EasyEDA vs DipTrace vs OrCad
Today I am gonna write about my PCB designing journy that happend before 8 year. I started doing hobby circuits before 8 years and now I am doing professional circuits.
Phase 1 : Hand Drawn (no Softwares)
I started desiging PCB manually without using any softwares. Mostly I used graph papers to design PCB as it was very easy to make measurements and alignments. Several itrations of drawing was required to make even a small circuit. After the design is completed, I used to copy the design to copper clad using permanent marker.
I used to harden the permanent marker trackes several times to avoid discontinuity. After that I will put that copper clad in the ferric chloride solution for etching.
Phase 2 : OrCad PCB Layout
Then one of my friend introduced me OrCad. I used OrCad PCB Layout for 3 years. Compared to my previous hand drawn experience it was really awesome. Don’t need to worry above measurements everytime, just create a component footprint one then use it in as many projects.
After completing the PCB design we could export the gerber files and send for PCB fabrication.
Phase 3 : Diptrace
After that I seen that some of my friends are using DipTrace. So I thought of just trying it. It was much more awesome. It was very easy and responsive to make a pcb with DipTrace compared to OrCad. I never used latest versions of OrCad as I seen that they are much more complex and sophisicated.
Then I relised the truth that these OrCad, Altium softwares are for designing hightly completed circuits like a computer motherboard. It is highy complex and sophisicated. For beginners and medium level designs DipTrace seems to be best tool for me. (I never tried any others).
Phase 4 : EasyEDA
Then I seen that another era of design is evolving. A cloud/browser based solutions for electronics design applications. EasyEDA, Upverter, Circuit.io are leaders amoung these. I started using EasyEDA since it is open source. It seems to be a very nice platform for designing medium level PCBs. We don’t need to install any softwares, just need to login to a browser. Similar to checking/writing emails we can use any system/tablet/moble which supports a moden browser.
Note : I am using both Diptrace and EasyEDA nowadays. One of the problem with these cloud based solutions are that we need good internet connection. EasyEDA is developing a desktop version to solve this problem, hope that they will release it soon.
Recommended Reading : Getting Started with EasyEDA
Advantages of a Cloud Solution
- Access to a wide range of components libraries maintained by a large user base.
- No need to install any softwares
- Will work in any platforms which will support a modern browser
- Work on the go. You can work anywhere, any PC or even in mobile devices by just connecting to internet.
- No need to manually update the software. It will done automatically.
- Easily share your design with online community
- Get existing designs from the community and redesign as per our requirements
- We don’t need a good comupter or laptop to do these. Just need a device which will support modern web browser.
- Good for beginners having internet access
- Good for medium level circuits
- Work on the go in different machines
- Access to large number of libraries
- Good for beginners
- Good for medium level circuits (Note : Free only upto 300 pins and 2 layer)
- Not recommended for beginners
- Good for complex and sophisicated circuits
- It is not free