Week 3: Choosing a PCB Design Software [Moo]

This week was spent primarily studying the hardware that went into the current version of the Moo (1.1).  I started by attempting to open up the PCB design files that were generated using the Altium Designer W09 software.  After realizing that this software is not available for free online, I started to look into other free PCB designer software that might be easier to obtain.  I created a word document that highlights some of the pros and cons of several PCB design software (Altium Designer, Eagle CadSoft, and PCB artist), see below.

Choosing a PCB Design Software

My Recommendation:

After looking at the various PCB Design software available,  I would recommend using the Altium Designer for future updates of the Moo device.   My initial concerns with this software (i.e. expensive license) have been mitigated after finding out that the software is available on all CAEN engineering computers.  Furthermore, since the previous PCB design files were created with this software, it will take significantly less time to make future modifications to the board.  Also, it is less likely that there will be a problem associated with the board if we only make minor modifications (if necessary) to the microcontroller footprint as opposed to laying out the entire board from scratch with a new software.  I will continue to learn how to use the Altium software in the coming weeks.

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