Hi I am a student from Republic Polytechnic and I would like to declare that I am a beginner at DesignSpark PCB wired by RS. I have tried out the software through the tutorial from RS webiste and below are my thoughts and learning process.
First thing I encounter, is the part above and I am impressed by it. The model Source allows me to choose what components I want to search for and narrow it down to the most compatible components through the list.
Like if I want to search for a Fixed Resistor. There will be a list of fixed resistors with different specifications generated for me. Then to narrow it down more. I can select the terminal style, the resistance value, the power rating and others.
There are a lot of shortcuts keys to excess the different features, I find it so convenient, like there is a shortcut key (shift + T) allows me to select a component and excess its properties. To change its width and line width.
After translating the circuit into PCB. The connections lines are very messy, if it is a small circuit it might still be easy to handle. But if it is a big circuit, I can imagine how messy and hard to organize everything together.
But then this software impressed me once more with the things that can be done to help locate the connections line easily and arrange it more easily, with the shortcut keys (F9), a “goto” panel will appear and by selecting Net, all the connections lines will be given and all I have to do is to click on any one of it and the connection line will be highlighted for me, so to tell me where the line is.
There is an auto route function that allows me to see the connections clearer and make it cleaner. Or I could route it myself by selecting add track icon on the left hand panel.
(*this schematic diagram is not properly done, just for explaining purpose)
I personally like the sketch track feature better as it helps me to draw my connection lines more easily. The add track feature only goes in a straight line, so whenever I have a curve line, I have to click at the turning point and turn the cursor to the directions. But with sketch track feature. I just have to mouse over from one point to another, the software will automatically help me to form a nice connection line between two points.
For example if I want to do a route from R1 to another.
The line turns out to be nicely curved and clean.
Next thing that impressed me is that this software is able to check for errors after PCB is done. And if there are any, I could again press (F9) and a “goto ” panel will appear and I just select the error tab and there will be a list which shows me where the errors are.
This software also allows me to take a look at the 3D view of the completed PCB.
As the tutorial goes on, the complexity increases and sometimes actually it is hard for a beginner like me to follow up what is going on and why that particular steps has to be done. But I tried my best to finish all the videos and overall I think that this software will be very helpful to me in future as I now already has the basic knowledge of how to use this software, I think that this software not only helps in projects but also allows users to customize the components their own.
Although I am not 100% familiarize with this software now, as it is a short period of self-taught procedure. But I believe that with more time and self-learning or group-learning or more training, I can master the software more.
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