PDA

View Full Version : Anyone using Advanced Circuits 'free' schematic capture/PCB layout app?



Harley
05-16-2010, 08:09 AM
The 'free' version is quite a few revisions old. My download some months ago is version 1.1.2. Has anyone been using this CAD?

My old iMac's power supply died and no one seems to repair them anymore. My old Douglas CAD had been used for over 100 layouts and revisions, so got a lot of use out of it. Now need time to look into getting another CAD. I'd prefer a 'free' Macintosh version. But working with Windows for the Prop provides me with ability to tolerate versions for PCs.

I note their website still uses URL http://www.4pcb.com (http:// http://www.4pcb.com). If anyone has used it, how satisfied are you with it? Any failings? It appears quite complete. http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/yeah.gif

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
Harley Shanko

Leon
05-16-2010, 09:05 AM
It's actually a special version of Number One's Easy-PCB:

www.numberone.com/ (http://www.numberone.com/)

I used it for over 15 years.

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
Leon Heller
Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM

Rayman
05-16-2010, 09:52 AM
They say Gerber files are "available". I suppose that means they charge some fee, like ExpressPCB, right?

Nick at GadgetGangster almost has me convinced to try DipTrace...

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
My Prop Info&Apps: ·http://www.rayslogic.com/propeller/propeller.htm

My Prop Products:· http://www.rayslogic.com/Propeller/Products/Products.htm

Harrison.
05-16-2010, 10:52 AM
PCB Artist is pretty good for being 'free'. The previous versions were very unstable, and would crash at least a few times every hour. The more recent versions are much better, but are still known to crash in very weird ways. It's a good idea to save and backup your files on a regular basis.

The only reason I actually used PCB Artist was because it was required for a class (benefit was free PCB manufacturing). I usually use Eagle, which I think is better than PCB Artist. Eagle may be a bit weird, but in the long run it's much more stable (not to mention it generates gerbers directly).

You can request gerbers from Advanced Circuits after they manufacture at least one board. It's actually not a bad deal when compared with ExpressPCB's fixed fee for gerber conversion.

HollyMinkowski
05-16-2010, 12:06 PM
I'd love something that could generate gerber files from a schematic
and also show you a graphic view that you can rotate around of what
the actual board would look like populated with the various parts.
Is there anything like that?

Harrison.
05-16-2010, 12:21 PM
HollyMinkowski said...
I'd love something that could generate gerber files from a schematic
and also show you a graphic view that you can rotate around of what
the actual board would look like populated with the various parts.
Is there anything like that?


Most PCB layout programs support trace autoroute which is almost like generating a PCB layout straight from a schematic. Some products even support an autoplace which will place components on a board for you. Generally people seem to avoid the autoroute/autoplace stuff since it usually doesn't do a good job.

The best 3D pcb layout program out there is Altium Designer. It's very good and routing a PCB with it takes much less time than with competing products. Unfortunately it's expensive, especially for the 3D version.

You can also use Eagle3D to generate 3D renderings of Eagle PCB designs, but it's nowhere as nice as Altium.

Ahle2
05-16-2010, 04:22 PM
Why hasn't anyone mentioned KiCad ?
www.lis.inpg.fr/realise_au_lis/kicad/ (http://www.lis.inpg.fr/realise_au_lis/kicad/)

It's free, open source, platform independent and supports 3D view.
I've done some really advanced stuff with it.

/Ahle2

HollyMinkowski
05-16-2010, 09:10 PM
Thanks for that link Ahle2 http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

That looks like a great piece of software!
And free is good!