[volt-nuts] PCB Artist

Dan Kemppainen dan at irtelemetrics.com
Wed Dec 14 09:15:35 EST 2016

On 12/14/2016 7:18 AM, volt-nuts-request at febo.com wrote:
> Our company has been committed to Eagle for about 5 years.  The problem
> you face is that your investment in IP (schematics, board layouts,
> component libraries, etc) vastly out-values the software.  With a
> proprietary system, you're either locked in or face huge costs in
> converting.
> Indeed.  I am just about to pull the trigger on KiCAD company-wide.  I
> think it is ready for the kind of work we do (4 layer boards, some with
> high current/voltage traces).  The only thing holding me back IS our
> investment in IP.  Maybe with Eagle 7 using XML for data storage,
> someone will write an Eagle to KiCAD converter.
> I strongly recommend learning KiCAD (a fairly daunting task) before you
> get any significant amount of IP committed to a proprietary format.

John makes some good points. The cost of not only IP, but even the time 
to learn the software add up significantly. Storing data in proprietary 
formats can lead to trouble later. (Eagle's proprietary format is a bit 
less proprietary now that it's .xml!)

KiCAD vs. Eagle vs. PCB Artist, Pads, vs. (fill in the blank) really 
depends on what you need. If it's a one off board, with a handful of 
components anything should work. You can always redraw it later in 
something else. If you have 500 components, differential signals, and 
controlled impedance stuff that's a different story.

Let us know what you end up doing.


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