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  • Do you need a free PCB design software or tool to put in practice the new electronic project you’ve just designed? So, we present you 10 of the best PCB software tools available on the internet that will help you to develop your printed circuit board faster and with ease. See the list under these ads.


    0PCBWeb Designer
    PCBWeb is a free CAD application for designing and manufacturing electronics hardware. Design multi-sheet schematics with our fast and easy-to-use wiring tool. Route multi-layer boards with support for copper pours and DRC checking. Integrated Digi-Key Parts Catalog with Bill of Materials Manager.

    pcbweb designer

    1ZenitPCB
    Is an excellent pcb layout design software tool to create professional printed circuit board ( PCB ). It is a flexible easy to use CAD program, which allow you to realize your projects in a short time. With ZenitPCB Layout is possible to create the project starting both from the schematic capture or by the layout itself.

    zenitpcb

    2FreePCB
    Is a free, open-source PCB design editor for Microsoft Windows. It was designed to be easy to learn and easy to use, yet capable of professional-quality work. Some of its features are: 1 to 16 copper layers, board size up to 60 inches by 60 inches, imports and exports PADS-PCB netlists and more

    freepcb

    3TinyCAD
    Is a program to help you draw circuit diagrams. It comes complete with symbol libraries to get you started straight away. As well as being able to simply print your designs, you can use TinyCAD to publish your drawings by copying and pasting into a Word document or saving as a PNG bitmap for the web.

    tinycad

    4Osmond PCB
    Is a flexible tool for designing printed circuit boards. It runs on Macintosh. Its many features include: virtually unlimited board sizes, number of board layers, number of parts, support for both through-hole and surface mount parts and more.

    osmond pcb design software

    5BSch3V
    Is a schematic capture program for Windows. The name “BSch” is an abbreviation of “Basic Schematic”. It has only basic functions, in order to simplify operation.

    bs3vscrn-pcb-layout-software

    6ExpressPCB
    Is a snap to learn and use. Laying out PCBs is easy, even for the first time user.

    expresspcb design software

    7Kicad
    Is an open source (GPL) software for the creation of electronic schematic diagrams and printed circuit board artwork. It is useful for everybody working in electronic design (schematic diagrams and Printed Board up to 16 layers).

    kicad layout design

    8gEDA
    Runs on Linux and has produced tools which are used for electrical circuit design, schematic capture, simulation, prototyping, and production. Currently, the gEDA project offers a mature suite of free software applications for electronics design, including schematic capture, attribute management, bill of materials (BOM) generation, netlisting into over 20 netlist formats, analog and digital simulation, and printed circuit board (PCB) design layout.

    geda pcb software

    9Fritzing
    Fritzing software is an interesting open-source initiative to support designers, artists, researchers and hobbyists to work creatively with interactive electronics and develop electronic projects. Fritzing helps you learn more about electronic circuits, to document your projects and even let’s you prepare them for production.

    fritzing software pcb view

    10DesignSpark PCB
    DesignSpark PCB is the world’s most accessible electronics design software. Easy to easy to learn and easy to use, it is designed to significantly reduce your concept-to-production time. At the core of this unique approach is a powerful software engine that enables you to capture Schematics, design PCB boards and layouts.

    designspark pcb

    ask a question
    

    53 Responses to "Best of Free PCB Design Software"

    1. Christo Candiotes says: on September 20, 2011 at 3:51 am

      Another great PCB design program is KiCAD. Cross platform too.

      • Sal Christy says: on August 19, 2014 at 11:41 pm

        Sadly it is very unstable on Linux. Constantly develops errors when designing PCBs. The designers just don’t have it together.

    2. Circuito says: on March 5, 2014 at 2:34 am

      I use DesignSpark PCB ver6.0 for my electronic design project. It’s a free Schematic PCB software from RS Component.

    3. Christian Ressel says: on March 26, 2014 at 6:52 am

      How do you rate SoloPCB?

      It can be seen at

      http://www.fabstream.com/solopcb-design-software.php

    4. Eng. Ahmad AL-FaiFy "Makkah" says: on April 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Fritzing software is an interesting open-source “GOOD”

      and Proteus its good >>> and i will try DesignSpark PCB .

      thx a lot

    5. ericaleo says: on April 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      You may try pcbmaking.com to get your job done quickly and effectively. It gives big discount on various PCB and also FREE shipping.

    6. This is some great info that i would like to share with our customers who are looking for good source for PCB Design tools.

      If you need a source for Quick turn prototype PCBs or assembly, check this website. http://www.Pcb4assembly.com

    7. Hawa Singh Sharma says: on May 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Please tell me that “How can be downloaded these PCB designing softwares?”

    8. rasoul_najafkhani_iran_qazvin says: on May 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      only altium designer && ads

    9. Darshak says: on May 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Please let me know which programming language is used in these ICs

    10. Review says: on May 23, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      There is no such thing as a free dinner.

      Designspark PCB: Requires a registration which is free but it’s bug-ridden and last time I used, didn’t work. Support couldn’t solve it. Later I realised it required constant connection to the net with cookies enabled. I believe it is a spyware.

      Fritzing is a toy.

      Kickad I found to be full of bugs to the extent of uselessness. I deleted it when I found myself fighting the software rather than designing a PCB.

    11. Review says: on May 23, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      FreePCB wasn’t maintained for the last three years – since 2011. This tells the story.

      TinyCad is what the name says: tiny. The library is extremely limited. For example there are only 11 microcontrollers.

      ExpressPCB is anything but express. Very difficult to use it. If you re-position a part, you have to re-align every-single-connection going to it. This means, every corner of every lines. This is perhaps the most cumbersome to use among all of these. Badly limited library.

      Sadly, all of these are totally useless but for the most simple, few-pads jobs. But then one could just get a piece of vero-board.
      Most of these require one to create custom components almost for everything.
      Might as well use inkscape … lot easier to make that few small boards.

      There is no such thing as a free lunch …

      Good luck!

      • That’s absolutely true. Either these free design software are full of bugs or tie you into buying boards at higher prices by not allowing you to export gerber data files that is a standard for pcb design, if you want a choose your on pcb maker.

        There is a option for having somebody else do the pcb layout for you..here http://www.pcb4assembly.com/pcb-design-and-layout/

    12. prashanth suvarna says: on May 26, 2014 at 12:09 am

      Yo! how come you guys havnt mentioned Eagle and solo PCB amongst others…? there may be others 2!(:-[

    13. elashley says: on June 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      The best for me in PCB design is Eagle Cadsoft, but there is not simulation & too much libraries. Circuit Wizard is very intuitive to check simple problems in simulation. Proteus is excellent. I like WinQcad of MicroCad, but not so practical as Circuit Wizard, PCB Wizard & Live wire. Multisim is very good. I´ve never used Altium Designer. I think that each one of us have to start walking the first step trying at less one of these PCB software and then we will know with wich one of them we fell ok according our requeriments.

    14. Tadesse says: on August 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      how can i find faulty component identifier

    15. I am working with Altium Designer 14 and find myself hating it. If you decide (for very good reasons) to use the metric system instead of that damn idiotic imperial system from the days of the Roman Empire, you are in hell with this software.

      • Jim Keith Jim Keith says: on August 10, 2014 at 1:57 am

        Unless you grew up with the imperial system like I did here in the US–and we continue to use it. In engineering school and industry, we were forced to use the metric system.

        That is one of the details that I like about expresspcb.com software–it uses either system with ease.

      • In Altium, push the “Q” key to switch between Metric and Imperial. It really is that easy. :-)

        Every cad piece of software has issues. None of them are going to be everything you want. You are not the only cad person out there to use the tools and have ideas and suggestions on how to best make these tools. Why do you think there are so many small free cad tools. Lots of people want to make the software do what and how they want. Maybe someday, someone (maybe you) will come up with a very good tool that everyone stands behind. Until then, I wish you luck in finding / creating the cad software that fits your style.

        Kind regards,
        :-)

      • It sounds to me that you are not fimilar with measurement systems, and do not know how to convert metric to imperial and vice versa. learn to convert measurements before you condem this software, or better still design your own pcb design software

      • Why bother to learn the Imperial system when only 3 countries in the world use it? The USA is officially Metric but the diehards still stick to a mishmash of a system along with such great countries as MyanMar (aka Burma) and Liberia, ah well c’est la vie!

      • cavejug says: on July 21, 2015 at 1:17 pm

        Well said Phil

    16. Bob Wareham says: on August 29, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      Well it is all rubbish really I have only found Target that works for me the rest of the so called free stuff is a wast of time I have used http://ibfriedrich.com/ and that is very good and free if you are not using it to make commercial products if you are then 49 dollars for 400 pins. has anyone tried any of the pcb software on line like EASYEDA or UPVERTER both look good and are free but you are on line all the time.

      Bob

    17. Upverter.com is really good. It’s simple and easy to use but is able to design complex boards. The best part is that you can use it from anywhere on any OS since it runs in the browser. So you need to be online to use it but I’m online 99% of the time anyways…I’m rarely working on a plane or something. It’s free for open source designs and I think it’s pretty cheap for private designs too.

    18. sadly itz unstable for linux so plz established new one,…………

    19. Design complex software iz not applicable for windows_ 7.

    20. Drew robertson says: on October 26, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      DesignSpark is pretty horrible. The library structure is unfathomable and it’s difficult to construct your own completely independent of the RS agenda of directing you toward their own products. That would be fine if all RS components were modelled but most (that I need) aren’t. There are extensive tutorials but intuitive apps don’t require tutorials. It’s not intuitive, plus the talk-over is a ghastly estuary accent which grates – ‘model’ for instance pronounced ‘modo-oww’, aghhhh. The help files don’t match the program and it’s difficult or impossible to track down what many of the click boxes mean. And it’s flaky, frequent crashes.
      Problem is, in the UK there isn’t a lot of choice and we don’t have the convenience of progs linked to manufacturers. So if we want an export, DesignSpark is about the best (or least bad) there is. The alternative is to fork out on a decent package.

    21. Jim Rattray says: on December 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks Drew for letting me know about how rubbish DesignSpark is.
      I downloaded the app and ran it. I was then asked to register and that’s where the trouble started.There were numerous problems to many to explain. So now I know it’s not worth bothering. Thanks again Drew.

      • Drew Robertson says: on February 22, 2015 at 7:33 pm

        Hi Jim, just picked up your reply. One trouble with DesignSpark is RS tell you how wonderful it is and what a great favour they are bestowing upon punters. So when people get into a fankle with it they are inclined to blame themselves and think they are being stooopid or thick. Well I can assure all frustrated users that they are not to blame, it is the most deplorable piece of **** I’ve ever encountered. Never have I sworn so vigorously at a prog, indeed I’ve smashed my desk banging fists against it. Pages could be filled defining the faults, suffice to say it doesn’t do *anything* properly, spend all ones time doing work-arounds. The latest version I cannot even get to load and the designers are incapable of fixing it. Incompetence personified. Unfortunately there is a dearth of decent free pcb software, even many of the paid for ones are dire. I’ll keep using it ‘cos my will is greater than its wilfulness and I can’t justify the £wads for a professional package. All we can do is complain to RS, that’ll make a big difference. Just like my incessant complaining about their atrocious web site. Civilisation is doomed.

    22. Amoung all these above PCB designing software which one is the best for the schematic as well as Layout design…

    23. Yes, I too hated Design Spark, although I did not encounter problems, far too clumsy and OTT for my liking – and seems intrusive to me.

      I use Proteus Lite by Labcenter at least it allows me to make my own components, it’s not overpowering and lets me make my own component library should I need to.

      There are many, many programs out there, the free versions are usually limited in board size, number of components or number of pins…. or riddled with bugs.

      I doubt the average ‘home user’ would not go beyond a two PCB layer design.

      • Bob Wareham says: on December 23, 2014 at 6:20 pm

        I have tried pcb web this is now a download to your computer the database is Digi Key so not to bad the download is free to your desktop and will generate free Gerber files so you can go anywhere for boards.

    24. What do you all recommend for designing flexible printed circuits (flex) instead?
      I need to design a flex with some contacts on it and don’t know which program is good at it. I am trying eagle but is more pcb oriented. Any suggestion is appreciated.

    25. Andy Fierman says: on March 24, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      I have been using EasyEDA for over a year now with great results.

      There’s no subscription cost to use it and in Anonymous mode you don’t even have to register.

      It has some rough edges but is developing very quickly with a Sandbox version for users to try out new features.

      (There’s a major update due from the Sandbox in a week or so that will introduce live DRC in PCB layout, the ability to add extensions and scripting and add a raft of new parts.)

      The most startling things about EasyEDA are not just that it is free up to the point where you want to physically buy a (low cost) PCB directly from EasyEDA but that, unlike ExpressPCB and some others, you are not tied into buying the PCBs from EasyEDA: you can download Gerbers and send them off to any PCB fab house at no charge from EasyEDA.

      It has some pretty impressive import (and export) options. For instance it can import schematic and PCB designs from Altium and Eagle. Library import from KiCad is also provided.

      It can even import schematics from LTspice which gives LTspice users a really easy route into doing PCBs straight from LTspice schematics.

      Although maybe not important to this discussion, EasyEDA also has good simulation support using ngspice. Many LTspice simulations can be run in ngspice with little editing effort.

      Symbol and footprint library searching is simple (although searching for spice models is still a bit clunky but all devices in the default library have models already associated with them).

      I’ve found the ability to share projects privately or publically a useful feature for collaboration.

      If people are interested to try it, I’d recommend looking through the Tutorial and the Simulation eBook before diving in.

    26. I just got through attempting to use two programs. The first is SchemeIt from DigiKey. I created my schematic, this is a simple one with only 10 components. There is a tab at the top that says PCB but when I pressed, it just links you to a new company, PCBWeb.
      So I downloaded PCBWeb software (free) and found there is NO WAY to import the SchemeIt schematic… so don’t bother with that program.
      Then I used PCBWeb to redraw the schematic and attempted to design the board. The program is quite new and the designer got back to me with answers when I had a problem… until I started getting dozens of strange messages in the review phase. Since then he has not got back to me so I would not bother using this program either!

      So I am reading every review I can to find something that might work. So far some people like Fritzer and others hate it. Some like Design Spark and others hate it. And on and on it goes.

    27. Bob Wareham says: on March 27, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      I have tried so many now and not found any free software that is any good If there was one that made it easy to find parts that would help as I find this is the hardest part and so slow to find the part you want even in paid software.

      Bob

    28. I am recommending a toolset called “Proteus” from Labcenter Ltd.
      It is not free but not expensive at all. It is a whole design environment where you can design, capture your schematic, run simulation of hw and sw together, has a very good sw IDE and professional PCB design.

    29. FOR ME IF KICAD DEVELOPES A PLATFORM LIKE ORCAD DESIGN TOOL IN ITS SIMPLICITY I THINK IT IS GOOD FOR WHO USE THE TOOL TO DEVELOP BEST PCB/PWB DESIGN IN SIMPLIFIED WAYFOR MORE COMPLEXITY SIMPLIFICATIONIS CADSTAR DESIGNER
      THANK YOU

    30. I DONT RECOMMEND ANY EDA TOOLS THAT IS REGARDED TO THE DURATION AND STANDARD OF THE USER FOR ME I TRY TO FIND COMPACTIABLE EDA TO DESIGN HDI AND HIGN DENSITY BOARDS FOR PURPOSE OF COMPLEX POWER SUPPLIE BOARDS INSTED I DONT FIND ANY SO WHAT KIND OF

    31. I use diptrace. very easy.try it.

    32. stephen van buskirk says: on May 18, 2015 at 2:07 am

      I just downloaded DesignSpark PCP, twice, and both times I tried to run it and got an error: Authorization Service Error. Go figure.
      I have been designing pcbs since you used tape and decals on clear mylar sheets to make artwork. I used pads and liked version 1.2.It had the BEST autorouter. A company I work for bought v7 something a few years ago for thousanbds. It was a BIG step back. The autorouter was poor and the nifty pull down menus meant that it took 7 clicks to change the layer on each segment of a route.
      The only problem I had with v1.2 was it didn’t support single combined gerber files.
      My computer died and my v1.2 disk is bad so I’ve been trying free layout programs and so far they ALL suck. (apologies to Leo Tolstoy, but they all suck in their own way).
      By any chance is there anyone who still has pads v1.2. If I could get a copy I’d be so happy I could wet myself.
      Thanks – stevejvb-at-gmail-dot-com.
      Now my computer

    33. Radu Marin says: on May 19, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      Pentru Romania , realizare de cablaje imprimate pe

      cablajepcbpret.blogspot.ro

      la doar 9 lei / dm2 fara alte costuri de pornire si gaurire inclusa pentru 300 gauri

    34. Schematics can be drawn from http://creately.com diagram software as well. Its limited to real-time logic gates for now. However you can make very pretty circuit diagrams with creately.

    35. NottsGuy says: on June 15, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      Installed DesignSpark and it failed at the first hurdle. IE most of the components I wanted to use from the RS catalogue were not in the library. EG any of the DIN-41612 a+b 1/2B type 32 way.

    36. Which pcb layout software is best to design double side/sigle side PCB layout

    37. Hey guys,

      I’ve drawn up exact size images with my ACAD program and printed the images onto plain printer paper then re-inserted the paper back into my laser printer with the same exact orientation as the first printing with clean smooth aluminum foil taped (with scotch magic tape) at it’s edges, on top of the image of the first printing. Then I’ve printed the image onto the aluminum foil with the acid resistant ink that laser printers use. This can be ironed onto circuit boards to be etched. Some people have done this with just the plain paper but the paper fibers get stuck into the ink and cause problems in etching and/or while trying to remove the paper stuck to the board. I then immerse the to be etched metal into a shallow dish of muriatic acid which one can get from almost any hardware store and it will totally dissolve the aluminum foil leaving the acid resistant ink on the metal being etched, clean and undisturbed. I’ve done this to make fine detailed stamps in harden steel with amazing results. I haven’t tried etching copper clad boards with the muriatic acid but if it doesn’t etch, I’ll just rinse the board and etch it in the usual way. That is what I want to try and that is why I came to this site to find a program that I might be able to use to design my circuits and make my circuit board printouts. Disclaimer: I am telling you not to do this, but if you do it anyway please be careful. It has its hazards and you have been warned. Happy circuit building!

    38. cavejug says: on July 21, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      It started out as a list of free PCB software, however, many of the posted comments were about paid software, personal likes and dislikes and so on. The forum lost the plot and very few staid on the subject.

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