DesignSpark PCB

DesignSpark PCB is a free electronics design software, (EDA software is a sub-class of computer-aided design (CAD) software.) Although there is no charge for the software, the user must register with the website to unlock the program and it displays advertisements which must be acknowledged before the user can begin working.

Background

DesignSpark resulted from a collaboration between electronics distributor RS Components and EDA software developer Number One Systems.

Projects

Projects are used in DesignSpark PCB to organise design files. A project can have an unlimited number of schematic sheets and one PCB layout file.

Schematic capture

DesignSpark PCB has a Schematic editor. Schematics are used to draw up circuit diagrams and connections. A given project can have multiple schematic sheets that together combine to form the complete design.

There are some useful third party libraries that can be added.

PCB layout

Schematics are translated to a PCB layout file with a PCB Wizard. A PCB layout editor is then used to refine the physical layout of the printed circuit board. A design may have several iterations before a finalised printed circuit board is passed for production.

Autorouter

DesignSpark PCB includes an auto-router which automatically places tracks between components on a PCB layout. Components can also be auto-placed.

DesignSpark PCB produces Gerber and Excellon drill files. These standard files are accepted by PCB fabrication companies and are used to build a printed circuit board.

See also

External links