Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 21, 2010

DesignSpark PCB – Free PCB Design Software

at 11:53 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Next time you are designing a PCB you might want to try the new kid on the block. DesignSpark PCB is a free PCB design tool from RS. I am currently using Eagle for my PCB designs but I think this software is good enough to give a try on the next design. I still remember making my first design many years ago with Express PCB, I was surprised that they gave away their fully functional software for free but after the project was complete I found their profit motive. With Express PCB you can’t generate anything that a normal board house can use so you are stuck with getting Express PCB to manufacturer your boards. This didn’t matter to me since I was just printing the image to iron it to a piece of copper clad board anyway.

It sounds like DesignSpark PCB will always be free and it can produce files that can be taken anywhere for production. I am assuming that the parts list that the software produces will reference parts from the RS system which is no big deal. All in all I think this might be a winner and I can see this becoming the new hobbyist standard.

Via: Dangerous Prototypes and Adafruit


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14 Responses to “DesignSpark PCB – Free PCB Design Software”

  1. Eric Says:

    No Linux version …?

  2. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Eric,

    No Linux or Mac version yet. I could see both coming in the future though.

  3. Taniwha Says:

    yup lack of Linux support is a deal-killer for us – and in general a deal killer for open-hardware designs – back to Eagle

  4. GeneralFault Says:

    I’ve been a fan of KiCad for a while now. And as the name implys, there is a Linux version. Has anybody used both of these? How do they compare?

  5. Scott Says:

    I’m downloading and installing.
    I would REALLY like to hear from some Eagle users how this product compares and if it’s an easy transition.

  6. luki Says:

    Free or open?

  7. Alan Parekh Says:

    Free yes, open no.

  8. UltraMagnus Says:

    not free, only no cost.

  9. Alan Parekh Says:

    Not free, only 4 monthly payments of $0.00

  10. Electronics-Lab.com Blog » Blog Archive » DesignSpark PCB – Free PCB Design Software Says:

    […] DesignSpark PCB is a free PCB design tool from RS. It has no limitation on board size, layouts, pin count etc. It is able to be used for schematic capture and for generation of manufacturing files. It’s support multi page schematic capture, gerber ouput so you can manufacture the PCB on your favorite vendor. Find more details on the link below. [via] […]

  11. Bill Says:

    FWIW, It installed under Wine on my MacBook Pro. Haven’t done any extensive testing, but it launches and runs.

  12. mike Says:

    I use KiCad and Sierra circuits for manufacturing my boards, and will check this out.

  13. Richard Lawson Says:

    I am using expressPCB for my PCB prototyping. Is there any algorithm to move with Designspark from ExpressPCB?

  14. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Richard, I don’t think there is.

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