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DesignSpark PCB – Smarter, Quicker, and Now More Powerful

DesignSpark PCB software is just one of the comprehensive tools in our free, and low-cost monthly plans, which provide students, pro-creators and design engineers with CAD software, design services, and training and support worth over £1000.

Our award-winning design program just got even more powerful. Explore tools which help you sketch your circuit, identify design errors, and route copper tracks. Forward design changes to a PCB layout and create 3D views. These are just some of the features for schematic capture and PCB layout, ensuring your circuit board designs are error-free.

Whether you’re a beginner or more experienced designer, our learning resources help you make the most of the free Explorer version, and the additional features you will find in our paid Creator and Engineer plans. 

Let’s take a closer look:

Essentials tools for schematic capture and PCB layout: 

Available in: Explorer, Creator and Engineer plans.

All DesignSpark PCB users benefit from the powerful modelling engine that helps you sketch your circuit, identify design errors, route copper tracks, forward design changes to a PCB layout, create 3D views and much more. integration* : 

Available in: Creator and Engineer plans.

Our partnership with gives you free access to millions of CAD models for electronic components. Easily search for schematic symbols and PCB footprints by keyword or manufacturers part numbers. Preview, download, and insert the model into your PCB projects.

*A account is required for this integration.

Blind and buried vias: 

Available in: Engineer plan.

Blind and buried vias are used to connect PCB layers where space is limited (high density PCB design) and are applied from the layer spans setting in the Design Technology dialog 

Differential Pairs: 

Available in: Engineer plan.

Differential pairs carry two complimentary signals of the same magnitude but opposite polarity. The received signal is amplified and commonly used in high quality audio-video (A/V) applications.  

In DSPCB, you can define a differential pair using Net Class settings and change their Gap and Skew length.

Design Rule Checks (DRC): 

Available in: Explorer, Creator and Engineer plans.

Ensure your design rules are matched and mitigate any costly manufacturing errors using DRC.

Bill of Materials (BoM) composer: 

Available in: Creator and Engineer plans.

The BoM Composer helps simplify the task of producing the Bill of Materials ("BoM") as part of your production documentation. You can customise the BoM template to meet your needs and see changes in real time.

Output to DesignSpark Mechanical software: 

Available in: Explorer, Creator and Engineer plans.

Export your PCB as a 3D model in the IDF format, which also features the component height values. After importing the IDF to DSM, you can build an enclosure for your PCB with knowledge of the maximum height of your components.

Instant BoM quote with RS: 

Available in: Explorer, Creator and Engineer plans.

The BOM Quote will display the bill of materials for your current design or project including local price and availability from the latest online information.

The BoM can be loaded into your RS product basket on your local RS website, which you can then review, make substitutions on any out of stock or discontinued products, and checkout.


Import and Export in different file formats:

Available in: Explorer, Creator and Engineer plans.

The following formats are available and vary by your subscription tier (list updated as of v11.0.1):

  Explorer Creator Engineer
Import Native Projects (*.PRJ), Native PCB (*.PCB), Native Schematic (*.SCH), AutoCAD compatible DXF (*.DXF), PCB Symbols (*.PSY), Schematic Symbols (*.SSY), Components (*.CMP), PCB Technology Files (*PTF), Schematic Technology file (*.STF), Panel Designs (*.PNL), Eagle PCB Design (*.BRD), Eagle Schematic Design (*.SCH), Eagle Intermediate PCB design (*.EIP), Eagle Intermediate Schematic design (*.EIS), OrCAD PCB Netlist (*.NET, *.EDN), Component Placement File (*.CSV), Electronics Workbench PCB Netlist (*.NET)


Easy-PC Library Transfer Files (*.ELT)

Easy-PC Library Transfer Files (*.ELT), BoardMaker PCB Design (*.PCB), BoardMaker Schematic Design (*.SCH), Easy-PC PCB Netlist (*.PNT), Easy-PC Schematic Netlist (*.NET), Ultiboard Designs (*.DDF), UltiCAP Designs (*.SCH)

Export Native Projects (*.PRJ), Native PCB (*.PCB), Native Schematic (*.SCH), PCB Technology File (*.PTF), Schematic Technology file (*.STF), Enhanced Metafiles (*.EMF), Bitmap images (*.BMP), Comma-separated Value files for Reports (*.CSV), Gerber RS-274-D, RS-274-X, X2 and LPKF compatible (*.GBR), Excellon compatible NC drill (*.DRL), PDF (*.PDF), HPGL compatible pen plotter files (*.PEN), ODB++ data in folders or compressed (*.TGZ), AutoCAD compatible DXF (*.DXF), Neutral or DesignSpark Mechanical compatible IDF (*.IDF), Generic Schematic Netlist (*.NET), PCB Netlist (*.PNT), Spice Netlist (*.SPN), Schematic Symbol Library (*.SSL), PCB Symbol library (*.PSL), B2 Spice (*.NET), lsSpice, TINA and LTspice (*.CIR).


BOM Composer Template (*.BCT)


BOM Composer Template (*.BCT), IPC-2581 (*.CVG)


The choice is yours. Become a DesignSpark member by simply validating your email address, then move between our DesignSpark Explorer free plan or unlock more powerful features with DesignSpark Creator and Engineer plans for a low cost, monthly fee.

You control when to upgrade and downgrade your plan. Visit the subscriptions and pricing page or our support FAQs for more information.


RS DesignSpark is the go-to platform for students, makers, hobbyists and professional design engineers, providing design resources such as the award winning DesignSpark PCB and DesignSpark Mechanical CAD software. Join the community today at