How many of these free and easy to use circuit design programs have you used?
Engineering software and online resources tend to be expensive, but can be very useful for professionals, students, and hobbyists. These resources are often needed when users are starting a project or just doing an engineering review, but associated costs are prohibitive for many.
In this article, we have identified several high-quality free resources for engineers and engineering hobbyists, which are now described below.
PartSim is a web-based circuit simulator that allows users to experiment with a circuit.
The simulator has a simple layout for ease of use, while providing a complete SPICE simulation engine, a web-based schematic entry tool, and a graphical oscilloscope for monitoring circuit analog/digital signal levels.
The tool also includes a Digi-Key BOM that allows users to assign part numbers to design components and then find distributors.
EasyEDA aims to "help developers turn ideas into manufacturing prototypes faster by providing comprehensive data and collaboration tools for electronic design." EasyEDA provides free online circuit modeling, PCB design and electronic circuit design functions.
Users can save design time by accessing a large library of schematic components, PCB footprints, housings, simulations, models, and subcircuits. You can also invite others to collaborate on projects and easily share projects within your team. The Standard Edition is free to use and offers unlimited public projects and 2 private projects.
03 Autodesk Schematics
Autodesk Circuits is a set of tools for designing and experimenting with electronics.
Beginners can start simple experiments with Electronics Lab or Circuit Scribe, while advanced users can jump right into PCB design.
This software provides a large number of free introductory and project guides that can be explored in Electronics Lab.
01 DesignSpark PCB
DesignSpark PCB bills itself as "the easiest-to-use electronics design software designed specifically for rapid prototyping and quickly turning your schematic ideas into testable boards."
This software has no circuit size limits, so users have no limits when creating PCB designs. Users can also import and export files in any desired format and can create a BOM (Bill of Materials) in desired format.
While tool is completely free, it is important to note that users must register on their website to unlock program and must confirm ads displayed before they can begin.
KiCad is an open source, cross-platform electronics design automation package. The package consists of three different tools: Eeschema (circuit creation), PcbNEW (PCB layout) and 3D Viewer (viewing board design in 3D).
The 3D Viewer is a unique tool that allows you to rotate and move your PCB to view details that cannot be seen in 2D drawings.
PCBWeb is a full-featured, free electronics design tool that supports both circuit diagrams and PCB layout. For electronic engineers looking to simplify hardware design, PCBWeb is ideal tool for designing and manufacturing electronic equipment.
Users can create multi-page schematic diagrams with PCBWeb's fast and easy-to-use writing tools; PCBWeb also supports copper potting and DRC checking, allowing users to place multi-layer boards. This resource also integrates with Digi-Key Parts Catalog and BOM Manager (Bill of Materials Manager).
FreeCAD is a multi-platform, open source parametric 3D modeling tool designed to help users bring designs to life. It is a versatile multifunctional tool suitable for users of all levels. Beginners, educators, or experienced CAD users looking to get into 3D printing can use FreeCAD.
Programmers can also use Python to "extend functionality of FreeCAD, automate with scripts, create custom modules, and even embed FreeCAD into their applications."
QCAD is a free and open source 2D CAD application. QCAD allows users to create a wide range of technical drawings such as architectural plans, internal drawings, mechanical drawings, diagrams and diagrams.
Program features are listed below: layers, blocks (grouping), 35 CAD fonts, over 40 construction tools, over 20 modification tools, and more. Many users have praised QCAD for its easy-to-use interface and versatility.
The ImplicitCAD website says, "The ImplicitCAD project is about using power of mathematics and computer science to solve stupid design problems in 3D printing revolution." ImplicitCAD is an open source software CAD tool. This means that ImplicitCAD uses a programming language that can be compiled into 3D objects.
The benefits of procedural CAD include the ability to reuse and abstract objects, automate repetitive tasks, parametric design, and common software development tools such as version control.
OpenSCAD is a free software that allows you to create 3D 3D CAD models. This allows designers to create accurate 3D models and parametric designs that can be easily customized by changing parameters. These documents are plain ASCII text code. As such, OpenSCAD is more like a solid modeling tool for programmers, and is generally considered an entry-level CAD tool for developing open source hardware such as scientific research and educational science tools.
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