Design

RS Components upgrades PCB CAD software

9th December 2019
Mick Elliott

DesignSpark PCB version 9 is the latest version of RS Components’ free-for-use PCB electronics CAD software. New features include dangling connection detection in schematics, net selection in copper pour areas, and enhancements to Excellon NC drill files.

DesignSpark PCB software is a set of free-to-use rapid PCB prototyping tools offering schematics unlimited in number and size, unlimited layers, nodes, pads and connections, integration with RS and manufacturer parts libraries, a library editor to create custom libraries, and integration with free-to-use DesignSpark mechanical and electrical CAD systems.

PCB schematics and files created in DesignSpark PCB can also be imported into the more powerful DesignSpark PCB Pro by users where a more complex set of design rules and characteristics are required.

Among the new features of Design PCB version 9, schematic design now provides a dangling connections report, showing up any component pin where a net has been generated but not completed or assigned. 

In addition, designers can now select nets located within a specific copper pour area, rather than having to select from all nets in the design, as previously. 

Other improvements include:

  • Symbols changed and saved in the component editor are now automatically updated in preview windows.  
  • Dialogue boxes such as Add Component in the library manager can be resized so component names can be read in full. 
  • Add Text allows selection of text style and alignment.
  • Users can exit Cross Probe mode as soon as a selection is made.  
  • Buttons for easier selection or deselection of all or individual layers in the Plotting dialogue box. 
  • New Library Wizards provide options for creating and saving a new library item. 
  • A new Goto bar allows searching by component name.

Maurice Banting, Head of Design Software and Tools commented: “DesignSpark PCB is our flagship entry point for electronic design engineers on tight budgets who are looking to explore a wider range of PCB design options. Combined with DesignSpark PCB Pro, and our comprehensive range of model libraries and footprints, customers have access to a set of resources that are geared towards helping them accelerate their design time-to-market. We are committed to improving our functionality and drawing on feedback from our user community, to ensure that cost barriers to innovation continue to fall for engineers around the world.”

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