[TriEmbed] TriEmbed Digest, Vol 70, Issue 11

Chip McClelland chip at mcclellands.org
Tue Mar 26 12:36:21 CDT 2019

Another point of view.

As an employee of Red Hat, I am certainly a believer in open source
software.  However, I also believe that there is room in this world for
commercial software too. I like the idea that there are both Free and Open
Source options as well a commercial offerings that range from free (with
restrictions) to quite expensive.

For me, the workflow in EAGLE makes sense.  I like the way that devices
have both schematic and footprint elements and the two views are
dynamically linked.  I am not saying this is better - it just feels better
to me.  I also like the support EAGLE has from component manufacturers,
solution providers like Sparkfun and PCB services such as OSHPark though I
know KiCad also have some great integrations too.

I have a philosophy that if you care about a product or service, you should
contribute to it.  For free and open source software, that could be
contributing code, sharing footprints or designs or simply providing advice
or tutorials.  For commercial software, if you want that software to exist
over time (and as your library of PCBs grows this will become important to
you) you should plan to pay.  I pay for EAGLE and, I have been very
impressed with the improvements Autodesk has delivered since they acquired
EAGLE.  If I stop seeing value in the investment I make in EAGLE, I will
stop subscribing.  However, after two years, I am very happy with the
product, its roadmap and the support I have received.

So, I would encourage you to take a look at EAGLE.  See if the workflow
makes sense to you and compare it to KiCad and others.  Make the choice but
be prepared to contribute to the community or the company who delivers the
solution you choose.



On March 26, 2019 at 1:00:05 PM, triembed-request at triembed.org (
triembed-request at triembed.org) wrote:

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Today's Topics:

1. Re: PCB Design Software Question (John Vaughters)


Message: 1
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2019 14:35:41 +0000 (UTC)
From: John Vaughters <jvaughters04 at yahoo.com>
To: triembed at triembed.org
Subject: Re: [TriEmbed] PCB Design Software Question
Message-ID: <1820008320.11667566.1553610941469 at mail.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

+1 on KiCAD because if I am going to spend time on something I do not want
I am not a PCB designer, we always had people that specialized in the that
skill, but I was very familiar to the PCB manufacture and assembly. So when
I give you my experience on KiCAD, I am not biased, but understand I was
deeply aware of the process.
For me, I installed KiCAD to create schematics, then one day decided to
turn a simple circuit I built on a proto board into a full GERBER file set
just to see how hard it was. No Joke, it was only a few hours, but it was a
very simple circuit, however, that is not the point, I had GERBER files and
quickly. Meaning, the process to convert my schematic to a GERBER set was
intuitive and reasonably simple. PCB design is not simple, so don't
misunderstand. But the process to me was simple in terms of learning how to
do it in KiCAD.?
Again, I knew what I needed and I understand that many don't. So add that
to the learning process, but the general PCB knowledge is needed no matter
what software you use.
"Luke, Use the Netlist"
Good Luck in whatever you decide to use. PCB design can be grueling.
John Vaughters

On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 10:20:33 AM EDT, Brian via TriEmbed <
triembed at triembed.org> wrote:

On 3/25/19 11:08 PM, Dwight Morgan via TriEmbed wrote:
> Thanks Carl. I downloaded Eagle and will bear down on learning it. I?ve
> used AutoCad before so I?m hoping there is a wee bit of familiarity.
> There should be some good tutorials for it.
> Dwight

Hi Dwight,

I strongly encourage you to pick KiCad over Eagle, if you're going to
invest the time to learn the software.? KiCad is certainly different
from Eagle (I don't know whether I'd say "harder"), but its real claim
to fame as far as I'm concerned is that it's free software.? Eagle's
"free" version limits you to two layers and (when last I cared about it)
100x160 mm routing area (i.e. board size).

Of course, the main drawback to KiCad is lack of manufacturer support in
terms of symbol and footprint libraries.

I'm also a contributing developer to KiCad, so add a grain or two of
salt to my comments.

Another option is PCB Artist, found at

I've never used it, but it claims to be free and unrestricted, and have
a half-million-part library.


Triangle, NC Embedded Computing mailing list

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