Top PCB Design Software To Design Electronics

Well, Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design software is an excellent method for creating high-quality designs efficiently and without errors. Electronic engineers and designers would have a lot of trouble designing everything from scratch, assembling it, and waiting for design approvals if the software weren’t available. PCB software will expedite your work and increase productivity, unlike manual methods that require much time, effort, and resources.

Also, you need not worry about the dangers of errors that waste time and delay production. Instead, you can design with speed and precision using PCB software. Therefore, when you want to use PCB design software, plenty are on the market, making it difficult to choose what would be best for your requirements. We have enumerated some of the best PCB software available on the market. Have a peek!

What Are PCBs?

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are sandwich structures composed of insulating and conducting layers that are laminated and sandwiched together. It is a circuit board that connects various electrical components and forms an electric circuit to power your electronic device. PCBs are used in the majority of electronic devices as their construction elements. They serve two primary functions.

  • Through soldering, assemble electronic components in their designated locations on outer layers.
  • To allow electronic connections between terminals of components.

To provide electrical connections, conductive layers are designed using conductors. Vias, electrical connections between various copper layers, are added through a separate process. PCBs support various electronic components mechanically with the help of conductive pads designed to receive component terminals and electrically connect them using planes, traces, and other features.

What’s PCB Design Software?

Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design refers to designing PCB components, assembling them, and routing them to create electrical connections on a circuit board to power electronic circuits. And the software that can help you accomplish this is PCB design software. Several features of PCB software include.

  • Schematic editor that helps you assemble and edit electrical objects, components, graphical objects, etc., on schematic pages.
  • 3D visualization and 2D schematics of a printed circuit board help you easily visualize your design, identify errors, and edit components. In a nutshell, they work as circuit designers to bring the design to life.
  • Autorouting is the process of autonomously connecting various points on a PCB to enable an electrical connection.
  • Design rule checking with the help of different tools to identify design defects and violations (based on industry or company standards) that can lead to problems with power, signals, EMC, etc.
  • Collaboration features help multiple designers work on a design in real-time, make adjustments, add remarks, provide feedback, etc.

Creating a PCB requires multiple stages.

  • Component Placement – You can begin designing a PCB by transforming a schematic PCM diagram into a physical circuit board. You will need problem-solving skills to assemble the components in the correct locations.
  • Routing – Routing is the process of establishing an electrical connection between the various components on your PCB layout. Because each circuit board’s routing is unique, each board is distinct.
  • Integration – You must now integrate ECAD and MCAD software, such as Eagle, Fusion 360, etc. It will help you share your design with your mechanical engineers, who will determine if it will fit the physical layout.

Why Do You Require PCB Design Software?

The mechanical structure of a PCB may comprise complex components. Therefore, PCB design software helps you make the PCB design process simpler, quicker, more cost-effective, and more effective. Let’s examine in depth the benefits of PCB design software.

Saves Time

As you must consider designing, assembling, and electrical connections from the beginning, designing everything from scratch requires a lot of time and effort. However, you can speed up the design process using PCB design software by selecting one of the included pre-made designs. For your design needs, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can expedite product delivery by saving you a lot of time when designing.

Easy Process

Using specialized software to help designers of PCBs create high-quality designs is simple. As opposed to doing everything manually, they can use the software’s numerous features in their designs. It reduces their burdens and frees their time to devote to other innovative work.

Easy To Test Design Performance

Creating a PCB layout is not the final step for designers. Engineers will perform a test to verify the efficacy and viability of the PCB designs during this phase of the design process. And verifying PCB designs manually is tedious, laborious, and time-consuming. It may also involve inaccuracies that result in severe design defects and diminish the quality of the final product. Using PCB design software will make it easy to virtually test your design’s efficacy, durability, and viability in a given environment. It will help you detect problems and errors in your designs with greater speed and precision. As a result, you can improve the design and manufacture a high-quality product from your firm design.

Better Visibility

Manual methods may need more adequate to provide additional PCB design details. This may cause you to overlook something or make errors. If you use PCB software, however, you gain access to magnificent features such as 3D visualization, which allows you to check your design from every angle. It will provide a comprehensive view of your design’s finer details, making it easy to detect errors.


Manually creating a PCB design, assembling the components, establishing electrical connections, verifying the design, and manufacturing a product may require longer turnaround times. Time and workforce, machinery, power, and money are all required for each process. And if you modify your design, the overall cost increases even further. PCB design software is a cost-effective method enabling you to perform all processes rapidly while conserving time and resources. Additionally, it is easy to modify the design at any stage and make rapid adjustments in the software.

PCB Design Software Applications

PCB design software helps improve the design layout, including trace routing, component alignment, and rule testing, among other things. These capabilities help you improve the quality of your PCB design, resulting in high-quality printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing. Electronic engineers from corporations, freelance engineers, engineer entrepreneurs, and electronic enthusiasts use PCB design software for a variety of purposes. The applications of PCB design software include the following.

  • 3D Component Visualization – PCB design software can be used to detect defective components interfering with an electrical circuit. Possible impossibility with 2D software. By identifying problems early on and resolving them, you can prevent the design from entering the production pipeline or wasting time and resources.
  • Layer Structure Visualization – Using PCB design software, you can visualize the layer structure of your PCB design. It helps you create a single, dual, or multi-player printed circuit board based on your specifications.

Let’s now discuss the most popular PCB Design software on the market.

Top PCB Design Software

As we curated, the best PCB Design Software is listed below.


PCB Design Software

KiCAD EDA is an open source, cross-platform platform for electronic design automation. KiCAD’s schematic editor supports both simple and complex schematic designs. It will help you create symbols or choose from the official library’s thousands of options. After completing your design, verify it using an integrated electrical rules validator and SPICE simulator. Even if you’re new to designing, its PCB software is easy enough to make edits. In addition, it is a potent tool for creating intricate designs.

The enhanced visualization, selection tools, and interactive router simplify layout duties. Its 3D Viewer allows you to check the mechanical fit and preview the finished product. In addition, KiCad EDA has a built-in raytracer and illumination options that can be customized, allowing you to create realistic images and share them with your collaborators or teams to demonstrate your work. Additionally, this software supports numerous operating systems, including Ubuntu, macOS, Windows, Debian, Arch Linux, FreeBSD, Fedora, etc. Download the free version and begin designing immediately.

2. Altium DesignerPCB Design Software

Get the most potent and user-friendly PCB design software, Altium Power. Its design environment enables engineers to observe every stage of the design process, from ideation and brainstorming to PCB layout, documentation, and manufacturing. Engineers will enjoy working with the design tools and delivering higher-quality products from the same user-friendly environment. You can create a unified model that can serve as the central model for manipulating the data within the model (layout, schematic, simulation).

Altium Designer is compatible with SOLIDWORKS, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Fusion 360, and PTC Creo Parametric. It is a cloud-based platform that integrates PCB design, MCAD, collaboration, and data administration. Collaborate in real-time on your design whenever you want, regardless of location, to receive feedback and work on issues immediately. All essential files can be stored in a centralized location to prevent team miscommunication and promote productivity.

In addition, you can interact with mechanical designers in 3D and photorealistic environments while working in native 3D PCB design. By collaborating with MCAD software, the software makes it easy to work with the mechanical team. As you get everything on a singular tool, it will also make you forget about transferring files between different pieces of software. Test out the design software’s desired features with a free trial. You can choose between annual and indefinite subscription periods.

3. Ultiboard

PCB Design Software

The PCB design software Ultiboard provides efficient design routing and layout in a configurable environment. Multisim is integrated into the printed circuit board design to facilitate PCB prototype development. You can use its adaptable tools to manually design and define critical board elements. Ultiboard’s automated function helps you complete your entire design rapidly. Its sophisticated design wizards, toolkit, and spreadsheet view make managing, defining, and controlling any board layout simple. In addition, forward-backward annotation assists with iteration management.

You can export industry-standard DXF and Gerber files to complete the design pipeline (schematic to layout). In addition, Ultiboard offers a variety of electronic solutions to ensure that you are never left behind when designing and manufacturing electronic components. Choose the edition of the software to define the license term, duration, and delivery method, and then purchase the subscription. It supports the English language as well as the Windows operating system.

4. Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is an integrated engineering, design, manufacturing, and electronics platform. It is a cloud-based platform for performing PCB designs, CAD, CAE, CAM, and 3D modeling. It provides the products or tools you need to ensure functionality, fit, form, and, most importantly, aesthetics. Check your design impact after PCB design by assuring manufacturability using generative design tools and simulation. You can modify the model’s components and existing features using the incorporated CAD and CAM software tools. When you use the software, you can sense its flexibility, which enables you to generate high-quality products effortlessly. Avoid using manual electronic workflows and interchange file formats; with Fusion 360, you’ll never have to work harder to obtain a complete and error-free product.

Full-featured PCB design, schematic capture, and mechanical CAD provide you with the tools required to create reliable designs. You can also check your designs’ efficacy with simulation software and test your designs before manufacturing. Fusion 360 provides CAD-ready geometry, so you do not have to start from scratch when designing. You can generate geometry by providing inputs for parameters, materials, manufacturing methods, and cost constraints. Do not allow time zones, reviews, or locations to prolong production. Instead, observe all designs and data in a single data management software. They offer three pricing options, ranging from a $42 monthly plan to a $987 three-year plan. Download the free trial if you are an entrepreneur or student.

5. DipTrace

DipTrace provides an intuitive interface so you can concentrate on projects to complete within the allotted time frame. This PCB design software offers desirable features, including differential routing, hierarchical schematics, ODB++ compatibility, STEP 3D, and comprehensive rules with DRC check. You can exchange data with Altium, OrCAD, 2D/3D CADs, manufacturing tools, PADS, and Eagle. It has extensive import and export capabilities, allowing you to convert your schematic to PCB and vice versa effortlessly. In addition, you can expand your design capabilities by using the shape-based router and manual routing.

PCB layout provides high-speed signals, 3D visualization, Gerber, STEP export, and more. Create and integrate components from the library of DipTrace, which also provides modification tools, an IPC-7351 pattern generator, and ready-to-use templates. Its library also includes 1,600,000 bundled components and over 10 million individual components. DipTrace permits you to examine your design at any stage of the development process. In addition, it provides 3D model generation tools and over 11,000 product models. Start with a free 30-day trial that includes all features, now available for Windows 32, 64, and macOS. If you like it, you can pay $75 for a subscription with 300 connections and two signal layers.

6. Siemens PCBflow

Based on manufacturer constraints, reduce design iterations with the secure cloud PCB DFM tool from Siemens PCBflow. It provides automated online DFM with actual data and error reports to help you understand and work more efficiently. In addition, you have the flexibility to perform multiple DFM simulations throughout the process without waiting for a manufacturer.

PCBflow is enabled by Valor NPI, and DFM is accessible to both startups and large enterprises. It is designed to conserve time and resources while delivering high-quality products. Frequent DFM analysis makes it possible to save hours and deliver the final product on time without sacrificing quality. Sign up immediately for a test drive. Choose the best subscription plan for your design requirements if you like the software.

7. OrCAD

OrCAD PCB Designer offers a comprehensive PCB design solution with its route technology and sophisticated platform. It includes technologies such as librarian tools, signal integrity, auto-routing, constraint manager, schematic capture, PCB editing, routing, and simulation of mixed-signal circuits. OrCAD’s intelligent, interactive, and automatic etch altering, and placement capabilities will maximize your productivity. In addition, the strict application integration and extensive features that ensure data integrity will speed up your design process to maximize production.

Moreover, use constraint management to ensure your design meets certain requirements based on region, pair, length criteria, etc. To create the ideal design environment for your requirements with support for STEP, IDX, and IPC-2581, you can also bridge MCAD and ECAD flows. In addition, you can readily analyze your designs to achieve your objectives using analog, constraint design flows, mixed-signal, and integrated SI. Gain free access to the complete version of the release, including OrCAD Capture CIS, OrCAD PSpice Designer, OrCAD Sigrity ERC, OrCAD PCB Designer Professional, and more.

Consider The Following:

The Bottom Line:

PCB design software can help you quickly and efficiently design your printed circuit boards quickly and efficiently, sparing you significant time and resources. Submitting only high-quality designs into the production phases will also help you check the performance of your design and correct it early on. As a result, you can manufacture printed circuit boards that are durable and dependable and perform well in electrical devices. Choose a PCB design software from the options presented above with an awareness that emergent technologies evolve and consumer needs fluctuate frequently. Thus, when selecting PCB design software, anticipate your design requirements and challenges and appreciate designing printed circuit boards!

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