EasyEDA vs DipTrace vs OrCad

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.

Hand Drawn PCB

Hand Drawn PCB

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.


OrCad PCB Layout

OrCad PCB Layout

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.

DipTrace PCB Layout

DipTrace PCB Layout

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.



EasyEDA PCB Layout

EasyEDA PCB Layout

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.

Recommendations

EasyEDA

  • Good for beginners having internet access
  • Good for medium level circuits
  • Work on the go in different machines
  • Access to large number of libraries

DipTrace

  • Good for beginners
  • Good for medium level circuits (Note : Free only upto 300 pins and 2 layer)

OrCAD

  • Not recommended for beginners
  • Good for complex and sophisicated circuits
  • It is not free



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