PCB Design Software

Best PCB Design Software include:

Altium Designer, OrCAD and eCADSTAR PCB.

All Products

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Dassault Systemes offers SOLIDWORKS, a computer-aided design (CAD) system for education and manufacturing supporting 2D or 3D design, electrical design, simulations, and product development with collaboration tools.

Autodesk Fusion 360

Autodesk Fusion 360 is a cloud-based 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE tool which integrates design, modeling, and simulation capabilities.

Altium Designer

Altium Designer is PCB design software for a variety of industries.

National Instruments Multisim

National Instruments offers Multisim, a simulation application for engineers, designers, and educators.

Altium Enterprise Solutions

Altium Enterprise Solutions is a PCB design software package designed to provide a more collaborative, agile workflow.

Zuken CR-8000 Design Force

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…

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Ultiboard is printed circuit board design and layout software that integrates seamlessly with Multisim to accelerate PCB prototype development.

Altium CircuitStudio

Altium's CircuitStudio product is part of a line of PC-based electronics design software for engineers who design printed circuit boards.

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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…

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eCADSTAR's PCB design provides the streamlining of the design process, with a common and familiar user interface across all applications.

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EasyEDA is an online PCB design tool, from Shenzhen Lichuang E-commerce Co.,Ltd headquartered in China.

CELUS Design Platform

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…

ALPI Caneco
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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…

Siemens PADS
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Siemens' Cloud Enabled version provides an end-to-end system design solution with integrated design data management, component research, and real-time component sourcing knowledge.

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OrCAD is an electrical design automation (EDA) CAD suite, now owned and supported by Cadence Design Systems.

Allegro X Design Platform

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.

Zuken E3.series

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,…

Learn More About PCB Design Software

What is PCB Design Software?

Printed circuit board (PCB) design software is a specialized type of computer-aided design (CAD) software 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 product lifecycle management (PLM), product cost management, and product configuration 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.

Start a PCB Design Software comparison here

Pricing Information

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does PCB design software do?

Printed circuit board (PCB) design software helps engineers model PCBs for electronic devices. They include tools to help organizations design, test, and manufacture high-quality PCBs.

What are the benefits of using PCB design software?

Organizations and engineers that use PCB design software are able to produce complex PCBs faster and with a high degree of accuracy. These tools can also integrate with other software to estimate PCB costs, test for failure scenarios, or model the PCB inside other product components.

How much does PCB design software cost?

Pricing for PCB design software ranges from under $2,000 to over $11,000 for a one-time license. Annual subscription prices range from $580 to $4,800 per year. Reduced prices for educational institutions and students are common. Free and open-source PCB design software is available as well.