Good free PCB CAD software?

I would like to know if anyone has a preference on what PCB software is any good. I know Dave from the EEVblog uses altium Design, and recently made a video for a simalar bit of software that was free and designed for the hobbiest. I have heard of Eagle, and I did use it at one point, but I did not really like it, it just has too many limitations. Any other good (preferably open source or community driven) software?

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I am using the free version of Eagle. It works great, but limits you to a 100mm x 80mm PCB design. Also only double sided designs. As long as it is used for hobby purposes (non-commercial use), it is still free.


seandogue2 years ago

Much of the IP required for PCB design is owned and code-wise, often quite costly to produce, so it's not as easy to find good software for free.

Surprisingly there is a sizeable list of potential choices at Wikipedia in the entry for Comparison_of_EDA_software at

DesignSpark offer a version of EasyPC, which is a relation to Pulsonix, another high end PCB cad system

Altium is just awful to use. Truly vile user interface

"Altium is just awful to use. Truly vile user interface"


(although I still love P98 ... so simple and yet still so effective after all these years in producing schematics, user-created parts, and final artwork, though I haven't tried to install on my w8.1 machine yet, and ten is a guess for any old software)

-max- (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago

Great, I will check it out!

iceng2 years ago

It is not free, but Circad is the very best in my world.

Back in he we used Eagle for all our needs but I guess that progra is long dead...
But tere are still other and free options available:

And of course 123D:

I guess the problem with these circuit design programs is that you have to get used to using them and that you have to find one that suits your needs.

-max- (author) 2 years ago

I have used Fritzing in the past and it is OK though I would like to explore other options.