Altium Designer for an Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering Undergraduate
As an engineering undergraduate we have to design lots of printed circuit boards. When I am using Altium designer I could easily design foot print according to the component I chose to use. In altium designer we can easily import the changes we made on the schematic . If we did any changes on the PCB design layout which are not on the schematic those changes also can be export to the schematic. We can customize the design rules such as track width, pad sizes, clearance and etc as we needed. That will help us to have the perfect PCB. When its comes to routing, auto-routing option in the altium is perfect. We only need to adjust routing rules according to our work then altium will do the routing part. We can easily generate files that are need to print PCB for an example if need to generate gerber files we only need to go the option that let us create gerber files and select the required layers and formats.
If you are new to PCB designing it will be little bit difficult to learn altium at the first place with the time we will get familiar to the altium designer. If you looking for footprint for free in online sources it will little bit difficult.
Great all-round circuit and PCB design package
As part of an electronic design team, Altium is an invaluable tool for cooperatively developing our designs. The robust library and project management features mean it is easy to have multiple engineers working on a design, and have everyone contributing to the company's library of components and templates. We can easily export 3D models of the PCBs for the mechanical team to check against physical constraints and the wide range of design file export formats keeps board houses happy. The ability to import designs and libraries from almost any other PCB package has been very useful and is worth mentioning.
Creating and editing library components is straightforward and mostly works without error. The library and project management features are very powerful and suited to working in a corporate environment with large libraries.
PCB layout editor is excellent with intelligent and relatively intuitive controls and behaviour. The view of the PCB layers can easily be customised to provide the clearest image of the user's desired section of the design.
The 3D PCB view is great for easily visualising the board being worked on and can be used for basic fit-checking for enclosure and housings.
If the company regularly designs PCBs for a certain enclosure or package space, a custom project template can be created, meaning when a new design is started the board area and any keep-outs and other restrictions are already loaded, saving time and mistakes.
As a relatively heavyweight piece of software, startup times are slow and file access can be sluggish, especially if working on a network.
Many of the default settings are not helpful, for example the connection matrix which determines which combinations of IC pin types on a net will cause an error. The default settings generate dozens of spurious warnings for a moderate-size schematic.
The Bill of Materials feature, while useful, can be painful to use as it takes several minutes to generate the component table for a moderately complex design. This must be repeated if a mistake is found and a change must be made to the schematic.
I like it
Altium Designer is advanced PCB designing tool.
Overall Altium is one of best PCB design software I've ever used.
Altium Designer has thousand of advanced features to design PCBs. I really like the ability to make files of the PCB to send online PCB manufacturing service . Altium supports 3D view and we can clearly see how to fit PCB on my CAD design. Altium has thousands of flexible design rules and auto routing options.
Altium has few bugs when exporting designs. instead of that default components library has only very few essential components. Even I find component footprints or library from internet I have to go through number of steps to add them to Altium every time.
Altium - defacto standard, pricing inflation
Overall, Altium has helped push the industry forward. At it's core, it's a tool that does the job. However, as they've become more prevalent, the actual value they provide relative to competitors has leveled off.
Altium has become a defacto standard in embedded electronics design. Every vendor, customer, and partner of ours has Altium Designer in their toolset. The product functions well enough for most required ee cad tasks.
the suite of products that you can buy beyond the standard schematic capture, layout, and routing, creates ala carte options that nickel and dime you to an annoying degree.
Easy to Learn Electrical Design Application
Was able to become quickly proficient with the tool and produced complex designs within the first month of use.
I support electrical designs created on most of the major ECAD platforms and have found Altium among the easiest to become quickly proficient in. Specifically Altium's PCB Design tool is very intuitive and powerful.
Unlike other vendors Altium sells pre-defined "bundles" of tools rather than allowing users to configure their design environment through selecting individual licenses of available applications. Further, some of the bundled Altium applications are not on par with other vendor's offerings specifically in the areas of simulation, schematic capture, and cam. Product support is poor in comparison to major competitors.
Professional PCB designing tool
Have lot of features. Since most of the companies use Altium as their main PCB development tool finding footprints for more recent components is very easy. Support industrial standards. Supports cad files and generated cad files are compatible with Solidworks Cad tool.
Great PCB designing tool with lot of features. Supports custom cad files and foot prints. Online and offline tools available for library conversions for PCB component. Support simulations and complex designs. The best thing is it can generate 3D cad file of the final PCB where it can be used to make the enclosures. More professional and customisable.
It takes longer time for first start of the application, and consumes lot of processing power. Therefore it discourages simple edits in PCB.
Almost Perfect Tool for Industrial PCB Design
As an Electronics Engineering undergraduate, overall design experience with Altium Designer is great. I have used this software to develop many PCBs throughout my academic carrer. Also, it provides more flexible tools for PCB design which helps beginners to learn the software quickly. I recommend Altium designer for anyone who is interested in electronic circuit design.
Altium designer is the best PCB designer for beginners as the learning process of this software is pretty much straightforward. Both schematic and PCB design interfaces are easy to handle. Component selection and library management are very well organized. PCB routing is simplified with auto routing feature. Different colors are efficiently used to differentiate layers. Double sided designs can be easily developed very quickly. Overall this software is a great tool for PCB designs.
Altium designer is not at the best level for the designs of multi layer PCBs because multi-layer management is bit tricky in Altium. Also I prefer a better UI design with ribbon style menu than current list style menu UI. More support for 3d preview is also necessary. Other than these overall experience is good.
Great High end software for PCB design
I think it is the best software package available for PCB design. Highly recommend if it's within budget.
The amount of features packed into Altium Designer is almost more than imaginable. The software is great for people who know what they are doing.
The learning curve that comes with Altium is a bit steep. Because of how many features and advanced options in Altium, it would take months, if not years to feel like a master at Altium.
Altium Designed: Simply the best at this price point
The 3D CAD integration has been an absolutely killer feature for my company. Several projects literally could not have gone to market without it. The competitive edge that it gives my company to design clever, compact designs has effectively paid for the Altium license several times over.
As a product, Altium Designer is unbeatable without paying 3-10x as much. Possibly much more, I didn't explore that market extensively once it became clear the wealth of features that Altium Designer offered.
Altium, as a company makes me wonder about Altium Designer's long term prospects. The company has made several questionable market decisions in the past 5 years that makes me uncertain if their upper management really understands how their users use their product.
Ah, well. They're not the first company to have this problem.
PCB layout made less difficult
I use Altium to layout (not simulate) PCB for both prototyping and production. The software does a great job simplifying line and via placement, including it's push features. The rule system is robust if often frustrating and can be very useful helping to catch various board requirements (think differential pair lengths). Overall I find Altium to be very useful and infinitely better than old school layout methods, but it can also be very frustrating with various features broken in updates.
Altium simplifies PCB layout with a very useful set of features and easy customization of icons and hotkeys.
Every update (and they come regularly) breaks something new. And once something you used to like finally gets fixed, something new will break. Also, how to add/change polygon pour vertices changes all the time and it drives me nuts.
A long term users review
I've use Altium to successfully create hundred of boards, and it generally works well.
Altium has a great but not perfect 3D rendering tool. The ability to import correctly scaled and detailed component parts allows the user to visualised a highly realistic image of the completed PCB.
The Autorouter is utter rubbish and I can't believe they haven't made any notable improvements to it over years. New features are implemented half baked and often full of bugs.
The new 'Draftsman' tool is supposed to allow you to create better technical drawings of the board, but it really doesn't fulfil its promise. It's cumbersome, does not allow component values to be annotated to the drawing - instead only component Idents are drawn.
The library system is messy and it's easy to get parts and footprints messed up. they tried to fix this with integrated libraries, but left the original library system in place so there's no consistent way to work.
Altium Designer, top 3 pcb design tools
Altium Designer continues improving year after year. Still behind of representative on the pcb design end but far more beyond on the schematich side. Altium is by far easier to use and more intuitive that representative and I would recommend Altium to Engineers that want to design an schematic and do a layout without having to interact with different tools.
How the menus look and how easy is to set up the rules for design.The shapes and keepouts definitions are year after year better and better.
Still can find some bugs, and it crashes more than its competitors. Not being able to add the drill table on the ODB++ except you exported into another mechanical layer.
Awesome software, missing a key feature
improvement in my designs, a good 3D view and personal growth
prophecy in my designs. a continuous improvement in electronic design
For me, the best when it comes to designing electronic cards.
has the ability to work in several layers is very complete and integrates the 3D view so you can place any 3D object in your design and make your presentation as real as possible.
really powerful and very complete
At first a little difficult to handle since it has many functions.
When you have a very large circuit the auto routing does not work very well.
Blows the competition away
I went through University learning Altium, as it was the software that had been licensed by our department for Electronics Engineers. It's a feature rich, fully fledged EDA that makes difficult tasks easier. Although I've since moved away as I can't justify the cost against the small output we have, its certainly worth the money.
Has more features than any other EDA out there, and is continuing to push the boundaries with every yearly release
The price, its incredibly expensive. However when compared to other EDA you can understand why this is the case.
Generally very positive, easy to use for mid level designs and good price.
Ease of use. Can get started with very little training. Good price for features available.
There are too many ways of completing the same task. Collaboration (multiple engineers on the same design) is poorly defined and prone to lost data.
Top ECAD tool for PCB design
Works well with Solidworks suites and now with Solidworks PCB and Connector. General purpose ECAD tool for single and multi-layer board design.
While there is a vault system available, the cost is prohibitively high for a small group. Integrations are available to other PLM applications as well as a basic CSV or SVN system.
Altium is best PCB designing platform I ever known
I was a new designer while I started designing PCBs. Though it took sometime to understand it, I found it much useful and it helped in widening my knowledge in this field. I use this so frequently now.
I like its wide range of features. Everything that you need like importing BOM, creating footprints from it, working on various layers, 3D view, etc. are some features which I couldn't find in the software I used before. I think this is different and useful for me.
It took little bit of time to know full features and capabilities since there are many features. But in the begining I was expecting some more inbuilt libraries. Later on I became used to it.
Easy way for PCB Designing
I really most like this software because we get 3D view of PCB. It's provides prior idea about how PCB look after designed. We can easily find bugs also.
In ALTIUM we get the 3D view of PCB. It is very easy to use for new peoples also. We can create our own symbol also in ALTIUM and by using that we draw schematic.
ALTIUM is not used for simulation and synthesis purpose.
Altium PCB design
Overall I have been satisfied but I think Altium's old model Protel was much better. I used to use that in 2003 and that was better than today's version.
Altium has got a huge collection of libraries for PCBs. Almost all the parts which you can buy from Digikey or Mouser, their footprints are present in Altium. I have also been able to customize the footprints to my own needs. Infact, I have made some footprints all from scratch. That is a very powerful feature. Similarly when making the schematic, the 3D model of all the parts is also visible which helps alot in visualizing the part I am gonna use.
The autorouting in Altium is completely broken. It takes multiple sessions to get completed and most of the time it stop at 90% with tens of vias. Sometimes even with a wire width of 200um and isolation distance of 150um, the autorouter finds it difficult to make a track for SMDs. Therefore, for a PCB with parts more than 200, it becomes almost impossible to make single sided PCB. Though it works OK for double sided PCB.
Good and it helps me more compare similar software however it can be more user-friendly
It gives a good opportunity to design the schematic and PCB for desired circuit at one software which linked together good enough.
Some tools does not have proper document to guide user to use them. If you did not learn some tricks and skills from another expert person, you will not learn anyway from document.
I have been using it since it was called Protel, and I used to it a lot. now when I prototype, and I need PCB I could not use anything else.
Fully fletched suite for electronic engineer, for schematics and printed circuit board developing
its expensive for hobbyist, and it takes a lot of space on drive.