FreePCB v0.943 Released

Posted 4 Jan 2005 at 17:26 UTC by steve Share This

Arguing over what PCB layout program to use is a common form of entertainment at robot builder get-togethers and new programs are always fun to try out. According to Open Collector, a new version of FreePCB is out. FreePCB is Free Software licensed under the GNU GPL for doing printed circuit board layout under MS Windows. It supports 1 to 8 copper layers, board sizes up to 60 x 60 inches, and English or metric units. It includes a footprint library and it can import PADS-PCB netlists. Both Gerber (RS274X) and Excellon drill files can be exported. Usually Free Software packages are targeted at Free Software Operating Systems such as Linux or BSD, so FreePCB may also give MS Windows users the interesting experience of having the freedom to study and modify the source code of a program they use. But, of course, the real question for many robot builders will be, how well does it work compared to existing Windows PCB layout programs? If we have any Windows users who want to try it out, feel free to post a review.

Linux users might also consider "PCB", posted 4 Jan 2005 at 18:14 UTC by dafyddwalters » (Master)

We used a Free Software layout program to design the circuit boards for the Open Automaton Project. The tool we used has the rather unimaginative name PCB. See this page to get an idea of the results (click on the image links). PCB is also licensed under the GNU GPL.

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