Build Modern PCBs With the Top PCB Design Software
Most PCB design packages claim to be integrated, but the features they offer are segmented into separate interfaces and have inconsistent workflows. The best PCB design software places all your tools in one interface without trapping you behind a paywall. If you’re tired of feeling like you’ve been bamboozled by other PCB design software companies, then it’s time to try Altium Designer, the only design platform that unifies critical design features in a single interface.
TOPICS IN THIS SOLUTION
A fully unified PCB design package with the best design tools.
At some point, everyone has bought the bargain tool or product just to save some extra money. Shortly afterwards, that hunk of plastic you bought breaks and you have to buy go replace it, banging your head on the steering while as you drive back to the retailer. Instead of skimping on design features just to save a small amount of money, you’ll find that you’re better off in the long run if you invest in the best PCB design features all in one package.
There are many freemium and freeware PCB design programs available online. Different programs from the same developers segregate features into separate interfaces, and no single program offers you all of the functionality you need in a single package. If you’re trying to take advantage of features in multiple programs, you’ll be sorely disappointed when file formats are incompatible, and you’ll be unable to send data between programs.
In the best case scenario, you might be able to cobble together a rigid workflow that operates within multiple programs, and hopefully you can overcome incompatibilities between design programs. This creates a major drag on your design productivity as you engage in a continuous fight trying to get your design features to work together. Instead, make the investment in a program that provides an integrated working environment, where all your features are included in a single interface.
Creating the best PCBs in a reasonable timeframe takes tools that are designed to work together, allowing you to pass data between tools with minimal headache. Tools that use a consistent data format and unified workflow help you create the best PCBs without being blocked by a paywall or hindered by communication errors between separate tools.
The underlying design engine in your PCB design software makes a huge difference when navigating between multiple tools. You’ll need software that includes standard design rules for any PCB and allows you to customize new and existing design rules for your application. A powerful design rules engine will facilitate communication between your design tools, component libraries, and manufacturer deliverable tools, ensuring that your board performs as intended.
Your PCB designing software should have the basics such as easy transitioning between schematic capture and PCB layout, components management processes and component library tools, simulation, design rule check, and globally accessible PCB footprints. However, this shouldn’t excuse a PCB designer from wanting an easy to learn user interface or a design tool they trust to have more than just the key features to get their electronic circuits printed.
Use the Best Design Software to Build the Best PCBs
The best PCB design software helps you build the latest and greatest PCBs for any application. When your critical design features are integrated into a single interface, you’ll save time and energy navigating between features. The best design software builds these features into a single interface with consistent workflow, making it easy for your tools to access design data and provide critical functionality.
- Price and value are not the same thing, and you’ll need to determine the tradeoff between cheap design software and lost productivity.
Learn more about the costs of sub-standard design software.
- Design rule checking is extremely important in complex devices. This simple-sounding process is critical to ensuring your electronic device works as designed.
Learn more about the role of design rule checking in your design software.
- Design verification takes more than rules checking, it takes an easy-to-read interface for identifying and reporting errors in your design.
Schematic and layout features in Altium Designer
Modern PCB design can be a complicated task, but your PCB design software doesn’t need to complicate your workflow. Other design platforms separate critical features into separate interfaces and enforce different workflows in different programs. Duplicate features have inconsistent functionality, forcing you to relearn that tool you mastered in a different interface. You’re forced to use an ad-hoc design workflow when using these software packages.
Moving a circuit from schematic capture to PCB layout within your PCB editor shouldn’t cause you to worry about mistranslations or potential errors. You should be able to trust your PCB design tool to get your electronic design accurately displayed with pins, proper board size, all necessary components and even have smart potential simulations.
A unified design platform links your features together based on a consistent data format with universal design rules. Rules-checking features ensure that your design meets your critical application requirements and saves you from producing malfunctioning boards. Sub-standard design software might claim to be unified, but these other platforms segment features into separate interfaces.
Communication Between Design Rules and Design Rules
Meeting tomorrow’s layout challenges with ease requires building PCBs according to specific design rules. These design rules ensure that your next PCB works as intended and can meet basic industry standards. Building high speed devices, HDI boards, wireless devices, and boards based on unique materials takes tools that communicate directly with critical design rules and that make error correction quick and easy.
Once you finish your initial schematic, you’ll need to route traces around your board and place components in key locations. Advanced automated routing tools help save time when building up your PCB, and these tools should function by interfacing directly with your design rules. You’ll be able to overcome any layout challenge when you take advantage of tools that are built on working within design rules. The only PCB software that can give you these capabilities is an integrated design package that works within a unified interface.
- Modern PCB design requires overcoming a number of layout challenges. Designing PCBs for modern applications requires using design tools that are adaptable to any application.
Learn more about meeting and beating modern PCB layout challenges.
- Checking your design against standard and custom design rules helps you avoid disaster from malfunctioning boards and failed production runs.
- PCB design is about more than just electrical design. You’ll need to account for mechanical constraints on your board packaging, especially with multi-board and rigid-flex design.
Error reporting in Altium Designer
Once you finish your design and start planning for production, you’ll need to start generating deliverables for your manufacturer based on your design data. The best PCB design software places these features in a single interface. Online and free design tools for bills of materials, Gerber files, and other deliverables require that you export and import your design between programs. This hampers your workflow and creates the potential for errors, and your tools may not even be able to share data.
Instead of guessing at compatibility between design tools, a design platform that is built on a universal design engine ensures all your design and deliverable generation tools can interface with your PCB data. This consistent communication between all your tools allows them to be integrated into a single interface.
Don’t waste time distrusting your PCB layout and schematic capture options. If you’re designing a circuit board you want to make sure that it can end up a printed circuit board whenever you send out a design schematic through your PCB layout tool output files. Circuit and electronics design should be made easier by your PCB designing software.
Altium Designer Helps You Build the Best PCBs
Only Altium Designer beautifully weaves all of these critical design and deliverable generation tools together into a single, intuitive software platform. Other tools force you to move between separate design tools, despite claims of unification. Instead of cobbling together multiple programs that claim to offer consistent workflow, try working with the only software that gives you access to all the design tools you need in a single design platform.
- Working in a unified environment is the best way to enhance productivity and prevent design errors.
- Designing a new PCB is all about building a schematic. Working in a unified environment allows easy communication between your schematic tools, design rules, and component information.
Learn more about unified schematic design in Altium Designer.
- Design release management tools ensure consistent collaboration within your organization and helps you properly communicate your design intent to manufacturers.
Learn more about design release management in Altium Designer.
Altium Designer packages all your critical design features in an intuitive interface with a single design engine. Altium has 30 years of experience dedicated to developing PCB design software and has set a new standard in PCB design software. You can watch your next design come to life without the headache of using multiple programs. Instead, try using the only design platform that integrates your design tools into a single environment.
The design environment in Altium Designer might seem unfamiliar at first glance. Thankfully, Altium gives you access to all the resources you need to design successfully. You’ll have access to the AltiumLive forum, podcasts and webinars from industry experts, and a thorough knowledge base with plenty of useful examples.
All of ysour critical design tools need to work together If you want to save time when designing your next PCB. The tools in Altium Designer are built to work together using a rules-driven design engine, and all of your critical design tools are placed in a single interface. Don’t take the easy way out and use online design tools that claim to offer integration. It’s time to try the best PCB design software: try Altium Designer.