No matter how good a PCB designer one may think they are, there are so many software packages out there offering different things that it would be wise to do a bit of research. 

 It can be all too easy for designers to get stuck in their way of working which has its drawbacks, because of the rapid advancement in software technology. 

Take Altium for example – this software company is now known worldwide and is the name of PCB design.  

Their latest version is so impressive that no matter what specific type of PCB you are designing, the likelihood is that this one system will do it all for you. Here are some of the specific advantages of Altium

3D viewing

When all the different circuit board parts are being designed in isolation, then this can be done on Altium in different view types – whether it is 2D or 3D.  

This is hugely advantageous to the designer who previously may not have had this novelty depending on the software type they had prior. 

You will generally find that the vast majority of designers are stuck in their way and will create their PCB in 2D – which is fine.

One of the most significant advantages of 3D though is that it will allow you to look at the finished piece (or even unfinished) at different angles and potentially see any errors.

 This process can also be completed for when you have the subunits and pieces all together and want to make an assembly. Lifting and inserting the units into the assembly into 3D mode can assist greatly with the overall design concept.

Package Availability

Ten years ago you needed to download several discs onto each computer – where you want to get to, is that you download software that you like onto a computer or computers and then update it frequently as the software improves.

Altium allows you to do this very quickly and accommodates individuals or even large PCB design companies. 

Depending on the number of licences you require will depend on the prices and packages that they offer you. This way is hassle free and if there are any specific issues with the package you have support immediately at hand.  

Software Compatibility

With there being so many software packages available to purchase it is important that the primary software you are using is compatible with any designs you may have stored on another software package.  This may sound like a no brainer, however, you would be surprised as to the number of software packages that are available to purchase that does not have compatibility. This does not allow for transparent integration of your designed units, and in some worst case scenarios it has seen people actually redesign or reverse engineer.  

Make sure this is checked out in advance of your purchase.