Has any of you heard of 123D circuits? Well, Autodesk has partnered with circuits.io to launch this free cloud based ECAD tool that can be used to simulate circuits and design PCBs. Check it out >> https://circuits.io/
I suggest we try it out in building the splashboard. We can all collaborate in editing design work since it is cloud based.
It seems quite interesting to learn something new, lets see…
I have created an account for this group:-
simply open the above link, click “sign in” & fill in the below details
Autodesk Email/username: "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Once you login, you shall see recent designs, below it is SplashBoard V2.0, lets collaborate in building the above circuit that was previously done in KICAD (as in previus posts above ), in 123D circuits.
There is some video in the website to get anyone new started. 123D circuits is a simple software, very easy to learn and use.
There is quite alot from this software… lets test it out. I shall keep my KICAD version on progress alongside, just incase.
Its great to be back.
Awesome. Welcome back @Michael.
Would be awesome to enter Splashboard V2 in the Circuits.io competition below
Thank you Sande.
I have found this page very useful in getting started with autodesk circuits https://support.circuits.io/hc/en-us?preview=true
My Review - based on Power supply design (schematic + PCB) above
Autodesk 123D seems quite neat. Large collection of components, simulation capability of arduino programs and virtual breadboarding with oscilloscopes and multimeters is really nice.
Though my review on the schematic and pcb design tool is that it needs more polishing to be effective for complex designs.
I found Autodesk 123D Schematic and PCB design tool relatively harder to use than other softwares like Designspark pcb, kicad, Eagle among others. It lacks many design features that ease design work(I suppose the RND team are working on improving this). The hardest part was Routing the copper traces, which needed to be done manually with no assistance tool such as interactive autorouter or provision of any external routing software
I recommend Kicad for this particular project, which is much more suitable for this task
Noted. Let’s stick with KiCAD for now.
KiCad is a free but very well developed PCB design software released under Open source Licensing. We can design anything without limitations. upto 32 copper layers are supported with maximum board dimensions of 2.14M^2 at a precision of a nanometer. Products can be designed and sold without any license cost >> http://kicad-pcb.org/
Its development is supported by CERN
We shall explore its rich features as we design splashboard. Here is a document to assist in setting it up after downloading it (you need to be very keen especially in setting up component libraries that i will share shortly) this document will help also in getting started. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5vzjsNrE02PNk9fNHVxOWhKWjA
Here is my components.zip folder with thousands of component symbols, footprints and 3D models https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5vzjsNrE02PbFFSVFlyeXRCYkU.
Download and follow procedure in the above shared document to install the library
For more kicad documentation, you can get to the official kicad website http://kicad-pcb.org/help/documentation/
Feel completely free to ask any question
So, I have split the splashboard into two parts, main board & daughter board. The daughter board connects to main board and functions as User Interface whereby it provides easier access to buttons, LCD and status LEDs. This improves the Casing design, in addition to simplifying the main board by minimizing its components. it is easier to troubleshoot problems when a system is fragmented this way. future advancements may even have a separate power supply board.
Here is the reviewed kicad design files
And here are the schematic captions
I have designed the UI board(Daughter board), and Here are the design steps in kicad(Summary) before i share the photos…
- Design schematic
- Annotate schematics
- link schematic symbols to their suitable footprints using KICAD CVPCB tool
- export netlist from EESCHEMA (Kicad’s schematic capture tool)( netlist is a file that contains components and their connection details)
- import netlist in PCBnew (Kicad’s PCB design tool)
- Arrange the components to have minimum distance connections (Group components that form a subsystem closely together)
- Set a ground plane at the lower side of the board(The ground needs to sink alot of current - almost every component sinks current to ground, that is why it should not be a trace, but a plane, to minimize ground resistance, we dont want any voltage drop at the ground conductor. i prefer to have major part of the bottom board layer as ground and most traces to run on the top copper layer)
- set design rules (ive used a trace width of 0.6mm, you can be directed by the amount of current you want to pass, power traces need to be carefully designed. kicad has a PCB calculator tool that helps you calculate trace width from expected current. the trace clearance can be determined by voltage difference between traces. more voltage needs more clearance if you dont want two traces to arc. it is also considered to reduce crosstalk ive chosen for the UI Board is 0.6mm and the Via diameter is 2mm. ive found them more suitable for this board )
- Autoroute. this is the process where you sit back and let the computer connect traces for you automatically,as it obeys each design rule you’ve set. kicad has a poor internal autorouter, but has a provision for using external routing softwares. FreeRoute is an excellent professional routing software just for the job. export .dsn files from pcbnew which contains details of your PCB design to be imported and routed by the autorouter, then backimport .ses file and youre done. see the document ive shared in above recent posts on how to use the freeroute software
- export manufacture plots & fabricate
Linking Schematic components and their suitable PCB footprints
Arranging components and outlining board dimensions and shape
Thanks for the links @Michael I would personally recommend using KiCad for the same reasons mentioned above. 10/10 good product in schematics and PCB designs.
Hello Symon. Its great to hear your positive comments. You’re welcome