3 Factors to Consider When Picking a PCB Design Software

3 Factors to Consider When Picking a PCB Design Software

Choosing the right PCB tool is essential if you want to be able to perform to the best of your ability and get the job done. If you own a business, the PCB tool you choose will have a direct effect on your engineers’ productivity and your bottom line.

If you’re a student or hobbyist thinking of going to the next step, choosing the wrong tool could affect your progress, or even end up discouraging you. This is why it’s important to look at a product from as many angles as possible to make sure that you pick the right one for you.

Here are some of the factors you need to consider when picking a PCB design tool.

Resources and Tutorials

If you’re new or have been doing some PCB design on the side and want to get more serious, then you have to pick a tool that has a wide variety of resources. You also want a tool with not too steep of a learning curve, but still performant enough to do some professional work. 

Tools like Altium, for instance, have tons of resources available like training, manuals, and technical support. Altium layout tutorials are also very detailed and will introduce you to basic design tools as well as tricks to help you improve your productivity.

While learning a new tool always take time, you want to make sure the vendor will give you the training opportunities necessary to be able to get up and running as fast as possible.

Market Recognition

If you want to know how good a tool is, simply ask around. If you have a tool in mind, do the rounds and ask what people think about it. There are tons of forums dedicated to PCB design, like edaboard.com, for instance. There are also tons of subreddits dedicated to PCB design

Look at what people have to say about certain tools, and things like pricing, how extensive the tool is, how user-friendly it is, etc. You’ll also get an idea of a tool’s stability and longevity, so you know it won’t be obsolete in a few years.

Complete Offering

You also don’t want a tool you’ll have to patch with a thousand third-party applications. Having a tool with one common platform will not only make integration easier and avoid incompatibility issues but save you some money. Don’t be fooled by extremely cheap tools.

Chances are you’ll have to plug holes and spend tons of money on applications that might end up clashing with each other. 

You also need a tool that will offer a unified design environment. This will make communication between engineers and departments much easier. You’ll be able to avoid things like mismatched bills of materials and your engineers will never have to handwrite an ECO ever again.

You’ll also be able to consistently meet deadlines and make sure that you get things right the first time.

Conclusion

These are only a few of the things you should be looking for in a good PCB tool. However, these should be enough to help you weed out bad options and build a list of potential tools that could help you or your organization.

Editorial Team
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One Comment

  1. Qdot says:

    nice work, keep up the good work
    good job.

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