5 Free PCB Design Software Tools
There are quite a few free easy to learn PCB design and schematic editor software tools available. Here are five of them. These are better suited to small, simple designs. These do not offer a 3D viewer or circuit simulation. For more complex designs, read our article on Which PCB Design Software is the Best.
- TinyCAD is an open source program for drawing circuit diagrams which runs under Windows. TinyCAD is now over 20 years old. Over the years it has been developed by several authors, and if you wish, you too can contribute to the TinyCAD project, through updating the documentation, supplying help to other users, uploading library symbols and of course contributing new source code.
- ExpressPCB has been a free PCB layout and design software for over 20 years, used by engineers, electronic designers, students and hobbyists. ExpressPCB has helped create designs to explore the bottom of the ocean, outer space and everywhere in between. Design-Build-Manufacture…. all in one tool. ExpressPCB is US based for both technical support and manufacturing.
- gEDA is an interactive printed circuit board editor for Unix, Linux, Windows, and Mac systems. gEDA includes a rats nest feature and schematic/netlist import, design rule checking, and can provide industry standard RS-274X (Gerber), NC drill, and centroid data (X-Y data) output for use in the board fabrication and assembly process, as well as photorealistic and design review images. gEDA offers high end features such as an autorouter and trace optimizer which can tremendously reduce layout time. For custom requirements, gEDA offers a plug-in API for inserting new functionality and using that functionality from within the GUI as well as in scripts.
- Fritzing makes electronics accessible as a creative material for anyone. We offer a software tool, a community website and services in the spirit of fostering a creative ecosystem that allows users to teach electronics in a classroom, and layout and manufacture professional PCBs.
- EasyEDA is an online-based PCB design tool. It allows you to design your schematics and PCB without having to download and install any software on your computer. You get to work on your designs online using a web browser. If you have used a PC-based PCB design tool before and enjoyed its vast array of features, you may wonder if a web-based design tool matches up to it. Well, surprisingly enough it does. There are many things about EasyEDA that make it the perfect tool for your PCB design needs.