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10 Best PCB Design Softwares to Work in 2020: (Paid & Free CAD Programs Review)

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This article provides a brief review of some of the best pcb design software 2020 used in the design of electronic circuits in a very general way, ranging from tools that enable the development of diagrams and schematics only, to tools for the development, simulation and layout of PCBs to tools for design of electronic circuits (chips).

 Several criteria were taken into account before creating this list. Among them, software free, software paid shareware and many with outstanding quality, ease of use, etc. Drawing circuits or schematics becomes easier from practice and also from choosing design tools appropriate.

EasyEDA: Best PCB Design Software 2020

EasyEDA- It is a great cloud-based EDA free best pcb design software 2020 that facilitates schematic design, SPICE simulation and PCB layout. Currently with more than 70,000 schematics ready and available in its online database, with more than 15,000 Pspice libraries. You can draw schematics quickly through the libraries available in the browser . The works developed can be kept private, shared or even made public to all users.

 Schematic and libraries can be imported from popular software such as Altium, Eagle, KiCad to LTspice. Files can be exported in a variety of formats including JSO. Optional PCB manufacturing service is also offered at a low cost. Since the application can be opened in the cloud, it gives users the convenience of mobility and portability. As it is an online tool it has compatibility with the most diverse systems.

System Vision

Systemvision –  The Systemvision is a free tool developed by  Mentor Graphics for simulating electronic circuits. In addition to being cloud-based, which ensures great compatibility with most systems, the tool features advanced simulation capabilities based on VHDL-AMS models. In addition to using the full range of available components, using this language it is possible to develop new components according to the need.

In addition, it has a very interesting ability when evaluating the behavior of new components, since through the data available in the datasheet it is possible to simulate their behavior with great fidelity. Imagine, for example, comparing the consumption behavior or even frequency response of an operational amplifier. In addition to the traditional simulations of analog circuits, it allows the simulation of electromechanical elements, allowing the simulation of stress and fatigue parameters.

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Upverter-PCB: Best PCB Design Software 2020

Upverter – Another excellent online best pcb design software 2020 for developing electronic projects. It has a very pleasant development environment and a very interesting learning curve, with emphasis on the initial tutorial showing part of the features.

The tool allows the development of the schematic through a vast library of components, with the difference of a “concierge” service where if there is no component necessary for the project, you signal your need with data from the components, manufacturer and datasheet and at some point the same component is made available. As soon as the component is “ready” you are notified to update the system and if the component is updated, you will also be notified. After the schematic, it is possible to perform the PCB routing.

 In the free version it allows the user 2 private projects, version control of the repository, and request for 5 concierges, and exports the CAM of public projects. In addition there are paid plans with more functionality (with simulation in the future). It also has a wide range of shared projects.

Autodesk  123D – Circuits.io

Autodesk  123D – Circuits.io – An online best pcb design software 2020  that is sure to please many beginners, enthusiasts and makers for its interface and features. The platform is free and maintained by Autodesk. It allows the assembly of the schematic “placing” the components on the virtual breadboard, then connect the cables and simulate.

It has integration with the world of Arduino allowing testing codes without the need to have the board or even the components, something excellent for those who are starting or even for those who want to avoid some extra expenses. There is a kind of tutorial teaching how to use the available resources and even a mini-course on electricity. An excellent tool for Arduino lovers.

Electronic Circuit Design Tools: Fritzing

Fritzing- Very popular best pcb design software 2020 among makers due to the ease of drawing electronic circuits, either through a traditional schematic or even simulating the assembly on a breadboard. Through the schematic it is also possible to create the PCB.

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Everycircuit: Best PCB Design software 2020 

EveryCircuit- An online simulator (and also offline on the smartphone) very interesting and interactive. In a way we can consider it as multiplatform since it can be used in the cloud through the browser (only in Chrome) or also in Android and iOS.

One point that makes it very interesting during studies, and why not say it as a tool during disciplines related to electronics, is the fact that it graphically presents (those little green dots on the wires) the ideal flow of the current, greatly facilitating the understanding of this concept abstract.

Circuit Simulator Applet- Very interesting online Spice simulator, covered earlier in this article. A very interesting point of this simulator is that due to the fact that it works in most browsers, it becomes a multiplatform, running well even in the browser of an Android device.

Altium Designer 19

Altium Designer 18 took the PCB design experience to a new level by introducing a modern graphical user interface, multi-board functionality, and a redesigned bill of materials management (BOM) system , all based on a 64-bit architecture. Altium Designer 19 features powerful new design technologies that simplify the process of creating even the most complex designs and provide unparalleled unification of schematic, design, and post-design processes.

Altium Designer 19 is much more complete than other PCB design programs, some of its most advantageous features are the following:

  • It offers a wide range of data management tools and information resources, as well as helping to bridge the gap between design and manufacturing .
  • It allows you to actively manage the generation and verification of all manufacturing data, saving time and minimizing costly errors during the design flow.
  • You can create a BOM in Altium Designer, from schematic capture, the PCB, or from Active BOM, a tool used to work directly with your design components, including a cloud connection with your part suppliers . This will allow you to collect data and information, in real time, about the parts you are using such as cost and availability.
  • It has a rich library with multiple sample IC templates as well as lots of contributions from manufacturers, making it easy to find the ICs you use on your PCB and easily add them to your design.
  • The printing capabilities in Altium Designer are fantastic and unbeatable. The combination of automatic and manual routing is a great feature to add to the software.
  • It also suits both beginner and expert users .
  • It has a portable version , which you can carry on your USB drive, and use it anywhere else you haven’t installed all the software.

Altium Designer 19 is a complete CAD software design system that will provide you with the resources you need for your greatest design challenges.

How to Choose the Best PCB Design Software 2020?

Finding out which best pcb design software 2020 for the layout generation of printed circuit boards, or EDA software (Electronic Design Automation, translated, Electronic Design Automation) is not such a simple task.

There are characteristics and peculiarities that can make that software, preferred by many, not meet the needs of a given project in the best way. In general, we have two main references to reach a conclusion. One of them is what our customers tell us about the software used. Some are so accustomed to using a “preferred” program that they see great advantages in its use and start to give almost fanatical testimonials in favor of this one.

 The other reference is based on numbers. One of the most important information to find out which is the best and most used EDA software is the frequency with which we receive projects from each of them. We, printed circuit board manufacturers, we receive dozens of projects daily and this allows us to do this analysis. And, if they are the most used, what can be said at least is that they have an excellent cost-benefit ratio.

In addition to the software listed in this ranking, several others circulate with versions and names that have been replaced over the years, due to acquisitions of companies and products, mainly by Altium . Therefore, names such as Protel , Tango , P-cad , Autotrax , among others, which were already among the most popular, will not appear in this list.

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Free Best PCB Design Software 2020

There are also several options of free and well accepted software on the market. In fact, several of them are free because they are marketing tools, which serve to bring users closer to PCIs, being made available by the manufacturers of printed circuit boards or electronic components, usually North American. As a result, these companies already place users in their sales funnel.

Although this practice is not so frequent in many countries, nothing prevents the use of this software, since the purchase of a license is not always available to all users. However, it is always important to check the limitations of these best pcb design software 2020  programs, because it is very common to receive projects in software whose free version does not generate the files gerber, dxf, excellon, sieb mayer, etc., necessary for the manufacture of the plates, and therefore, many times all the layout generation work can only be done when purchasing the licensed (paid) version.

With the Analysis Done, Check Below the 10 Best and Most Used EDA Software:

  1. 10th DesignSparkPCB
  2. 9th EasyEDA
  3. 8th ExpressPCB
  4. 7th Fritzing
  5. 5th FreePCB
  6. 6th Dip Trace
  7. 4th Kicad
  8. 3rd Eagle Software
  9. 2nd Proteus Software
  10. 1st Altium software

If the software you use regularly is not on that list, don’t worry. The technical differences between them diminish with each new version and whatever the program, if used well, you will always be able to obtain excellent results in the manufacture of your printed circuit board.

Comment here what software you use to make your layouts and what are the positive and negative points of them, because in the next posts we will talk about the details of some of this EDA software!

Other Tools

SmartDraw  Tool for design of diagrams and various schematics developed by SmartDraw LLC that develops high quality CAD tools. Its free version seeks to leverage the tool by promoting the paid version.

DAY  It is a software for drawing diagrams, including block diagrams and also electronic circuits (digital logic, CMOS circuits, analog circuits). The most common and traditional components are available in an electronic circuit, however it is indicated for simpler diagrams or even beginners in the world of electronics. It has a GPL license with versions available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

And in case of doubts, do not hesitate to speak with the PCBMay team! We are available to help with your doubts and give you all the specific information for each case.

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