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DesignSpark Engineer Software Support FAQs

Frequently asked questions

What is DesignSpark Engineer?

DesignSpark Engineer is a mid-tier paid package with 3D modelling and PCB design software, complimented by engineering design services. It is a powerful design platform that can help take your prototypes to market and get enriched data on the parts you design in.

Here’s what you get in the DesignSpark Engineer pack (as of November 2022 – beta phase):

DesignSpark PCB - unlimited schematic size and PCB layer count, multiple file formats, Create BOMs and get RS pricing, View PCBs in 3D, Generate Manufacturing plots and IDFs for mechanical enclosure design, Blind and Buried Vias for high density PCB design, custom pad shapes, differential pair routing for high-speed signals, panel editor, hierarchical schematic blocks, powerful autorouter, Design Rule Check and Examine PCB before production.

DesignSpark Mechanical - 2D Sketch and 3D Geometry toolset, Import RSDOCS and IDFs (for PCB), 3D Mirror tool, Detailing tools to annotate parts and create manufacturing drawings, Exchange designs with SOLIDWORKS®, CATIA™ and AutoCAD® users in STEP, IGES, DXF and DWG formats, Measure and Quality tools, Enhanced Shading, and lighting, Create and export BOMs.

Access to online component libraries (2D symbols, 2D footprints, 3D models)

Parts intelligence – Average Price and lead times, RS Pricing and Stock data, Alternative parts, Risk assessment (Lifecycle, Supply Chain, Environmental), Conflict minerals, DRC status, MPN search, RS Stock number search, Datasheets, HTS, EECN, Schedule B, CAS numbers, EU RoHS, China RoHS and REACH compliance status, Environment Friendly Use Period (EFUP), Product status (active, obsolete, etc.), Part Category and description.

Learning and Support - self-learning content (FAQs, tutorials, guides, advanced tips), support centre (troubleshooting articles) and community forum.

And, coming soon:

Cloud-based electronic circuit simulation and schematic design tool.

Cloud-based reference designs - supplier products and commonly used electrical circuits.

Sustainable Design Solutions.

Who uses DesignSpark Engineer?

DesignSpark Engineer is for those seeking a comprehensive engineering design package for professional use. Including Mechanical and PCB design software, accurate model libraries, superior product intelligence, advanced learning, and support resources.

Is DesignSpark Engineer free-of-charge?

No, a paid subscription is required.

Is commercial use allowed on the DesignSpark Engineer plan and is my design IP protected?

Yes, commercial use is allowed on the DesignSpark Engineer plan. You will have full ownership (including Intellectual Property - IP) of any project you create with our software. Design files from our primary CAD software (DesignSpark Mechanical and PCB) are saved locally on the device you have installed the software to. Therefore, only you can access your own design files.

How many copies of each software can I install with 1 DesignSpark Engineer licence?

With DesignSpark Engineer, you can have up to 3 copies of each software installed on any computer.

What are the system requirements of DesignSpark Engineer software?

These are the supported system specifications for our primary CAD software:

DesignSpark Mechanical

  • Operating system – Windows 11 (64-bit), Windows 10 (64-bit), Windows Server 2016 (64-bit) and Windows Server 2019 (64-bit).
  • *Microsoft has officially ended support for Windows 7, so the software may still work on Windows 7 but you will likely encounter errors which cannot be patched by the developer.
  • Graphics card – Discrete graphics card or Integrated graphics (AMD APU, Intel HD) with the latest drivers and compatible with the supported operating systems. For full functionality, use of a recent NVIDIA or AMD Professional or Workstation Graphics card with at least 1 GB of discrete video memory and supporting, at a minimum, OpenGL version 4.5, DirectX 11, Shader Model 5.0 and with Direct3D acceleration enabled. Display should have a minimum 1024x768 minimum resolution.
  • CPU - Pentium® 4 2.0 Ghz or faster 64-bit (x64) processor.
  • RAM - 4GB or higher
  • Disk Space – at least 3GB
  • Web browser – Google Chrome (v102 or higher), Mozilla Firefox (v101 or higher) and Microsoft Edge (v102 or higher).
  • Input devices – 2 button mouse with wheel
  • Optional inputs - 3D Mouse (eg. 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse), Touchscreen multi-touch support via native pen-and-touch interface.

DesignSpark PCB

  • Operating system – Windows 11 (64-bit) and Windows 10 (32-bit or 64-bit).
  • *Microsoft has officially ended support for Windows 7, so the software may still work on Windows 7 but the developer will not be patching any issues specific to unsupported OS versions.
  • Graphics card – 1024x768 minimum display resolution. For 3D View of PCBs, hardware acceleration for OpenGL may enhance performance.
  • CPU - 1GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) or equivalent.
  • RAM - 4GB or higher
  • Disk Space – at least 1GB
  • Input devices – 2 button mouse with wheel
Can I install each DesignSpark Engineer software on different computers?

Yes, for example you can have DesignSpark Mechanical installed on PC-1 and DesignSpark PCB on PC-2. You will also need to login to the software with your DesignSpark account and activate it for use.

How can I convert my DesignSpark Engineer licence to an Explorer or Creator licence?

Make sure you are logged in to DesignSpark.com and then look for ‘manage subscription’ in your account area. Select your new subscription plan and you will be guided through the remaining steps.

Do I need to renew my DesignSpark Engineer licence?

All our DesignSpark subscriptions auto-renew monthly, and you can choose to cancel (before the next billing date) via the manage subscription option in your account area. Once cancelled, you will have access to the subscription content until the next billing date.

Is DesignSpark Engineer open source and does it have APIs to extend functionality?

No, all our software and tools are closed source. There are currently no public APIs to develop any user extensions/plug-ins.

Is there a DesignSpark Engineer network licence available for business or educational site use?

No, but this may change in the future. Please look out for announcements via the DesignSpark newsletter and social media.

Where can I get help with using DesignSpark Engineer software?

You can access our software forum for answers or post a new question. The DesignSpark staff and user community is ready to help you on the forum. Our support centre has troubleshooting articles with tips to help solve known issues. You can also view our built-in software documentation and the tutorials posted on our website for design tips.

What languages are the DesignSpark Engineer software available in?

As of November 2022, our software user interface is available in these languages:

DesignSpark Mechanical - English, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay (Bahasa Melayu), Nederlands (Dutch), Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional)

DesignSpark PCB – English

Can I use DesignSpark Engineer software offline?

Yes. Please note that if it has been more than 2 hours since you last closed the software and are re-opening it, you will need to be online for a licence check. After this licence check, you can work offline in the same session.

Will I get patches or updates to my DesignSpark Engineer software?

Yes, these will be issued by the developer as and when required.

Is DesignSpark Engineer software local desktop or cloud-based software?

Our Mechanical and PCB software are desktop-only with a local installation. There may be some cloud-based tools added to our subscription plans in the future and they would not require any installation (accessed through web browser).

How do I download and use DesignSpark Engineer software and services?

A new download page becomes available as soon as you start your subscription. The individual download links for each software will be on your account page after logging into DesignSpark.com.