This is our FREE PCB Design Software.
Who is it for?
It is for hobbyists, students, tinkerers, whoever wants to get started in designing PCB boards.
When can be used?
You can use it for designing your school project, for education purposes, for your hobby, home projects. You can create boards at home, or use a PCB board manufacturer, as long as you don't receive payment that result from using the software.
When can't be used?
It is not for commercial use; meaning you cannot design boards or libraries that you intend to sell them: this applies to either manufactured boards, your designs or your work, for example, working as a freelancer. Please use our low priced Standard edition, instead.
What are the limits?
You will not have access to some tools that will make you more productive, for example: the footprint wizard, pin manager, etc. Also commercial use is not allowed.
You can create boards by using an unlimited number of layers.
You have an unlimited board area, as well as an unlimited number of schematic sheets or number of pins.
You also have an unlimited number of boards or schematics per project; you can have as many projects as you need in the solution, so you can create architectural designs.
Modern PCB Designer Studio - Light edition uses the same modern user interface as the Standard edition:
- The dark theme to reduce the eye fatigue
- Monochrome icons
- Being able to maximize canvas space
- IDE (Integrated Development Environment) with dockable windows
- Tool windows that are contextual with current open document (board, schematic, etc)
Schematic editor with multiple sheets
You can have an unlimited number of sheets in the schematic. Also you may have an unlimited number of schematics in the same project.
The board editor allows you to select a layer that you will work on and mask or hide any other layer for easy routing.
It allows to highlight a net and dimm the rest of the board to follow a net or for easy placement.
It supports multiple routing modes:
- Ignore obstacles
- Stop at first obstacle
You can create complex rules. They work in a such a way that you define some generic rules, then you come with specific rules that will override the previous rules defined that applies for the same item.
Here is an example: let's say you have a net called RESET that goes to your microcontroller to the reset pin. Noise, coming from crosstalk, can reset your board.
For this, you need to define some electrical clearance rules; in this example, you will define an Electrical Clearance as a generic rule that your manufacturer allows (say 10 mil); then you define another Electrical Clearance rule between this net (RESET) and another net adjacent to this (say DATA from an I2C bus) that will generate crosstalk to put some space (say 20 mil); you can also define another clearance of the same net with another net next to it (maybe GND at 15mil).
So, in our scenario, we will have a clearance of 20 mil between RESET and DATA and a clearance of 15 mil between RESET and GND. Between RESET and any other net we'll have the default of 10 mil. This is very powerfull!
You can preview your board in 3D.
You can setup what layers will generate the gerber files for that particular board. A default number of layers will be already setup. You then choose to Build all the boards in your project with one single click.
Cross-select and cross-highlight between schematic and board
If you have open both schematic and the board, and in either one of these documents (say in schematic) you select a part, then this part will also be selected in the board.
If you highlight a net in schematic it will be also be highlighted in the board. This is very awesome because it helps with the placement: you select the parts in the schematic that you intent to place on board, and you also highlight the net, at the same time, you will be able to see what parts are in what relation with what pins in the board; this will be easy for you to place the parts next to each other and rotate them accordingly.
Again, it works both ways; you can select a part in the board and will be selected in schematic; you can highlight a net in the board and will be highlighted in the schematic.
3D Model Editor
Currently, there is a simple 3D model editor where you can create a complex geometry from multiple other simple geometry (boxes, cylinders, spheres, polys, etc) by joining them together.
It is rather limited, because you cannot have boolean operations (union, intersect), or extrusions, or complex features.
However, this limitation is overcomed by the fact that you can import 3D models from other 3D CAD programs.
We can import multiple 3D model file types.
The component editor allows to define the actual parts, components, by matching the pins from a symbol with pads from a footprint.
Here you can set a prefix and custom properties regarding this component.
The footprint editor allows to define the footprints that you will use in your components.
You can preview the footprint in 3D, and also asociate the 3D model (that you defined with the 3D model editor).
Here's another cool feature: the model will try to align by itself.
You can have multiple boards in the same board project
Modern PCB Designer Studio allows you to define more than one board in your project.
You may choose to have a reference to the same schematic or to a different one.
Why would you have another board for the same schematic? Well, same schematic means same circuit. You may choose to have one board that will route on a single layer, for example, to build your own board at home. Or, you may choose for 2 layers if you intend to use a PCB manufacturer near you. You may try a different routing approach and test the difference, and so on.