PCB CAD Programs
pdp11 at saccade.com
Sat Jun 16 05:45:13 CDT 2007
> Does anyone have any recommendations for a reasonably priced schematics
>capture and layout program for either Windows or Mac OSX that can autoroute
>do boards up to say 6² x 8²? When I say reasonable, I¹m thinking $250 or
A couple years ago when I was getting back into
circuit design I looked into a few packages in
some detail. I came to the same conclusion about
ExpressPCB, it's just too limited.
I looked into Eagle, and while it's popular on
the web and very functional, I found the user
interface just too clunky to deal with. It's
clear it started life as a DOS program, and the
designers just haven't moved it forward.
I finally settled on Target 3001. It's done by a
small crew in Germany. While it has it's small
quirks, it's very complete (it has an
auto-router!) and quite easy to use. The parts
library is reasonably extensive, though it does
have a distinctive European accent.
Here's the URL: http://www.ibfriedrich.com/english/
When I was actively using it a year or two ago
the customer support was fantastic: email
questions answered in a day or two, and in one
case where'd I found a bug, they sent a new executable with a fix the next day!
They have a free download for small designs (<
200 pins/pads), I've done fairly extensive
designs with the "smart" edition (< 700
pins/pads) for less than $200. This version
outputs standard Gerber files you can send to any
PCB fab house. There's also a free version that
outputs exclusively to a European PCB house (www.pcb-pool.com)
The card for the PDP-11/70 panel controller I did
a few years ago was done in Target 3001:
I'd be very interested to hear feedback on other
similar CAD packages - it's very difficult to
find review material on stuff like this.
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