[TriEmbed] TriEmbed Digest, Vol 70, Issue 11

Charles J. Lord, PE c.j.lord at ieee.org
Tue Mar 26 12:52:00 CDT 2019


I am a long-time user of the pre-Autodesk EAGLE and have even taught
classes in it - I also have used CircuitStudio (and CircuitMaker)
derivatives of Altium Designer. All that said, I am liking KiCad more and
more. As a consultant and sometimes hobbyist in my decreasing spare time, I
don't do a lot of PCB design so I need something that is quick and easy-ish
and doesn't make major changes in revisions that I have to go back to the
learning curve for. All of these packages are good and all have their
strengths and weaknesses, so my best recommendation is to pick one and try
to stick with it. The best case for EAGLE is that a LOT of open source
designs that you find on GitHub and hackster.io are in EAGLE - a relic of
the great days of the free and cheap "standard" licenses of that product.

Just the $0.02 of someone whose first version of OrCAD came on 8"
floppies...

Charles Lord

On Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 1:36 PM Chip McClelland via TriEmbed <
triembed at triembed.org> wrote:

> 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.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Chip
>
>
>
>
> 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
> restrictions.
> 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
> https://www.4pcb.com/free-pcb-layout-software/
>
> I've never used it, but it claims to be free and unrestricted, and have
> a half-million-part library.
>
> Cheers,
> -Brian
>
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-- 
Charles J. Lord, PE
President, Blue Ridge Advanced Design and Automation
Chair, IEEE WNC Section 2018-2019
Past Chair, IEEE NC Council
Chair, IEEE SoutheastCon Steering Committee
Co-Chair, IEEE SoutheastCon 2020
c.j.lord at ieee.org
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