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jdking
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Re: Can design productivity be free?
jdking   7/1/2014 12:55:50 PM
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Although an old thread, someone earlier mentioned PCB123 as an option that fits in all of the categories. I've done some home projects that used their software and think it is certainly a great addition to this list.

I would like to add that creating a footprint is especially easy, less than 5 minutes from scratch for a part that has 1-20 pins. You can do multi layer boards (more than 2), the turnaround from the manufacturer is quick and if you don't need cutouts or anything really special for a two layer board it may only cost $50 (1-2 small boards) to turn something out with shipping. 

You can also get the gerbers from them :)

 

 

Guy.F
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Rookie
Re: Tango PCB & Tango SCH
Guy.F   11/2/2013 6:21:05 PM
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Both Tango PCB & Tango SCH run within Windows 7 Pro using DOSBox. Print your schematics as PS and open them in SumatraPDF to print or view in Windows.

Aeroengineer
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Blogger
Re: Can design productivity be free?
Aeroengineer   11/1/2013 7:53:43 PM
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Yeah, that is the frustrating thing is that you may have thought that you did everything necessary to change the part, but then later you find that you missed one, or it just did not work.

TonyTib
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CEO
Re: How good are PCB 3D models?
TonyTib   11/1/2013 6:53:25 PM
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Thanks for the info.

That doesn't make sense for us; our machines are pretty small, and I'm working on replacing discrete wires (typically running in wire duct) with standard or easy to make cables connecting to custom PCBs.

docdivakar
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CEO
Re: How good are PCB 3D models?
docdivakar   10/31/2013 9:09:23 PM
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@TonyTib  Sorry for the late reponse... Harness pro3D with upto 100wires in the cable costs ~$6K, the CAD translator for multiple CAD formats is another $500.

You are accurate about ePlan's application mostly in the control panel designs; it is almost unheard of in PCB design community.

MP Divakar

elizabethsimon
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CEO
Re: Can design productivity be free?
elizabethsimon   10/31/2013 4:59:23 PM
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I guess i was lucky that the part I had to change the footprint on was the only one on the board. And at that it took a couple tries to get it to take...

zeeglen
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Blogger
Re: TinyCad and FreePCB, a pair of elegant PCB tools.
zeeglen   10/31/2013 3:40:47 PM
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@VBH "I like the fact that you can use color in your symbols to create visually meaningful circuit designs. "


Agree, this is a very nice feature of TinyCAD.  Makes it easy to find your way around a very dense schematic by adding color and wide line width to wires, and the "find text string" feature is very useful for locating signal names and reference designators.  Circuit functions can be explained to others through signal highlighting in various colors, even logic states (red = HI, blue = LO, dotted = pulse) can be shown directly on the schematic wires and used to decode gate outputs.


Another nice feature is the rulers which help with simple mechanical scale drawings.  Which I do find disappointing is that when an object is created using shapes (lines, arcs, circles, rectangles) there is no "group" function that combines the shapes together - the object can only be moved/copied/flipped/rotated by first drawing a box around it.  Maybe this feature could be added by the ongoing support team.


antedeluvian
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Blogger
Re: Electical CAD
antedeluvian   10/31/2013 3:25:03 PM
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Tony

Thanks very much. I will look into them

Aeroengineer
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Can design productivity be free?
Aeroengineer   10/31/2013 2:36:06 PM
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This is true, but if you ever update a component footprint or silkscreen, have fun getting that propagated all the way through including all the instances of that part.  Coming from a Mechanical background, something like this would be considered completely unacceptable. 

TonyTib
User Rank
CEO
Re: Electical CAD
TonyTib   10/31/2013 2:29:49 PM
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Aaargh!!!!!


The machine schematic sector is full of very expensive tools.  We used to use Via Wiring Diagram (which was bought by AutoDesk & become AutoCAD Electrical, now about $5K), but felt it wasn't worth it to keep up with the various yearly fees.  Then our licensing server died and we moved to Win7-64, so Via WD is now dead and I've spent too much time looking at solutions.

Unless your schematic is really simple, I don't recommend using straight 2D CAD (AutoCAD or its clones, etc).


I took a look at using Eagle PCB schematic editor and quickly decided it wasn't a good fit.

Of the expensive vendors, I was most impressed with IGE+XAO and Aucotec Engineering Base; both are ~$3K for the limited entry level package + annual maintenance.  However, we're very likely to move to Radica Electra, which is ~$1K with free support (no annual maintenance) -- I haven't had time to do my "due diligience" first (download the trial version and make sure it works for us).


Other affordable / semi-affordable schematic products I found included Elwin (29 euro), CADprofi (400 euro & up + AutoCAD clone), PC Schematic (limited free version), and WS-CAD (looks like ~$1K and up, plus annual maintenance) .  They weren't good matches for us, but they might work for you.

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