Software package provides engineers with schematic capture and PCB design without limitations removing barriers to innovation

RS Components has announced DesignSpark PCB, a fully featured PCB design tool available free of charge to all without limitation, making it a market-leader in free PCB design software currently available to engineers. DesignSpark PCB is available to all members of DesignSpark, the new online gateway to information, resources and reviews also launched today by RS at One of the key features within DesignSpark is free access for members to a range of design tools, hosted in the Spark Store. Developed in partnership with Number One Systems, specialists in the design of electronics CAD software, DesignSpark PCB is the first RS-created free design tool to be made available via the Spark Store. DesignSpark PCB comes with a range of functions and features that are unique to any free-of-charge PCB design software. Users will have access to a full suite of video tutorials, examples and a parts library. Engineers can create schematics that target any sized PCB with any number of layers, and import designs created in other PCB design software. Fully (auto)routed and design-rule checked designs can then be exported in a number of file formats including IDF, DXF and standard Gerber/manufacturing format, giving engineers faster progression into mechanical design. DesignSpark PCB is free to download from the DesignSpark website. Visitors simply need to register as a DesignSpark member to unlock the full functionality. DesignSpark PCB also comes with a component library that can be extended and shared – through DesignSpark – with other engineers. Details of the components used from the library form the basis of the Bill of Materials generated by DesignSpark PCB, which can then be used to create an order or quotation request through the usual RS web portals. "Engineers today are looking for fully comprehensive design tools that will help them move faster in taking new designs from concept to production" said Mark Cundle, Technical Marketing Manager for RS. "DesignSpark PCB removes the barriers associated with costly PCB design tools by offering unlimited professional standard tools at no cost, enabling easy adoption for any engineer." As part of an ongoing commitment to deliver an unrivalled authoritative design environment for its customers, RS launched three new platforms in May this year. Component Chooser - the world's largest and most extensive parametric search engine of electronic components, the introduction of 20,000 downloadable 3D CAD models onto its website and a strengthened Embedded Development Platform (EDP) product line which enables rapid prototyping and proof-of-concept through a new partnership with ARM to target microprocessors based on the mbed virtual development environment. The new platforms launched today, DesignSpark and DesignSpark PCB, are available to any engineer at Users will be invited to register in order to join DesignSpark and have access to thousands of development kit reviews, design centre information and free applications in the Spark Store, as well as connecting with other engineers and online resources supporting new designs.