Altium Designer vs. GrabCAD Workbench (discontinued)

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
GrabCAD Workbench (discontinued)
Score 5.8 out of 10
N/A
GrabCAD Workbench was a CAD collaboration solution that helps designers to manage files and engage partners in the design process. Since August 2022 it has been discontinued.N/A
Pricing
Altium DesignerGrabCAD Workbench (discontinued)
Editions & Modules
Standard - Monthly
$355
per month per seat
Pro - Monthly
$460
per month per seat
Standard - Single Payment
$4,235
one-time fee per seat
Pro - Single Payment
$5,495
per year per seat
Enterprise
Contact Sales
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Altium DesignerGrabCAD Workbench (discontinued)
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
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 DesignerGrabCAD Workbench (discontinued)
Top Pros

No answers on this topic

Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Altium DesignerGrabCAD Workbench (discontinued)
Small Businesses
SOLIDWORKS
SOLIDWORKS
Score 8.2 out of 10
Onshape
Onshape
Score 9.2 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
SOLIDWORKS
SOLIDWORKS
Score 8.2 out of 10
Onshape
Onshape
Score 9.2 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 DesignerGrabCAD Workbench (discontinued)
Likelihood to Recommend
7.6
(20 ratings)
7.4
(4 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
7.9
(3 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Usability
6.9
(18 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Availability
6.4
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Performance
7.3
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
5.9
(2 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Online Training
9.1
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Implementation Rating
2.7
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
2.7
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Altium DesignerGrabCAD Workbench (discontinued)
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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Discontinued Products
GrabCad Workbench is well suited for group projects, where all my team members can view the designs at the same time, and by integrating it with CAD software like SolidWorks, all my team members can see the live changes in the projects based on the recommendations received. I can also do conversations with my team, which are project-specific, thus reducing time in email and video conferences. For assemblies, I can generate a Bill of materials with a single click. However, there are some drawbacks like every member needs to have an account in order to sync files with everyone, and the platform requires good internet connectivity otherwise file uploading will be time-consuming.
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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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Discontinued Products
  • GrabCAD is the source of truth for the files being used
  • GrabCAD is free
  • Easy to use and get started
Read full review
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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Discontinued Products
  • The software is not intuitive.
  • You must have an account to share files.
Read full review
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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Discontinued Products
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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Discontinued Products
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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Discontinued Products
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Altium
I use the educational Program. And so far is the best technical support. Every time that I need one or I have a question. They respond so far and with excellent advice.
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Discontinued Products
Never needed.
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Online Training
Altium
easy to follow, Good technical materials. good videos The platform is easy to use.
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Discontinued Products
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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Discontinued Products
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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Discontinued Products
It’s the bottom of the barrel.
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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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Discontinued Products
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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Discontinued Products
  • GrabCad Workbench is the best in terms of integration with other CAD software like SolidWorks where live changes can be made to a product.
  • GrabCad Workbench has a common parts library, which allows us to use repetitive parts without redesigning them again and again. Hence saving a lot of time.
  • I can do all the conversations in the file itself, reducing time in email and other modes.
  • It automatically generates BOM for my assembly files.
  • It tracks versions, all the files are updated automatically for all members once a new version is created.
  • It would be good if it can be updated to read drawing and sketch files.
  • The team needs to improve the stability of the platform.
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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.