CADSTAR Express best free PCB design software, free pcb layout software, PCB design software free download that is your ideal PCB manufacturing software

Free PCB Design Software - CADSTAR Express


All the functionality of CADSTAR, limited to 300 pins & 50 components

(Updated: October 2023)

Zuken’s free PCB Design Software, CADSTAR Express, provides a quick and easy way for you to experience the basic features of our standard single-board PCB design software solution, CADSTAR. It includes all the core functionality of CADSTAR 2023, limited to 300 pins and 50 components, plus the opportunity to experience Zuken’s place and route editor tool P.R.Editor XR 2000.

CADSTAR PCB design software allows you to draw schematic designs and transfer them to the PCB layout environment. After an error-free transfer, CADSTAR helps to place the components into the board outline.

Placement and Routing is an integral part of a PCB design process. CADSTAR provides users with a spectrum of tools, including Push-aside Placement and Routing tools. These tools come in manual, semi-automatic, and fully automatic modes. Accessible through the Embedded Place & Route Editor or the advanced standalone Place & Route Editor (P.R.Editor XR 2000). The CADSTAR Variant Manager adds another layer of flexibility, allowing users to generate variants of a ‘master’ design, complete with B.O.M’s and assembly drawings

Completing your PCB design is followed by generating manufacturing output data for PCB fabrication, making CADSTAR Express your ideal free PCB manufacturing software.

CADSTAR Express PCB manufacturing software that is one of the best free PCB design software on the market. in this case you are seeing the PCB view

The Freedom of Free PCB Design Software

CADSTAR Express stands out as a free-to-use and download PCB design software. To get started, users simply need to register their details, and an email will be sent containing the download link and password for installation. This allows enthusiasts, hobbyists, and budding engineers to explore the world of PCB design without financial constraints.

Additional resources

Included within one of the best free PCB design software, CADSTAR Express, is a 130-page ‘Do-It-Yourself’ manual to guide you through 4 different PCB Design processes.
The 35 ‘how-to’ demonstration movies contained within the DIY manual will guide you through how to design a PCB, including:

  • how to transform a hand-drawn electronic circuit into a professional PCB schematic design.
  • how to create an error-free transfer of data from schematic design to a PCB layout and then place and route components.
  • how to generate CAM outputs that will generate the necessary artwork, reports, and files needed to get your PCB built by your preferred fabrication vendor.
  • how to create schematic symbols, components, and parts for future CADSTAR libraries.

The guide is included as part of the CADSTAR Express’s PCB design software download and will open on launch of the software. Alternatively, the CADSTAR Express ‘Do-It-Yourself’ guide is also available to download as an individual file. The CADSTAR Express tutorial is an invaluable resource for those new to PCB design, providing step-by-step guidance and insights into the intricacies of the process. Whether you prefer a hands-on approach or a more in-depth understanding through tutorial videos, CADSTAR Express caters to diverse learning preferences.

Download the CADSTAR Express Tutorial

Additionally, we have a series of tutorials of CADSTAR Express that can aid you in your PCB design process ranging from adding connections in a schematic, and creating reusable board blocks, to generating ODB++ outputs.

Download the CADSTAR Express Tutorial

While the free PCB design software CADSTAR Express provides a valuable entry point into PCB design, it is important to note its not the full product. Advanced features such as high-speed length or delay-based routing, signal integrity solutions, a 3D electro-mechanical verification environment, are not available in CADSTAR Express’s free PCB design software.

For users seeking a more comprehensive exploration of CADSTAR’s capabilities, Zuken offers a full 30-day evaluation version. This version includes all the features within CADSTAR, providing a more immersive experience for professionals and enthusiasts alike. To access the full evaluation version, register for an evaluation with your local CADSTAR distributor, who can assist in providing the necessary resources and support.

Contact your local CADSTAR Reseller

In conclusion, CADSTAR Express serves as a beacon for those venturing into the realm of PCB design. Its user-friendly interface, coupled with a rich set of features, makes it an ideal starting point for anyone curious about electronic design. From schematic creation to component placement, routing, and CAM output generation, the free PCB design software CADSTAR Express provides a holistic understanding of the PCB design process.

The availability of free PCB design software like CADSTAR Express breaks down barriers and empowers individuals to explore their creativity in the world of electronics. As users progress in their design journey, a 30-day CADSTAR evaluation opens doors to advanced features, ensuring a seamless transition to a more comprehensive PCB design experience.

So, whether you are a newcomer eager to learn or a seasoned professional looking to evaluate a new tool, CADSTAR Express invites you to embark on a journey of design exploration, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of free PCB design tools.

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