Autodesk EAGLE is a PC software package that designs printed circuit boards (PCB). It contains a complete set of PCB layout and schematic editing tools, library content and community-driven features – ultimately helping you to get custom PCBs manufactured.
At the time of discovery (and writing this), Autodesk EAGLE was already on version 8.3.2. For me, with a bit of encouragement from Ben Heck and help from Jeremy Blum, the software was quite easy to get into. I managed to build and export my own first prototype in less than two days.
Autodesk EAGLE is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It is currently available in 3 packages:
- Premium (U$65/month): Includes 999 schematic sheets, 16 signal layers, and unlimited board areas
- Standard (U$15/month): Includes 99 schematic sheets, 4 signal layers, and 160×160 cm board area
- Free (download)
Autodesk EAGLE free version
The Autodesk EAGLE free version is fully functional, but only includes 2 schematic sheets, 2 signal layers and a 80×80 cm board area. All the necessary layers, e.g. top, bottom, silk-screen, hole layers, are still available allowing for a fully functional, single and/or double sided PCB design – perfect for students and electronic hobbyists for non-commercial use.
Useful features for beginners
Autodesk EAGLE makes the process of PCB design fairly simple. PCB creation starts after creating a new project directory where all the files are going to be stored.
PCB designs start off by using the Schematic editor where all the components are placed in a literal way and wired/linked together.
The components/parts are selectible from build-in and downloadable Libraries wherafter it is exported to the Board editor.
By using components from a Library, Autodesk EAGLE also has the ability to export part lists which can link to various online electronic supplier websites for ordering. As far as I know, there are no South African websites available.
The Board editor uses links from Schematic editor. Board dimensions, and silk-screens can be added and changed in this view. The Board editor also makes it easy to switch between layers to make sure each of them are perfect.
Upon completion of the PCB, it can be exported to various formats, including the very popular Gerber file format(s). From the Board editor, different layers can also be saved as PDF files for printing and the making of custom PCBs.
It took me some time to make the leap into PCB development, but everyone needs to start somewhere. Thus far, Autodesk EAGLE is a great piece of software perfect electronic hobbyists like myself.
Save, share & Disqus
Comment via Disqus
More microelectronics related posts
21 September 2018
Fiverr is the world’s largest freelance services marketplace for entrepreneurs to focus on growth & create a successful business at affordable costs.
18 September 2018
When using the Arduino IDE to program Arduino or Arduino-like microcontrollers, there are 4 basic sections that each sketch should have. They are the comment section, the library import section, the setup section and the loop section.
22 June 2018
The ESP8266 community created an add-on for the Arduino IDE that allows Arduino-like (C or C++) programming to be uploaded/flashed as software for the ESP8266 microcontroller.
5 June 2018
UART (universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter) is a communication interface used between two microcontrollers. Data signals are transferred using two lines, one for transmitting signals (Tx) and one for receiving signals (Rx).
5 June 2018
The FTDI USB to TTL serial converter module is an UART (universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter) board used for TTL serial communication. It is a breakout board for the FTDI FT232R chip with an USB interface, can use 3.3 or 5 V DC and has Tx/Rx and other breakout points.
2 June 2018
The serial port is a connection port through which data transfers in or out one bit at a time. Data signals are transferred using two lines, one for transmitting signals (Tx) and one for receiving signals (Rx).