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July 6, 2010 AT 1:17 pm

DesignSpark PCB – Free Windows based PCB design tool

DesignSpark PCB is a free PCB design tool, Windows only at this time (EEtimes)… thanks Kevin!

The first fully featured PCB design tool available free of charge to all without limitation is the claim made by RS Components for DesignSpark PCB.
The only limitation is that you have to join the company’s DesignSpark community to unlock the full functionality.

Developed in partnership with Number One Systems, specialists in the design of electronics CAD software, DesignSpark PCB is the first RS-created free design tool to be made available via its Spark Store.

Users will have access to a full suite of video tutorials, examples and a parts library. Engineers can create schematics that target any sized PCB with any number of layers, and import designs created in other PCB design software.

Fully (auto) routed and design-rule checked designs can then be exported in a number of file formats including IDF, DXF and standard Gerber/manufacturing format, enabling progression into mechanical design.

DesignSpark PCB also comes with a component library that can be extended and shared – through DesignSpark – with other engineers. Details of the components used from the library form the basis of the bill of materials generated by DesignSpark PCB, which can then be used to create an order or quotation request through the usual RS web portals.

More @ Embedded.com and visit Designspark. If free PCB tools are going to be the way it goes, will Farnell’s EAGLE be next? (freeware version here)…


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7 Comments

  1. I know this may sound pedantic, but “PC only” doesn’t mean anything…it only suggests you have fallen victim to a badly conceived marketing campaign.
    The term PC (Personal Computer) used to indicate every IBM compatible machine, nowadays those following the x86 standart.
    So actually an apple machine is a PC and it’s equivalent (hardware-wise) to a machine on which windows or linux can be installed.
    If you mean windows only just write it.
    Sorry for the rant, I do this because I really appreciate the good work you’re doing here and this kind of mistakes just aren’t something you expect from reading your site…
    Keep up the good work!

  2. @fanboy – we added windows to make it more clear.

  3. I use KiCad.

  4. @fanboy

    Well, in this case “PC” is correct, as it appears to run fine under Wine.

  5. @ewertz “it appears to run fine under Wine”

    Try drawing a circle. It crashes EPC under wine..

  6. a place to learn draw a pcb?
    here’s…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_BzrDuDYgU

  7. I use KiCad and Sierra circuits for manufacturing my board, and will check this out.

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