[volt-nuts] PCB Artist

Charles Steinmetz csteinmetz at yandex.com
Thu Dec 15 08:05:33 EST 2016

Randy wrote:

> KiCad looks very good and I downloaded it to try it out.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Sprint-Layout from Abacom:


Back in January 2015, Sam Reaves posted a nice writeup of this package. 
  Based on his post, I tried it, loved it, and bought it (it's very 
reasonable).  I also have KiCAD, the free version of Eagle, and the 
DipTrace demo version.  I've gotten to where I can use all of them, but 
when it comes time to do a board, I almost always go straight to 
Sprint-Layout.  Certainly, anyone who balks at the steep learning curves 
of KiCAD, Eagle, and DipTrace will just love the intuitive operation of 

I've pasted part of Sam's original message below.

Best regards,


> The excellent, not free but very inexpensive (49 Euros) PCB package from
> Abacom called SprintLayout6.0 (link below). If you are outside of the EU
> the cost is 19% less (minus their VAT).
> You can download a demo that does everything but save your work for free.
> And they take PayPal. There is also a free viewer that can view the native
> files. Although you may never need it they have excellent support. Bugs
> have been minimal and the product has been very stable for me. I have run
> it on XP and Win7 32/64 with no issues. Licensing is simple and you can
> install on more than one PC as long as you use it only on one PC at a time.
> Here is a short list of exceptional features that this program has that is
> (for me) a good bang for the buck (or euro!)
> 1. Ability to import 274X Gerber files to allow you to easily turn them
> into an editable PCB file (I found this really handy to create PCB's from
> Eagle and other PCB CAD package files.
> 2. Ability to import a BMP file from a scanned image and scale and float it
> in the background so that you can trace over it to create editable artwork.
> Really handy for those old designs or for working from artwork from
> magazines or the back of the ARRL handbook.
> 3. Easy Ground plane/Power plane pour. Pads can be set as thermals to
> connect to the plane with independent connection to either plane. Zone
> pours and cutouts can also be done.
> 4. Support for four layer boards.
> 5. Easy to use footprint creation tool for SMT/Thoughhole parts
> 6. Easy to use part library generation. Many parts available.
> 7. The ability to rotate parts in very fine increments.
> 8. Photo view mode that shows you exactly how the finished PCB will look.
> 9. Isolation generator for creating milling plots for making PCB's on a CNC
> mill. Worth the price for this feature alone. When used with Bernhard
> Pahl's SL2M3 program which converts the HPGL milling plot files and the
> drill/mill data to G-Code for running CNC programs like Mach-3. With some
> manual editing of the G-Code text one can use the program with LinuxCNC.
> 10. Simple point to point semi-automatic router that works with manually
> placed connections.
> 11. Moving the reference datum (X0 , Y0) point for all layers is really
> easy and I have not found any other program that does this as easily.
> 12. Perhaps most important: The program is very easy to use and learn and I
> have made dozens of boards using it in all of the modes.

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