Free Pcb Design Software

Written by Adam Blau
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Circuit board design is a precision task. The smallest error in the most remote sub-circuit can render your homemade computer, synthesizer or radar detector into a very complex-looking mound of useless gear. This is why most electronics enthusiasts will often speak very loyally and affectionately of their software design applications; these programs are the tools that allow designers to complete their circuit board plans efficiently, quickly, and accurately.

The Need for PCB Design Software

The simplest of printed circuit boards (PCBs) require only a minimum of planning. A plain circuit board to activate a light or an LED, for example, can be designed, constructed and put into use without much forethought or worry about potential troubleshooting. Such simple circuits, however, are usually the exception to the rule.

As circuits become more complex, the need for PCB design software becomes greater. Design software not only keeps track of the many components of the circuit; many software applications have virtual testing environments that allow you to "test" a circuit on your computer. You can see exactly how a PCB will function before you even pick up a single diode.

Many engineers will use high-end computer-aided design (CAD) software to construct their PCB designs. Some PCB manufacturers will offer a download of their free proprietary software for use in designing circuit boards. This software is not only free, but it is often the preferred method of PCB design for use in conjunction with the manufacturer's equipment. Ask your intended PCB manufacturer about the preferred method of software design at their facility.

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