Altium Designer vs. Autodesk Tinkercad

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Altium Designer
Score 9.0 out of 10
N/A
Altium Designer is PCB design software for a variety of industries.
$355
per month per seat
Autodesk Tinkercad
Score 9.9 out of 10
N/A
Autodesk offers Tinkercad, a 3D modeling and design tool available free for educational purposes. Shapes are the building blocks of Tinkercad. Users can add pre-existing shapes, or import them. To adjust objects, users can rotate the workplane to adjust shapes or change views and input exact dimensions with the ruler. Custom shapes can also be created by combining elements.
$0
per month
Pricing
Altium DesignerAutodesk Tinkercad
Editions & Modules
Monthly
$355
per month per seat
Single Payment
$4,235
one-time fee per seat
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Altium DesignerAutodesk Tinkercad
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoYes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional DetailsAltium Designer® term-based licensing allows use of the licensed software for a specified period, for example, a 12-month term. Term-based licenses include a Standard subscription for the latest Altium Designer, and Altium 365®. Additional features and license options will affect price.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Altium DesignerAutodesk Tinkercad
Top Pros

No answers on this topic

Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Altium DesignerAutodesk Tinkercad
Small Businesses
SOLIDWORKS
SOLIDWORKS
Score 8.1 out of 10
ARCHICAD
ARCHICAD
Score 9.0 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
SOLIDWORKS
SOLIDWORKS
Score 8.1 out of 10
Onshape
Onshape
Score 9.0 out of 10
Enterprises

No answers on this topic

Rhino
Rhino
Score 8.8 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Altium DesignerAutodesk Tinkercad
Likelihood to Recommend
7.6
(17 ratings)
9.8
(6 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
7.4
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Usability
6.7
(15 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Availability
6.4
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Performance
7.3
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
2.7
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Implementation Rating
2.7
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
2.7
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Altium DesignerAutodesk Tinkercad
Likelihood to Recommend
Altium
It is possible to draw excellent-looking schematic diagrams in any personal style and transfer these to the PCB editor without problems. The library editors are quite easy to use, and as there are many available STEP models for the majority of components, 3D views are also easy to generate. The built-in 3D editor is, however fairly limited and even when fully mastered can only produce rudimentary images.
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Autodesk
I have found that Autodesk Tinkercad is best for creating simple 3D models for printing. I use it to add text or modifications to 3D models of artifacts for my museum, including labels and support structures for artifacts to stand on. I also use it to create promotional materials, like 3D models of artifacts with our logo on them, which we can print and pass out at events. I would not use Autodesk Tinkercad for more complex 3D modeling or editing 3D models. It's really designed for basic creation and modification, and in those areas it is extremely useful!
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Pros
Altium
  • Incredible integration between teams. I love using Altium 365 and how I can view, edit, and comment on my team members designs. It is an incredible platform and makes collaborations very easy.
  • Makes it easy to move between different projects, either local or public. I love how I can move between the PCB and schematics of different projects with no downtime.
  • The UI is clean and works well once someone has learned how to use it. Everything makes sense and the integrated shortcuts make it particularly simple and nice to work with.
  • I really love how I can search for any part in Altium Designer. I can source any part and place it exactly onto my PCB, allowing me to use the 3D model feature to see precisely what my designs will look like in real life.
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Autodesk
  • Tinkercad is a great baseline CAD program. This program is easy to implement and train people in.
  • After on a short period of time my students are able to create complex forms using Tinkercads pre-generated shapes and holes.
  • The Tinkercad provided projects aid in pushing the learning experience even further and reinforce the ideas that I train on and help my students explore the program before designing their own complex sculptural forms.
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Cons
Altium
  • Schematic design has many problems with schematic design GUI
  • Libraries are excessively complex, particularly for low use count
  • Reduction in usability over time. I have been using for 20 years, and like it less and less overtime
  • In my opinion, seemingly continuing efforts to push users to use Altium's cloud features is obnoxious
  • In my opinion, poor menu implementation is frustrating, such as menu items not being in alphabetical order
  • Ongoing stabilities issues
  • Seeming focus on fancy features vs. core functionality
  • In my opinion, lack of online support for simple issues is frustrating
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Autodesk
  • The tutorials could be more easily readable and easier for younger students
  • Sometimes confusing how to use the mouse tools vs on an iPad
  • Less professional, not often used in career fields
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Likelihood to Renew
Altium
ALTIUM DESIGNER is the reference tool in the electronic circuit design sector, its use is widespread worldwide. Although there are other alternatives, some of them free do not rival ALTIUM DESIGNER in terms of features and reliability. It is also very practical to request quotes with ALTIUM DESIGNER BOM reports since all suppliers are accustomed to using the tool.
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Autodesk
No answers on this topic
Usability
Altium
Altium Designer is, by far, the easiest to use ECAD program in existence - and we’ve used a lot (OrCAD, PADS, Xpedition, EAGLE, etc.). Altium Designer has a very intuitive user interface and easy to understand and navigate. Even our project management team, who may not have technical backgrounds, can use Altium Viewer for the purposes of reviewing and handoff to our customers.
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Autodesk
No answers on this topic
Reliability and Availability
Altium
Not very stable. Sudden lack of functionality when the license expires is not indicated clearly and can lead to loss of work.
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Autodesk
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Altium
It is very difficult to find answers to basic functions.
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Autodesk
No answers on this topic
Implementation Rating
Altium
Overly complex, not designed for small organizations, core functionality poorly implemented to focus on flashy features.
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Autodesk
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Altium
It is certainly easier to get designs up and running with great support and constant software updates. The ability to work with or without the cloud is a great feature. The only downside to Altium Designer is that it does have a cost to it that is not cheap. Overall I think it is worth the investment.
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Autodesk
Tinkercad is free and easy to use. It's a great place for people to start learning about 3D Design before they invest time and money in professional-level tools.
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Scalability
Altium
Because, in my opinion, usage for small organization is poor, it is difficult to set up initial configuration to support scaling.
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Autodesk
No answers on this topic
Return on Investment
Altium
  • Without a doubt, Altium Designer is a highly productive tool, which serves our company very well.
  • We find the pricing structure at Altium Designer to be abhorrent. We are continually sent reminders telling us about price increases on an already expensive product. When looking at the markets, it can be seen that Altium is already an extremely wealthy company. We "only" have 3 licenses, and if we wish to retain a subscription, we must pay for three, at a cost of around 3,000 dollars each, just receive small updates and faster (in theory, but not always in practice) support.
  • Altium has stopped offering upgrades. If we have purchased an older version (we have 2 licenses for earlier versions), Altium will not let us upgrade these for a reduced price but only sell new licenses. This practice was only introduced by Altium a few years ago, and we believe this to be a sign of an unethical company that is mainly interested in revenue and not the customer's pocket.
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Autodesk
  • I should definitely say that Tinkercad has no negative impact on my business.
  • It shortened my 3d design process for my many simple projects.
  • Tinkercad is a free tool, no investment needed.
  • I suggest it to my customers who don't know 3d design, but desperately needs a 3d file for their projects.
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ScreenShots

Altium Designer Screenshots

Screenshot of 3D Collision - Altium Designer's 3D PCB editor offers the ability to perform 3D collision testing as well as catching general component-to-component collisions. The user can position one component under another, or test if the loaded board fits correctly into the enclosure.Screenshot of ActiveBOM - A Bill of Materials management editor that brings BOM management tools together with Altium Designer's part information aggregation technologies, helping to manage the component selection challenge.Screenshot of PCB Layout - Altium Designer presents a unified data model to make circuit board design and layout easier. The user can design schematics, use schematic capture to create a new PCB, route printed circuit traces, and prepare for PCB assembly in the program. The PCB layout design features also make component placement and routing easier.Screenshot of Schematic with Properties Panel - The Interactive Properties panel for schematics includes several functional improvements as well as productivity enhancements. The layout focuses on efficiency, icons and graphical previews have been improved over previous versions, and there is now a smart parameters filter both for schematic lists and components.Screenshot of Routing Differential Pairs - Differential pair PCB routing is a design technique employed to create a balanced transmission system able to carry differential (equal and opposite) signals across a printed circuit board. Typically this differential routing will interface to an external differential transmission system, such as a connector and cable. Altium Designer ensures that differential pairs are coupled together whether entering or leaving a pad or just navigating around obstacles on a board.Screenshot of Cross Probe - Cross-probing allows users to jump between and select objects in both the logical schematic and physical layout domains.