[hackerspaces] CAD tools

Sébastien Bourdeauducq sebastien.bourdeauducq at gmail.com
Thu Feb 26 00:05:46 CET 2009

On Wednesday 25 February 2009 21.33.51 Duncan Withers wrote:
> For example, I know that many people swear by
> "Eagle"(http://www.cadsoft.de/) for schematics capture and PCB layout.
> (I have used it myself and know it is a fantastic tool,

Sadly enough, it's not such a fantastic tool. It still lags well behind 
high-end commercial tools, with big licenses in the $10k-$50k range.

As far as I know, there is no opensource or free software which is anywhere 
near Altium Designer or PADS (to cite a few good CAD tools).

If you are making very small PCBs (I mean Arduino-like boards ; anything more 
complicated starts to play with your nerves), Eagle/gEDA/Kicad are good 
enough. But if you are into boards which are more like this :
then, using them is a one-way ticket to the asylum.

For simulation - if you mean HDL simulation - you can use GHDL, Icarus 
Verilog, GPL Cver and Verilator. They are pretty good and can completely 
replace Modelsim in most projects.

For analog circuit simulations, there is Berkeley Spice and its derivatives 
(that you can integrate into gEDA and Kicad) but I have never tried them on a 
serious circuit.


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