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The process of making PCB was a lit different a few years ago than it is now. In the older days, people used to etch the circuit on sheets of conductive material by hand. The whole circuit design and development process was done in hard form. However, These days most things are digital. Today we have software tools like Eagle PCB, so all need to know how to use Eagle PCB software.
Using Eagle PCB software is not that hard. However, there is a thorough process that you have to go through for the best efficacy. So, this is our complete guide on how to use Eagle PCB software.
Today most of the circuit designing is done digitally. Several PCB layout-making programs provide you with PCB designing and layout services. Eagle PCB software is one of those tools, and here you can enjoy the Free version as well as a Paid version. While the free version has some limitations, it can still get the job done for you.
If you are new to Eagle PCB software, you must not have to deal with any limitations or issues. We have this complete guide on how to use Eagle PCB software.
Below are all the steps you will need to follow to learn how to use Eagle PCB software. Make sure that you carefully go through every step in the given order. This way, there will be the least chance of making any errors through your first circuit design. So, here is how to use Eagle PCB software.
For the first part of this process, you need to be aware of the working methodology of Eagle PCB software. While learning about the tool, you will also need to set up a few things. So, when you start Eagle PCB software, you will note that it has a modal interface that allows you to work on different modes by selecting them.
The 4 basic interface elements that you get when you start are:
You will be at the control panel whenever you start Eagle PCB software. It is the main window and contains all the categories, including libraries, design rules, scripts, and your projects. To learn how to use Eagle PCB software, you will need to go to the project part and create your new project. Specify your requirements and save them.
Now, whenever you open the Eagle PCB software, you will see the name of that project as a folder in the project category on your control panel. Remember that this project is only for you to learn how to use Eagle PCB software. We will teach you about the project pathway later in the steps.
Now that you know the control panel's functionality in Eagle PCB software, it is time to move to the next layer. This layer is about the other windows or modes.
Here you will start with the schematic window. It is the part of learning how to use Eagle PCB software, where you learn to create the schematic of your circuit. There are 3 different ways, and the best one is to use your mouse cursor.
You can add all the components with live and natural wires in the schematic window. Keep in mind that the green wire is VCC wire. While you are in the schematic window, you can do the following things:
Once you learn how to use the Eagle PCB software schematic window, you can move to the board window. It will give you a visual of how you should design your PCB. You will see all the components' placement points on the PCB with the wire paths and everything important. In the board window, you can use different layers to see how different layers of a PCB work.
With all of this information, you are done with learning how to use Eagle PCB software. Now it is time for some hands-on practice with the Eagle PCB software. Start Eagle PCB software on your PC, and you will be at the control panel window. You need to go to the projects section and create a new project. You can click on the file and go to new, then schematic for creating your project.
Here it is important to carefully select the name of your project as you can practically deploy that when you are done with the circuit.
You will be on the schematic window when you create your project file. Here you need to create the whole schematic of your project by adding different components, including ICs and other basic components.
Adding components is simple because you can click the Add button and select the required IC or component.
Eagle PCB software comes with a library full of components, so you will probably find any component you need. You can select the right library to make the searching process even easier. For example, finding an LED will be efficient when searching for it in the LED library. Similarly, a battery will be easy to find in the Battery library.
The first step in the schematic window will be adding the parts. By now, you will be done with that step. Now you need to move to the next step, for which you will need to connect all the parts. You need to do it according to your circuit requirements.
So, be careful about the polarity and joints between different components. Adding wires is one of the simplest things in using Eagle PCB software. You simply need to click and drag from one position to another to add a wire. In this way, you can wire the whole circuit.
Depending on your circuit's size, it will be difficult for you to distinguish between different components. For example, if you are using 2 resistances, you may not remember which one of those goes where. It may seem easy initially when your circuit is small and not complex. However, with the increasing complexity of your circuit, it gets difficult.
A solution to that is adding names to everything. It can be done by the labeling feature of Eagle PCB software. Labeling is not only important for you to remember, but it has importance in other cases as well, like:
Just like you labeled different circuit parts, you need to give different values to every component. It is because every component cannot hold the same value always. So, assign values to components of your circuit according to the requirements. In this way, the tour circuit will work as intended.
After adding labels and values, you will be almost done designing your circuit. Now you will need to ensure that your circuit works the way you want it to. For this purpose, Eagle PCB software comes with An Electrical Rule Check feature. It will tell you if you have made any mistakes in your circuits. So, run the test, and if you get the correct results, you can move to the next step.
When your final schematic is complete, you must take it to the board window. You will go to file and click on the switch to board option. Now your schematic will go to the board window. Here you need to do all the important things like space management, ground plane addition, adding finishing touches to the circuit, etc.
You need to be careful during this process because it will affect the final looks of your PCB.
The last thing you need to do after you are done with board designing is to go through the Design Rule Check. It is also a feature of Eagle PCB software that tells you if you have made any errors in designing the circuit board. It is necessary to keep making changes if your design fails the test. When your circuit passes this test, you will be good to export and make it into a PCB.
Knowing how you will be designing your circuit is as important as it knows how to use Eagle PCB software. The overall experience is not complex if you go through all the steps attentively. So, when you start Eagle PCB software for the first time, follow all of these steps for a streamlined experience.
By the end of the process, you will be amazed at how easy everything was about how to use Eagle PCB software. So, start using Eagle PCB software and create your first circuit layout today.