Design and Layout

There are many different software packages available, and you can still use tape and pad, or a pen and paper! The idea is to get a "drawing" of the PC Board that can be used to make a mask. In some cases, you can skip this step, or rather combine it with the next - Masking and Etching.

Design and Layout

PC Board Design Software

General information about PC Board design software.

Design Spark PC Board Software

Design Spark is a free program distributed by RS, an electronics parts distributor who owns Allied Electronics. It incorporates much of the RS/Allied inventory in libraries, and outputs Gerber files.

ExpressPCB Schematic and PC Board Software

ExpressPCB is a pair of free programs distributed ExpressPCB, and used with their PC Board manufacturing. It is captive - it will not output Gerber files, although some PCB shops do accept the format.

Preparing PC Board Artwork

The method depends on the software used, and the type of finished artwork desired.

Rubylith is red and intended for lithographic artwork

The name is appropriate. In a pinch, rubylith can be used for laying out a PC Board. You cut it with a knife and then use it as a mask.