[sdiy] Eagle for PCB Layout

Ingo Debus igg.debus at gmail.com
Fri Jun 29 21:37:55 CEST 2018

> Am 28.06.2018 um 23:01 schrieb Chris Juried <cjuried at yahoo.com>:
> How does Altium compare to Eagle?

On my day job, we recently switched from Eagle to Altium Designer. I only got my toes wet with Altium, so I certainly can’t give a qualified answer here.

Surely Altium is much more powerful than Eagle, no surprise, it’s much more expensive.

First impressions:

Very nice in Altium: 
In the PCB view, just hit the „3“ key and it switches to 3D view, movable, zoomable and tiltable (a 3D mouse is handy here). Hit the „2“ key and it returns to conventional 2D view. Eagle is somewhat 3D-capable too, but it’s a kludge.
Alternate looks of a schematics symbol are possible. No conflict between European and American resistor symbols - just switch to the one you like better. That’s not possible in Eagle.
„IPC compliant footprint wizard“: creating footprints is much easier and less error-prone than in Eagle.

Not so nice in Altium:
What happens automagically in Eagle often requires some manual actions in Altium. If you place another component on the schematic (while the PCB is already created), in Eagle it appears on the PCB by itself - in Altium you have to „update the PCB“, and probably review an error list.
Altium has a gazillion of „operating modes“ and behaves differently depending on which mode you’re in. In some modes you can’t even access the menus (but they’re not greyed out) and for instance ctrl-s (for save) or ctrl-y (for undo) doesn’t work either.
Altium is Windows-only.

Sure this list can be continued endlessly. As I said, it’s only my first impressions.


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