Autodesk EAGLE

Version9(as of 7/16/2021)
PlatformsWindows, Mac, Linux
LicenseCommercial
CategoryProductivity
Go to Website
Rating:2.9  |  49 Votes

Main Features

  • Cross-platform PCB design program
  • Schematic Editor for creating circuit diagrams
  • Layer-based Layout Editor for creating prototype PCBs
  • User Language Programming (ULP) allows users to develop and install custom features
  • SPICE simulation allows users to test circuits before exporting as PCB files

Software Overview

Screenshot of Autodesk EAGLE 9
Screenshot of Autodesk EAGLE 9

Autodesk EAGLE is a cross-platform CAD application that engineers and hobbyists use to design Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). It is available in both a free and paid version, with the free version including a few design restrictions related to the number of sheets, number of layers, and board area a PCB project can contain.

In EAGLE, circuit designers first use the program's Schematic Editor to design a circuit diagram, often referred to as a schematic. Designers then use EAGLE's Layout Editor to transfer the circuit their schematic describes to a copy of a real-life circuit board. The Layout Editor is layer-based, meaning designers can easily add and connect parts on one layer of a PCB without disturbing parts placed on another layer. Designers can also connect parts across layers as needed.

While laying out their PCBs, designers can take advantage of EAGLE's Autorouter feature, which automatically optimizes circuit paths. They can also select from the wealth of parts available in EAGLE's parts library. If EAGLE does not contain the part a designer is looking for, they can likely find and download that part online, or they can create the part themself using EAGLE's Library Editor.

Advanced users can use EAGLE's User Language Programming (ULP) functionality to write and run programs that extend EAGLE's capabilities. While most users will likely never need to create or run a ULP program, designers who are comfortable with C programming will love the ability to create their own custom EAGLE features. Many existing ULP programs, which are saved as .ULP files, are also available for download from EAGLE's website.

After a designer finishes creating their PCB, they can test the board using EAGLE's SPICE simulation feature. When the designer is satisfied with their circuit's performance, they can export their prototype as a .PCB file and send it to a PCB fabricator, who will use the file to assemble a real, physical circuit board.

Summary

Autodesk EAGLE is a useful PCB design application. It provides the tools that independent designers, small engineering firms, and hobbyists need to prototype PCBs. The free version of EAGLE is perfect for hobbyists, while those who want to design without the free version's restrictions will certainly feel they are getting their money's worth.

Primary File Type

brd icon.BRDEAGLE Circuit Board

Supported File Types

ExtensionFile Type
.BRDEAGLE Circuit Board
.CAMGerber CAM Job File
.DRUEAGLE Design Rules
.EPFEAGLE Project
.SCHEAGLE Schematics File
.SCRScript File
.ULPEAGLE User Language Program

Additional Related File Types

ExtensionFile Type
.GBLGerber Bottom Layer Data File
.GBOGerber Bottom Overlay Data File
.GBPGerber Bottom Solder Paste Data File
.GBSGerber Bottom Solder Mask Data File
.GMLGerber Mill Layer File
.GPIGerber Photoplotter Information File
.GTLGerber Top Layer Data File
.GTOGerber Top Overlay Data File
.GTPGerber Top Solder Paste Data File
.GTSGerber Top Solder Mask Data File
.PCBPrinted Circuit Board Design File
Updated 7/16/2021