A new PCB design web application was released this last week called PCBWeb. The website states that PCBWeb is a free browser-based CAD application for designing and manufacturing electronics hardware. The tool is currently released in BETA and allows you to create a schematic, full circuit board layout, and then export to gerber format for manufacturing. The application is supported on Windows and Mac using Silverlight.
- Multi-sheet schematics
- Custom Ports
- Digi-Key Part Library (+100K components with symbol and footprints)
- Cut/Copy/Past and full undo/redo
- Multi-layer board
- Support for all units (mm/inch)
- copper pour
- DRC (design rule checking)
- Gerber Export
Bill of Material Manager
- View real-time pricing
- Order Links
PCBWeb – Free Online PCB Design Software - [Link]
Texas Instruments has announced the introduction of the PowerLab Reference Design Library, a collection of power management reference designs. The reference designs include relevant technical documentation, such as circuit schematics, printed circuit board layouts, lists of components and materials, Gerber files, and other design support tools.
The library holds more than 300 power management reference designs for a variety of both isolated and non-isolated power conversion topologies suitable for lighting, telecommunication, computing and consumer electronics applications.
An interactive search tool is available on the website and new designs will be added to the database each month. [via]
Power Management Design Library Opens its Doors - [Link]
PowerEsim- Free on-line switch mode power supply SMPS, circuit and transformer design, calculation, simulation software. More than 100 circuits and topologies are available with real constructed transformer.
It provides a virtual laboratory environment for users to wind and place every single turn of a transformer, and with the help of tens of thousands real modeled component on the market, user can simple pick and place the real component and stuff into the circuit, within a fraction of a second, our server will immediately return the result to the user. It is even faster than modifying prototype in real environment, and more than that is no worry of getting explosion of the prototype on real bench. It is Better than real.
PowerEsim – Free SMPS Switching Power Supply / Transformer Design Software - [Link]
For the first time, hardware can be collaborative in real time! Work on a design with your team, in real time! See what they are editing while you edit! Sign up for free to give it a try! Exclamation mark!
Michael Woodworth writes:
Add your team by username or email to invite them to work with you on your design. It has never been easier to add people to your design!
And while we were at it, we thought that we should give the project pages a face lift! So we called on our design surgeon to give us the great new look that you can see here.
Plus, we’ve added a ton of awesome features that you should know about!
- Favouriting parts: We are making it easier to find parts that you know and like to use. Search will be taking this into account when you are logged in. I can’t wait to see my favourites skyrocket to top of search!
- Tutorials: We’ve created a tutorial section to help you navigate the site and use our features.
- Easier part creation: Introducing mouseless part creation! When editing pins on a part, just press enter to save it and go to the next pin, all the way around the part.
- Fork with history: Design history is now copied when you fork a design. Try forking one of our featured designs. And while you’re at it, take a look at the project fork list on the project page.
- Gravatars: We’ve hooked up your profiles to Gravatar. If you didn’t have a Gravatar, you get a little robot!
Increased tool stability: We’ve been busy making lots of improvements to the schematic capture tool, to increase its stability and help us track down bugs in the future.
- Netlist and export fixes: Some designs would not export netlists or to our open JSON format, but we’ve been good little beavers and this has been fixed.
- Now with more exclamation marks!
Upverter.com – Real-Time Collaboration & Shared Designs - [Link]
Now includes an interface to design simulators, enhanced circuit-element grouping capability and design calculators – [via]
RS Components (RS), on November 7 unveiled Version 3 of DesignSpark PCB, the company’s free professional standard PCB design software, used by professional designers, hobbyists and students.
Developed by RS, in conjunction with Number One Systems, the latest version of DesignSpark PCB provides extra functionality and enables the PCB design software to be used with Spice simulation tools from several major manufacturers. In addition to the tool’s new simulation interface, Version 3 includes enhancements such as component and circuit element grouping, and design calculators, which model circuit performance characteristics.
“The success of DesignSpark PCB, the world’s most powerful free PCB design tool, is unparalleled in our industry,” said Mark Cundle, Technical Marketing Manager at RS Components. “The release of the third version of this award-winning software clearly demonstrates the commitment from RS to continually improve this highly successful product. We promise to carry on supporting DesignSpark PCB and continue to make it available free-of-charge to users. We’ve gathered feedback from engineers through our fast-growing DesignSpark community to integrate the new features they’ve requested in Version 3,” added Cundle. “Additionally, the tool is fully functional – with no limitations or locked features – and is well suited to commercial use, which is not always the case with some free tools.”
DesignSpark PCB design software upgraded to version 3 - [Link]
Tinkercad – Design physical things in your browser – [via]
Have your first 3D project ready for printing in minutes. Tinkercad is a new and faster way of creating designs for your 3D printer. With the help of the latest web technology you can now use a solid modeling CAD directly in your browser.
The user interface is designed to get things done fast and to be quick to learn. With only three basic tools you can create a wide range of useful things. Once your project is ready simply download the STL file and start your 3D print.
Tinkercad – Design physical things in your browser - [Link]
Upverter – A new tool for open-source hardware… [via]
Open-source software communities have myriad tools for writing code together and sharing it all over the place…
Enter Upverter, which handily makes hardware design free, open, web-based and collaborative.
Upverter – A new tool for open-source hardware… – [Link]
Electronics design engineers across the globe are burdened with lengthy and disparate design processes – from concept to pre-production – all-while balancing the need to bring products to market faster. In short, the ability to save hundreds of hours in the design process is critical to advancing designs.
As part of an ongoing effort to better understand the needs of design engineers, element14 today unveiled findings from a global study conducted by TFI looking at the critical challenges throughout the design process. The study revealed several pain points – increasing time pressures, incomplete/inaccurate information from relevant sources, and difficulty comparing options. Additional findings include:
- Over 70% of design engineers rely heavily on online forums, blogs and engineering communities
- Engineers spend about 50% of their research time online
- A majority of respondents cited the earlier stages of design as the most challenging (consuming an average of 41% of design time)
“Design with Efficiency: Toward a Streamlined Process for Electronics-Industry Design Engineers” - [Link]
A competition is running on element14 community. The “Summer of Design” competition revolves around programming an accelerometer and MCU based development board to find an innovative application.
We are giving away 100 free XL_Star boards to the first 100 entrants to the competition, and offering up a prize bundle as follows:
- -A trip to a Freescale Competency Centre
- -CadSoft EAGLE licenses (either for the individual, or a whole department if they are a student)
- -£250 Farnell/Newark vouchers
- -Inclusion in our “road-tests”
The competition is open to anyone over the age of 18 and runs until September.
Summer of Design competition – see your design excel, win amazing prizes! - [Link]
Since the widespread commercial use of the transistor, electronics minded people have assembled their circuits on a printed circuit board (PCB). Even if the circuits are increasingly complex, PCB design is actually becoming easier thanks to the availability of efficient design tools in the CAD realms. Whereas ten years ago CAD software to accomplish serious PCB design was beyond the reach of many, today you can download some of these tools for free on the internet. Often these tools are free but with limitations of some kind in terms of board size, number of components or file exporting. By contrast, a recently launched product called DesignSpark PCB has no restrictions, says the supplier RS Components. [via]