Best PCB Design Software include:
Altium Enterprise Solutions is a PCB design software package designed to provide a more collaborative, agile workflow.
CR-8000 is an integrated suite for designing printed circuit boards (PCBs). It allows users to develop a product from concept to manufacture. CR-8000‘s fully integrated design flow includes initial system planning, where key design decisions are made about partitioning, component…
KiCad EDA is a Cross Platform and Open Source Electronics Design Automation Suite. KiCad's PCB Editor is built to be approachable enough to make the first PCB design easy, and powerful enough for complex modern designs. Its interactive router and improved visualization and selection…
eCADSTAR's PCB design provides the streamlining of the design process, with a common and familiar user interface across all applications.
EasyEDA is an online PCB design tool, from Shenzhen Lichuang E-commerce Co.,Ltd headquartered in China.
The CELUS Design Platform uses AI and complex algorithms to automatically turn functions and requirements into fully functional electronics solutions. The cloud solution selects all necessary components to generate the bill of materials and corresponding schematics to bring designs…
A CAD suite for the electrical industry (design offices, installers, contracting authorities and inspection bodies), enabling engineers to design, quote, build and check their installations. Caneco integrates 2D/3D modeling, costing, calculation, cabinet layout, schematic and neutrality…
OrCAD is an electrical design automation (EDA) CAD suite, now owned and supported by Cadence Design Systems.
Allegro X Design Platform, from Cadence Design System, offers engineers a system design platform that integrates logic/physical design, system analysis, and design data management for PCB and system design.
E3.series provides an electrical design environment that supports advanced requirements for documentation, cabinet and wire harness design and manufacturing outputs. It facilitates an efficient and accurate electrical engineering process for electrical schematic design and documentation,…
What is PCB Design Software?
Printed circuit board (PCB) design software is a specialized type of for creating electronic components. These tools are used by engineers to design, test, and optimize PCBs for electronic devices. PCB design software can help engineers produce quality boards efficiently and to a high degree of accuracy.
PCB design products include specialized tools that set them apart from hardware-focused CAD software. Separate editors for circuits, 2D schematics, and 3D models help engineers through the entire design lifecycle, from concept to assembly. Routing tools let users draw complex connections between components. Some products include routing autocompletion tools to draw connections automatically. Most PCB design tools have a library of common components that users can drag and drop into their designs. Advanced features might include integrations with other CAD software, simulation and load testing tools, or visualization of flexible components.
Enterprise PCB design software often integrates with or includes features from (PLM), , and tools. These integrations help engineers select the right components, create design variations, and estimate the overall cost of their PCBs. It’s also common to see in-product collaboration tools to help engineers cooperate with members of mechanical engineering, product design, and manufacturing teams. Broad-scope CAD platforms may also include specialized PCB design features.
PCB Design Software Features
Most PCB design products have the following features:
- 2D schematic editor
- 3D model editor
- Circuit designer
- Design documentation and annotation
- Component libraries
- Design rules and validation
- Simulation and load testing
- Automatic connection routing
- Support for multiple connected boards
- Support for flexible components
- Collaboration tools
- Integration with CAD software
- Integration with product configuration and management software
PCB Design Software Comparison
Consider the following when evaluating PCB design software:
Existing Suite: It’s not rare for CAD products to include some level of support for PCB design. Before purchasing a solution, make sure that any existing design tools can’t meet your PCB design needs. Conversely, if you’re looking for a solution for both mechanical and electrical design, a CAD suite or broad-scope CAD platform might be cheaper and simpler than purchasing individual products for each need.
Integrations: Some PCB design software is designed to be used with other tools from the same vendor. If you’re already using design and testing software from one vendor, it may be challenging to integrate a different vendor’s PCB design software. This could lead to more friction in your product development process, so look for a product that cleanly integrates with the rest of your organization’s tools.
Design Complexity: PCB designs can vary widely in complexity. Some PCB design vendors offer multiple types of products aimed at different experience levels, use cases, or technical complexity. If you’re a hobbyist or only need simple design tools, look for free or open-source PCB design tools that meet your needs.
Training: Many CAD products are complicated and difficult to learn, and PCB design software is no exception. If your engineers have prior experience with a specific PCB design tool, you’ll save time and hassle by using the same product or a product from the same vendor. If you’re onboarding new engineers or switching products, look for a vendor that offers in-product tutorials, thorough training documentation, and professional training sessions if possible.
PCB design software is typically available for a one-time licensing fee or under a monthly or yearly subscription. One-time licensing costs vary from under $2,000 to over $11,000. Annual subscription prices range from $580 to $4,800 per year. Many vendors offer discounts for students or educational institutions. Free and open-source PCB software is also available.