Use Your Eagle Libraries and Projects in Altium Designer
Free software is great if you are just dipping your toes into PCB design, but free software doesn’t contain the functionality you need to make your product the best it can be. Instead of settling for free software that doesn’t offer support, collaboration tools, ECAD/MCAD integration, model support, or data management tools, you need the best design software package if you want to create the greatest PCBs. Altium Designer includes all these tools, and switching from free software is easy.
TOPICS IN THIS SOLUTION
A fully unified PCB design package with the best design tools in a single interface.
If you’re just getting started in the world of PCB design, or you like designing electronics as a hobby, it’s understandable if you dive into a free program or low-cost design program. You can use these programs to start learning the basic workflow in PCB design and get exposed to some design features that are standard in any PCB design program. You can also create some basic designs and use them as templates for your future projects.
If you’re a serious designer, are starting a new company, or you intend to take your next design to production, free software just won’t do the job. Features that you need to design a production-level PCB simply aren’t present in free programs. You’ll have to make up for this lack of functionality with an amalgamated mess of different tools that use different data formats and workflows.
If you’re serious about building the best production-level PCBs, or if your organization is cobbling together different tools alongside a budget PCB design package, working in a unified design environment gives you access to the best features with consistent workflow in a single interface. Altium Designer is the only PCB software package that places all of the best design features you need in a single interface and allows you to use your old projects and libraries.
A budget PCB program can help you start designing quickly, but you’ll quickly find that it lacks the features you need to build production-grade PCBs. Free design software sold as a platform usually contains inconsistent feature sets that force you to learn multiple workflows in different programs. This saps your productivity and creates compatibility errors. You’ll be able to get your basic design off paper and onto a computer screen, but not much else.
When your free design software program doesn’t include critical design features, you’re stuck finding a workaround using another design tool. You might even be forced to pull out your credit card and upgrade to a premium version of your software just to finish your next design. The real price of free software is lost time, lost productivity, and headaches that arise from inconsistent workflows and compatibility problems.
Use Your Old Libraries and Projects in the Best PCB Design Software
It’s understandable if you don’t want to sacrifice the hard work you spent on an old project. You might be able to keep using your free software by devising a complex workaround involving several programs. However, you’ll inevitably find yourself needing a feature that doesn’t exist in your free software, or you’ll be blocked from the feature you need by a paywall.
If you’re thinking about making the switch away from a free software platform and jumping into an integrated design environment, you’re probably worried that your old projects and libraries aren’t usable in your new platform. Thankfully, all your hard work won’t go to waste. Altium Designer can import your Eagle libraries and projects, and you can convert them into Altium’s data format.
- PCB design software with a low price tag costs you in lost time and productivity. You’re stuck devising difficult workarounds and managing incompatibility with other design tools.Learn more about the real cost of free design software.
- Instead of risking unnecessary errors that arise from a convoluted workflow with multiple programs, the design tools in a unified platform communicate using the same data format. This prevents errors that are common in other CAD programs.
- Eagle has been a mainstay among hobbyists and professional designers, but it’s feature set can’t hold a feather to Altium Designer.See how Eagle stacks up Altium Designer.
Design complex systems with ease in Altium Designer
Designing a modern PCB can be a complicated affair. If you’re working on your own, you’ll play the role of systems designer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and manufacturing engineer simultaneously. If you work as part of a team, multiple players will need to collaborate on your design. Everyone needs to have consistent, standardized information in an intuitive interface.
Given the complexity of modern PCBs, your CAD tools play a major role in enhancing your productivity. Legacy programs still require command line entries to execute what should be simple functions. This is an outdated way to operate CAD programs, but even new versions of time-tested CAD programs use this broken design functionality.
Streamline Design with the Best Design Tools
The best PCB design tools are easy to access, easy to use, and help make you more productive. Portions of your design can be semi-automated, helping you quickly finish basic design tasks and helping you quickly complete more advanced designs. When all these tools are integrated in a single interface, you can access all of them within a single program. You won’t have to cobble together disparate tools from multiple programs just to finish simple design tasks.
Instead of using a CAD tool with an antiquated workflow that was never intended for modern PCBs, you need to use PCB design software with the best design tools integrated in a single design environment. The CAD tools in Altium Designer are built for designing the most advanced PCBs and are easily accessible within a single program. If you decide to add extensions to the software, these extensions are still accessible within a single interface. No other design software can offer this level of accessibility.
- You don’t have to let all your hard work with cheap design software go to waste. Altium Designer includes tools that let you import and convert your designs and your libraries from other programs.Learn more about migrating from Eagle to Altium Designer.
- Command line-based design software makes it difficult to do something as simple as switching between view modes.
- PCB design is about more than just electrical design. Once you’re ready to produce your board, your design software should make it easy to generate industry-standard outputs in standardized formats.
Supply chain and library management features in Altium Designer
When you need to build your next dream device, your design software plays a major role in making it all possible. Simple tasks like defining component footprints, simulation models, and copper fill outlines shouldn’t be annoying or repetitive. Instead of working with budget software that lacks advanced CAD features and forces you to memorize command line entries, you need an intuitive interface that includes all the best design tools in one place.
When all your design tools are built into a single program, you won’t have to adopt an ad-hoc workflow with multiple programs just to accomplish simple design tasks. Only Altium Designer gives you access to the best design tools in a consistent interface, and all within a single program. These design tools are built on a rules-driven design engine, ensuring that your tools communicate using a consistent data format and preventing errors that cripple other design platforms.
Altium Designer Has All the Design Tools You Need
Everything you need to build the latest and greatest production-ready PCBs is included in Altium Designer. This platform also includes invaluable extensions that are available in a single program. Other design platforms claim to offer an integrated design environment, but you’ll still be forced to switch between programs with inconsistent, antiquated features and workflows.
Altium Designer gives you the freedom to adapt your features and workflow for your specific design application. The design rules engine lets you define customized rules and constraints, and the data management tools make sure that everyone on your team has access to the same information. If you plan to produce your board, your production deliverables are generated in a standard format that any manufacturer can use. You won’t be tied down to working with a specific manufacturer.
- The revolutionary design environment in Altium Designer places all your features in a single interface.Learn more about the unified design environment in Altium Designer.
- When all your editing tools are located in one place, you can make iterative changes to your board quickly and easily.
- You don’t have to leave your old libraries and designs behind when you switch to a new program. Altium Designer lets you import your libraries designs from other programs.Learn more about migrating from Eagle.
Altium Designer is the only PCB design platform that takes all of these tools and packs them into a single design platform with an intuitive interface. Gone are the days of switching between multiple programs and using antiquated workflows. You’ll have the power to build the latest and greatest PCBs with ease when you use the best design tools in an integrated design environment.
Switching from another program to Altium Designer might seem like a huge leap. You might be worried that the hard work you put into creating your old projects and libraries will be lost forever. But fear not, Altium Designer includes conversion tools that allow to import your old libraries and projects into Altium’s format. You’ll also have access to plenty of resources like the AltiumLive forum, podcasts and webinars from industry experts, and a knowledge base with plenty of design tips and useful examples.
You can save your time and sanity when all of your critical design tools are built to work harmoniously in a single interface. The design, management, and analysis tools in Altium Designer are built to work together within a rules-driven design engine, ensuring your next PCB will work as designed and your tools can communicate properly. Don’t settle for free design software that claims to offer an integrated design environment. Instead, invest in your future: invest in Altium Designer.