Lock your design with ZenitPCB suite

Vertica Asthana is a technical journalist at EFY

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There are a lot many PCB design and simulation software available today. What if you get a software to make schematics, layouts and Gerber files free of cost? If the software is also easy to use with an easy user interface, it is definitely worth a try. Here we present such a software for electronics design, called ZenitPCB.

Why ZenitPCB

ZenitPCB is a freeware comparable with other electronic design automation (EDA) software in terms of professional-level accuracy of designs. Users can import a mechanical drawing with a PCB and build their own board outline, thereby saving time while getting a concise layout. This can be done using ‘Import DXF’ command.

Users find this software easy to use even without any documentation. Still, for further assistance, there is a help window F1.

PCB layout designed using ZenitPCB software (Image courtesy: www.zenitpcb.com)
Fig. 1: PCB layout designed using ZenitPCB software (Image courtesy: www.zenitpcb.com)

Version 2.0 vs 1.8

Verification and security

From copy-and-paste of terminology to modifying the selected symbols or parts, ZenitPCB is now easily accessible for commands and functions. It takes just a double click to zoom around the component that is not verified. Coming to security part, users can lock the project even when the window is open. So accidentally or deliberately, no one can change the design.

Pins attribute

In pins attribute, users can insert pin names directly inside a grid, copy and paste, eliminating the tedious process of single, manual inputs. They can also change other attributes such as ‘electrical type’ and ‘inside and outside edge.’

Auto open part or symbol

Users can directly open the part required for modification. The design output form is also redesigned.

Snapshot of ZenitPCB window
Fig. 2: Snapshot of ZenitPCB window

Trace the current in track

‘Current capacity’ helps to trace the current flowing through tracks. Calculations are based on an empirical equation.

Sometimes the designer is new and unaware of the flow of current at each point. It may happen that either out of ignorance or haste, the track of a high-current path is not as per the PCB standard. If the software is not able to point out this error, the engineer would face complex electrical issues during the development stage. Designing another PCB means repeating the entire process, causing a loss of time and money loss as well. In such situations, ‘current capacity’ feature is a blessing.

Function window of ZenitPCB
Fig. 3: Function window of ZenitPCB

Export IDF and footprint wizard

Using ‘Export IDF,’ the design created can be exported into an ASCII file that contains all the 3D information. Many professional-level CAD tools can import this file. So this feature is very helpful for mechanical designers.

Customising the components is a time-taking process, demanding a high level of accuracy. The footprint wizard helps create footprints automatically as per the design requirements.

Auto open part
Fig. 4: Auto open part

Other features

Sometimes, during the nomenclature of bigger circuits, designers might repeat names on components. For example, three resistors can have a single terminology R1, which is both inaccurate and difficult to know, especially when the circuit uses a large number of components. ZenitPCB provides a feature to find such net names.

Besides, there are some other small upgrades in version 2.0, which can be found in ZenitPCB suite 2.0 manual

The design output form is also redesigned
Fig. 5: The design output form is also redesigned

To sum up

ZenitPCB is an easy-to-use tool that does not require any special training for use. Moreover, it works on Windows platform supporting 3D modelling and CAD. However, it still requires use of a mouse to design a circuit.


 

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