How do I use PCB Part Library with Library Loader?Follow article
DesignSpark PCB was our first and is consequently our most established free CAD design tool, with users the world over, and thousands of downloads each month. The DesignSpark PCB Zendesk is a mine of information should you need to refresh your memory on certain aspects of the software functionality, or perhaps you are one of the many new users who download the software each month?
Zendesk is there for you should you need it, video tutorials, how-to articles, everything you could need to make your DS PCB user experience as easy as possible. Below we have one such article fresh from the pages of Zendesk to give you a flavour of what is on offer…so how do you use the PCB Part Library with the Library loader? All is revealed below:
How do I use PCB Part Library with Library Loader?
PCB Part Library is our online component resource. Components can be loaded into DesignSpark PCB by several methods however before discussing further if you have not explored what is available use the search engine where you can search for manufacturer’s part numbers, RS Components part numbers and free text.
You can find the search engine here: http://rs.componentsearchengine.com/search.html
Your search results are presented in a table:
The image provides immediate visual feedback of the part, the PDF provides quick access to the manufacturer’s data from the listed manufacturer associated with the component model and a link for price and stock information.
Reviewing this information, once you have decided on a particular component this can be accessed by several means using the download link
The simplest method is using the "Library Loader" application, this runs 'side by side' with DesignSpark PCB providing a quick and easy method to obtain the component in your design.
Download and installation instructions for Library Loader can be found here.
The suggested method of working is:
- Launch DesignSpark PCB and have your schematic sheet the active tab.
- Launch "Library Loader", if the destination library in settings is as required, minimise this to the system tray.
- In your browser open the RS Component Search Engine.
Work on your schematic design as normal, but when you require a component that is not in your local library use the search engine in your browser, find the component you require and click the download link
You will then see the download occur and it will be saved in your Windows download folder, shortly afterwards the schematic icon will be attached to your mouse pointer (visible when the mouse pointer is over the schematic sheet), simply click to place it on your schematic, repeat if multiple components are required and press <ESC> when finished.
Continue with your design as required.
A brief video illustrating the above:
Notes: It can be an advantage to have the search engine window placed next to the DesignSpark PCB window for easier working between the two windows as shown in the above video.
Details of the operation
In the background of the above process, the component was downloaded and extracted to your selected DesignSpark PCB library, the downloaded file was then deleted as it no longer required, but the component remains in the DesignSpark PCB library for future use.
As detailed at the main PCB Part Library page in Software Requirements this only works with Windows 7, 8 and 10. The following details how to use on older OS's such as Windows XP.
Manual Component Download and installation from the .DSL file
If you are using Windows XP the components from the PCB Parts Library can still be used by manually performing the steps done above using Library Loader.
The key process is to load the symbols from the .DSL file which is downloaded into your Windows "Download" folder into your DesignSpark PCB libraries, this is detailed here.
Note. DSL file import of components can be done for any Windows OS by this method should you have the files from another source.
Using ECAD Part Wizard (EPW)
If you need to download components from the PCB Part Library that are complex such as Microcontrollers and wish to change their layout prior to using them in DesignSpark PCB we have an additional tool EPW.
EPW allows the part to be "fractionated" before placing on the schematic.
EPW is a Microsoft Excel-based tool which is a requirement for this process. Details are available at the following links.
We have a great article about parametric search with DesignSpark PCB which you can find here.
So, if you are stuck, new to the PCB design game, then DesignSpark PCB Zendesk is the place to be, check it out.