Printed Circuit Board (PCB) layouts are designed with help of PCB drawing software’s, commonly known as pcb layout design software. Here we are listing you a collection of free pcb design softwares which are simple, easy to use and available for ready download. PCB design tools fall into many categories based on their development platform, pricing strategies etc. We aim to give you a mixed collection free download softwares, open source pcb design softwares, enterprise level softwares (which requires license). All the softwares listed here contains links to download pages of software websites and you are free to download these tools based on their terms and conditions. So let’s begin the list.
Open Source PCB Design Software
Free PCB– is an open source pcb design software released under GNU license, made specifically for Micrososft Windows. Free pcb is a simple, easy to use design tool, whose features include 1 to 16 copper layers, board size upto 60 inches by 60 inches, Footprint libraries and wizard etc. Though Free pcb seems like an easy, hobbyist type tool, it can be used for your basic professional works too.
BSch3V – is a basic pcb schematic drawing software, which can carry out your basic needs only. The software is developed for Windows operating system. Though its so basic, we list this pcb software here because of its simple nature so that a lay person can use it very easily and efficiently.
ExpressPCB – is a pcb design tool for the professional which is easy to learn and simple to use. This free cad software comes with two divisions – ExpressSCH for drawing schematics and ExpressPCB for drawing circuit board layouts. This software is compatible for Windows Xp, Vista and 7. Drawing circuit diagram in ExpressPCB is as easy as placing components and connecting them.
Kicad – is an open source schematic diagram drawing software and printed circuit board design tool. This software is released under GPL license and is a combination 4 applications and a project management tool. Eeschema – is used for schematic entry, Pcbnew – as board editor, Gerbview – as photo plotter, Cvpcb – as footprint selector for pcb, and Kicad – as project manager. This application works with both Linux and Windows (2000 and XP).
PCB 123 – is a free circuit drawing and pcb layout software from Sunstone. We at CircuitsToday use this software for the last 3 years to draw circuits. And that’s why you see unique style diagrams in all our electronic circuits. Though there are many other good software’s available, we still stick on to PCB123 to maintain this unique style. Well, this software is worth your time for a try.
PCB Layout Tool – is a free, simple printed circuit board layout tool. You can use this extremely simple software to make layouts of even complex circuits. It is capable of producing RS-274X and Excellon NC-drill format output.
Eagle (Light Edition) – Eagle is one of the most popular Circuit drawing and PCB layout software available in the market. Most professionals,students and hobbyists find Eagle as an ideal choice for their PCB development needs. Eagle in fact is an enterprise PCB designing software but they are offering a lighter version (with limitations compared to enterprise application) for free download. And to your good news, Eagle will run on Windows, Linux and Mac.
PCB Editor – This is an Editor software from Gpleda, useful for editing printed circuit boards. This application runs on unix, linux, windows and macintosh operating systems. They offer an API (Application Programming Interface) to add new functionality and features. It facilitates schematics import, design rule checking, photo realistic design review images.
This list is not complete. We shall update this list soon with new additions. In the mean while, if I missed any software, please reply here in comments section.