Last Updated on July 29, 2023 by Emmanuel
Electronics evolve so quickly that industry enthusiasts must design high-quality printed circuit boards responding to the target market’s requirements.
However, numerous solutions can confuse choosing a suitable option for your requirements.
To help you make the correct choice, the Altium PCB design software review examines this platform’s features, effectiveness, cost, etc.
Table of Contents
What Is Altium PCB Design Software?
Altium features tools like PCB modules, an auto-router, a schematic, and differential pair routing that supports 3D modeling and length tuning.
Other integrations are circuit simulation, development, FPGA-based embedded system design, HDL design capture, PCB design, and signal integrity analysis.
The user-friendly Altium Designer tools are customizable to your project requirements to reach your planned goals efficiently.
The software has two main elements: the editing documents located on the right side and the aspect consisting of workspace panels.
Software engineers, parts suppliers, electricians, etc., use this innovative software to realize their projects efficiently.
Altium PCB Designer Key Features.
Altium 365 Platform.
Altium 365 will enable you to connect all your project’s components: engineering design, purchase of parts, manufacturing, fabrication, and assembly to obtain the final products.
You do not need to download, install and configure Altium 365 on a server because it is cloud-based and fully integrated into Altium Designer.
All cloud software-based services hosted in Altium Designer run on the Altium 365 platform to help you and others involved in your project effortlessly create the products you want.
Another benefit of Altium 365 is its ability to help you share on any device the projects you are working on with interested parties such as the management, partners, potential customers, etc.
How to Access the Altium 365 Platform?
Three levels enable you to access the Altium 365 platform:
- Personal story: Those who want to use Altium 365 without a connected workspace to store their data.
- Standard – This level is for users needing all the global sharing benefits of Altium 365, including having their designs and components in a single connected workspace.
- Pro Level – You can use this third level if you want the entire structure and formality of data management offered by the Altium 365 platform.
The schematic design features will enable you to create multichannel and hierarchical designs.
You will find the easy-follow schematic-driven design rules through the schematic editor and how to get started smartly.
Among other benefits of Schematic Design is its ability to simplify multichannel, complex designs and provide users with the tools to manage logical chunks.
RELATED: The best free logo design software.
This feature integrates interactive routing, stack-up planning, and 3D visualization. You can find below the benefits associated with each component.
- Interactive routing tools to help you design high-quality PCB layouts easily.
- Stackup planning made by the layer stack manager is updated regularly by the people behind Altium Designer. It includes a materials library, impedance calculations, etc.
- The Altium Designer’s advanced 3D engine allows you to visualize and interact with your designs conveniently.
Other Altium Designer’s features are a unified environment, data and component management tools, and the features to design and manufacture your desired products.
How To Use Altium Designer?
Downloading Altium Designer.
First, You must open a free account, download and install a free version of Altium Designer, and your license on your computer.
Once done, you will log in to your account, start browsing the features of this software and see their respective advantages. Run the software when the download ends.
Setting Up The Design Project.
The owners of Altium Designer recommend users set up their PCB projects after the first phase, you’ll find how to do it and the design templates to use.
You must add a schematic sheet to your project, set up suitable document options, and start drawing your PCB without hassle.
Do not forget to add other elements in Altium Designer, such as components and libraries.
Once added, those elements will appear in the design capture process as schematic symbols.
In this third step, you will go to the libraries, choose your preferred components, and place them on a running schematic.
Do not worry; the process is straightforward, especially since you already have enough electronics skills.
You will also find tips for designing the placement process within the collapsible parts. This process can be more effective if you implement it correctly.
Before adding a PCB, you need to wire your board and create connectivity between the different parts, but the process is accessible again.
Project Compilation and Checking For Errors.
Before you assemble your project, check some inaccuracies, make the necessary corrections, and move forward.
Circuit Board Creation.
Making a blank, labeling it, and saving it before relocating your schematic design to the circuit board editor is also advisable.
Before moving your schematic design, also ensure to modify the settings of the blank PCB correctly.
- Change the imperial units to metric.
- Choose a suitable snap grid.
- Resize the shape of your PCB and arrange the layers of your design.
- Transfer the Schematic to the PCB Editor, etc.
That’s all, but remember to create the output documentation once you have implemented the above steps.
Output documentation will be handy when reviewing, fabricating, and assembling the PCB.
You will find how to create outputs for different purposes in the Altium Designer.
How Much Does Altium PCB Cost?
The owners of this software need to provide the option to use it for free. Instead, they will give you 14 days to try its various features and see their advantages.
If, at the end of the trial period, you decide to keep using this software, you will upgrade your account to one of the following paid plans:
1) Altium Designer System Engineering: This plan costs EUR 105 monthly and will give you access to powerful schematics tools.
2) Altium Designer: This second plan costs EUR 295 a month. It includes schematic tools, PCB layouts, and other tools to effortlessly design high-quality printed circuit boards.
3) Subscription Reactivation: This plan is for people who want to reactivate their Altium PCB subscription; it costs EUR 3 390 and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can use this banner to browse all features in detail and choose the most appropriate one.
The Final Words.
Let’s end the Altium PCB Design software review, hoping the provided information will benefit you.
Many use the PCB’s comprehensive and user-friendly tools to develop high-quality electronic products profitably.
The platform suits engineers, part suppliers, PCB designers, and other electronics product developers.
Choose a suitable plan to start leveraging this platform profitably if you have the knowledge and skills in the industry.