experienced PCB designers. It features a comprehensive set of highly productive features, including schematic capture, circuit layout, and DFM file generation. Additionally, it also has a BOM generation module and fabrication-related features. Finally, its Altium Design Platform features provide all the PCB design requirements for PCB fabrication.

The PCB123 product also includes a component library with over 145,000 parts. It can also import netlists from multiple external sources. Moreover, the software supports dual-sided boards and can automatically check for clearances. It is a fast and efficient design tool with toll-free technical support.

KiCad

When working with the KiCad PCB designer software, clearly understanding the layout you’re aiming to create essential. Sometimes, it can be difficult to spot mistakes immediately, but luckily, several keyboard shortcuts can speed up the process and help you make changes more efficiently. The first of these is to turn off all layers except layer 5. This will help you to spot any abnormalities that may have occurred in your schematic. Next, you can change the color of the layers if necessary. Finally, you can use the delete tab to remove all trace lines which are not necessary.

The workflow in KiCad is efficient. The interface is easy to use and allows you to access common parts and libraries quickly. It also has a library that can store over 133 different parts. This makes it easier to find the needed ones and make changes without searching hundreds of different libraries. KiCad also has a community of users who support it and provide helpful tutorials.

Another great thing about KiCad is that its open source. It also offers a Quicklib tool that allows you to create components quickly. This helps you get started with your PCB design faster. In addition, KiCad has a workflow unique to other PCB design software. For example, after you create your schematic, you can align the board with it and then proceed with creating the components. Then, you’ll need to find a tool library and a printed circuit footprint. Luckily, KiCad comes with many ready-made footprints and tools.

KiCad is an open-source PCB design software that supports Linux, Windows, and Mac. It also has an extensive library of electrical components. It’s a powerful PCB designer that’s perfect for a variety of different projects.

ExpressPCB

pcb design

ExpressPCB is a PCB design tool that allows users to create circuit boards using various components and layouts. Its free version will enable users to design circuit boards up to 16 copper layers and 152 centimeters in size. In addition, ExpressPCB has a library of components we can choose from to create circuit boards with the right size and layout. The tool allows users to choose the number of layers and drawing layers and to modify the layout according to their preferences.

ExpressPCB is free to use and comes with several features that make it one of the best PCB designers on the market. Its intuitive interface allows users to create simple and advanced circuit boards easily. It also allows users to upload their files into the software directly and has no limit on the number of sheets they can create. This makes it ideal for users with no prior experience in PCB design, but it is also suitable for more advanced users.

One of the features of ExpressPCB that makes it the best PCB designer is the option for multiple layers. If you want to add multiple copper layers, you can do that quickly and easily using the layer menu. This will allow you to add a power, ground, and copper plane to your design. This will help improve noise immunity.

ExpressPCB is easy to use, and we can download it for free to your computer. It has a free schematic capture tool and integrates seamlessly with its PCB layout. The software also links files for automatic carry-over of changes. This PCB design software is helpful with ExpressPCB’s manufacturing service. Therefore, it doesn’t support the standard PCB file format, but it can convert them for an additional fee.