CircuitMaker is the 1st free PCB tool I have encountered that has features of a professional design tool. A tool that is backed by people who know EDA means that we can finally have something for those of us who want to get things done without being obstructed by complicated installation, a horrible user interface or a mess of a library system.
Couple this with that fact that making is also about collaborating and sharing. The folks at CircuitMaker have unique vision about creating a platform, not just a barebones tool for those who aspire to be “mad engineers”. POWERFUL ECAD FOR OPEN SOURCE HARDWARE We think you deserve better design tools, made specifically for you, to turn great ideas into reality. That’s why we’ve created CircuitMaker. Besides being a collaborative community for electronic design content, CircuitMaker is Schematic & PCB design software, built upon Altium Designer technology. With a streamlined interface and powerful engine to boot, you’ll never have to worry about your software holding you back. This is a free design tool unlike anything you’ve seen before.
UNLIMITED & FREE Typically, free EDA software is poorly developed, or has restrictions on design size that render it useless for any real project. Not CircuitMaker - you get the full power of 16 signal + 16 plane layers, and no restrictions to the PCB dimensions.
You can even make money with your designs, because there’s no “non-commercial” clause!. MASSIVE, RICH COMPONENT LIBRARY CirucitMaker is built on a community library with hundreds of thousands of components - all backed by the awesome Octopart database.
Placing components in CircuitMaker designs is as easy as searching by manufacturer part number or by design parameters. You can also add your own custom parts and mechanical components too. SHARE & COLLABORATE You can create projects with teams in the CircuitMaker Community, and allow other community members to work with you on the design. Harness the power of teams to get projects done faster! Released designs can be forked and then modified so you can build new designs with different features without having to start from scratch every time. NATIVE 3D™ Altium Native 3D™ technology means that when you’re in the PCB editor, just hit the 3 key and you can immediately see the PCB layout in full 3D.
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It will also show any component clearance violations and you’ll even know what the overlap distances are, so you can get your designs right - and to fit the box - the first time. ONE-CLICK MANUFACTURING Once you have finished your design, you can release the project to the community. From there you can download the gerbers and send them off to any PCB manufacturer. But even easier than that, we’ve partnered with select manufacturers to provide a one-click manufacture button that can directly send your board for quoting - either bare board prototype or full PCB fabrication and assembly, at the best possible price. It’s up to you!.
PUSH-N-SHOVE ROUTING For a tool we’re giving away for free, we did not hold back on the push and shove routing capabilities! The interactive routing modes include obstacle avoidance, hug, hug-n-push, and obstacle ignore. The push modes will push other trace and vias, as well as hop-over. You can even route differential pairs and interactively add accordions to nets that need that extra length for signal delays.
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MULTI-SHEET SCHEMATIC EDITOR CircuitMaker uses the same easy-to-use and great looking schematic editor Altium is known for. You can even do complex multi-sheet designs, and use hierarchical design blocks, and generate SmartPDF™ outputs from your project. TOPOLOGICAL AUTOROUTER The Situs™ topological autorouter works in concert with your design rules to help you get the board done fast. With BGA and SMT fanout, parallel memory, hug, and via optimization, it’s easy to use Situs to get working results really fast. You can also interactively route multi-nets or single nets, or use manual routing with auto-complete. DRC/DFM VALIDATED OUTPUTS When you’re ready to turn your design into a real board, CircuitMaker will generate industry standard CAM outputs. You can choose Gerber and NC Drill, or ODB, or both.
IPC test point reports and all other necessary outputs for professional manufacturing can be generated as well, and all this through a succinct release process that ensures your board passes design rules checks for DFM and assembly. IMPORT DESIGNS FROM OTHER TOOLS CircuitMaker comes with a huge set of importers, including OrCAD™, PCAD®, PADS®, EAGLE™, Protel and more - so starting your project from a manufacturer reference design is easy. The importers support both PCB and Schematic documents.