As the electronic industry is growing day by day, the demand for better and efficient printed circuit boards is also increasing. With a massive growth in wearable technology, printed circuit boards need to be of high quality and accurately designed to perform well. As we know that every electronic device either large or small, completely relies on the printed circuit board. They function as the heart of any device. Any digital gadget you are using in your daily life, either it’s your smartphone or your smartwatch, or maybe a digital calculator or most probably a digital clock, this all is possible because of the evolution in the modern printed circuit board. The rapid growth in printed circuit boards has made it possible for engineers to decrease the size of the daily used gadgets and make them available in hands.
Complex devices such as smartphones and smartwatches and military applications, all require some specific kind of printed circuit board installed into them depending on the requirement. Testing the reason for designing a printed circuit board is a task that needs to be done carefully. Designing the printed circuit board means giving a physical existence to your idea of a printed circuit board. Engineers want to use the best software for the design sign of the printed circuit board. For a better designing experience, much software is designed to help the engineers in making the best designs.
There are several choices available once you start searching for the best software to design a printed circuit board. But you need to know certain factors before designing your circuit board. Let’s look into this.
How to choose the right software for designing a PCB?
As we have discussed before, with the increasing demand for wearable technology, the demand for the best-printed circuit board design is increasing accordingly. And this process needs to be taken care of because printed circuit boards act as the main core function of any device whether it is small or large. Now the question may arise why designing is so important before the manufacturing process of printed circuit boards. The simple answer is to avoid problems.
Once the design is not done right, it can cause several problems after and before the manufacturers of printed circuit boards. It may cause the failure of the entire system which is not acceptable. So simply means to say that the design affects almost all the aspects of the circuit board. If the design is not right for the device if the material is not according to mark if the traces are not put correctly if the vias are not connected properly then the circuit board will not work or may work in some unexpected ways.
The problem may happen as lack of desired functionality and overheating which can further lead to devise failure. So, the key to success is to design the right software. But as you have seen, the market has grown up so immensely, it is not possible to choose the best software according to your requirement at once. Instead, you need to research certain factors so that you can make sure that you are choosing the right.
Easy to learn:
Well, this applies to almost every device. Even if it is not specifically electronics, it should be easy enough that it can be learned so fast. In other cases, it would overwhelm the user and the user will get distracted or lose his interest. So, the best software should be in easy language, not coding but the basic understanding should be done with keeping the user view in mind. Moreover, the learning period should be shorter as well as easy. The shorter the learning curve is, the sooner the user can start using the software. So, it is compulsory to keep the user interested in your hands.
On the other hand, a steeper learning curve means the longest period on how to do the program. In this way, the user will learn for so long without implementation and this is not the desired phase. For achieving the best experience, the user must be hitting the ground sooner by keeping the learning curve shorter. But you need to ensure that you are not compromising on specific features of the software.
Easy to use:
At first glance, the user is not looking toward the amazing features, component libraries, and automation, instead, he is looking at the ability of how easy it is to use the software. The level of its complexity will let the user decide if he should be going with a particular software or not. The developer needs to deep down the subject from user intuitiveness to accessing tools easily, this is a wide topic and difficult to handle. If the user’s interface and view of using and accessing the tool are easy then your software is the easily available choice.
The number of clicking and Keystroke should be kept as minimum as it can to avoid ambiguity in the software. Moreover, designing software by keeping the lay audience in mind is also a good approach. In this way, you will intentionally keep the software as easy as possible.
Although the features, learning period, and complexity of using software also matter in the market, the main thing that matters is how much it costs. The cost is something that a user is going to see at first. So, it should be kept in mind that your features are not crossing the cost limit. It should be cost-friendly so users can purchase it immediately for an easy design experience.
Now you have enough idea how to choose the best software in the market for designing printed circuit boards. Let us see the best available software in the market in 2022 that you can choose without thinking for a minute.
EAGLE (Easy Applicable Graphical Layout Editor)
Eagle helps in the design of electronic EDA. It helps the designers of the electronics field specifically in designing the best-printed circuit board design by allowing them to connect different schematic circuit board diagrams. The other main feature of an eagle is its user interface which is so user-friendly and designed by keeping the lay audience in mind. It also helps in transforming the vision into files with the help of stimulation and then the Printed Circuit board Fabrication process.
Altium is another best design software for printed circuit boards. It is no less than the eagle and mostly both are compared on behalf of features because both offer easy functionality. Altium offers both 2D and 3D toggles depending upon the designer’s needs. STEP model is followed for working in Altium.
Moreover, the PCB design can be improved by using the previous designs available. The 3D model is monitored by accessing mechanical data. Additionally, Altium allows the exchange of data with MCAD systems.
The best feature of Kicad is that it is open source. So new features can be added daily. Many intelligent designers are contributing to the software, and it is increasing its functionality day by day. The other advantage is its easy user interface. Its first view is so user-friendly that it helps the user in maintaining the flow. Moreover, it can be run on Windows and Linux.
EasyEda is the best designing tool which is both web and cloud base. It is zero-install integrating schematic capture and PCB layout can be designed in a seamless browser environment.
Allegro is the most reputed software available in the market and is commonly used by large companies that make motherboards. It was launched by Cadence. This software has features that help in designing large motherboards. That’s the reason this software holds considerable market shares for computer design software.
WG mentor introduced WG in 2005 and it was windows based. As the layout of the software should be great to manage the PCB design. So according to layout WG is the king of all software as it manages the layout most professionally. It is also recommended by many PCB designers.
Fritzing is also open-source software. It is designed to develop CAD software with the help of hardware design. As a hobby CAD helps designers and artists quickly move from design to prototype.
PADS Layout, PADS Logic, and PADS router are also included in the simple PADS software. It is the best for CAD layout. Its easy-to-use interface makes it the best choice for EDA.
Simply operation functions and strong stimulation make the OrCAD best for EDA development. OrCAD was developed in the 1980s and since then it is improved. It is recommended by electric designers because of its easy functionality.
Protel is also known as Altium and has the same functionality as we have discussed in Altium. It was introduced in the late 80s and since then it is ranked among highly used software for EDA designs. It is recommended because it has experience dealing with almost every design of PCB. It is released with its new features and leading the market in amazing manners.