Saturday, July 12, 2014

How to transfer Eagle PCB design to Altium Designer?

Cadsoft Eagle and Altium designer are widely used PCB design software. Altium designer users often find schematic, PCB and library in Cadsoft Eagle free file format and want to import them into Altium Designer. There is one trick that converts eagle design files to altium and that is using UCL scripts. But with newer Altium Designer version starting from v14 there is inbuild import program in Altium Designer software that converts Eagle files to Altium Designer.

Eagle provides many PCB designs and tutorials for free and in this post we are going to import one such design file to altium designer to see how the process of converting eagle to altium and also view imported file to see how they look like when they are converted.

Using the import feature is straight forward. The import function is under File > Import Wizard and this brings up the window like the one below,

Clicking Next, brings up the dialog box that allows us to specify what CAD files we want to import. Here we can see Eagle Projects and Designs listed in the list which was not previously on the list. We select that option.

 After selecting that option and clicking next brings up the next window which allows us to add the Eagle schematic and PCB design files. The add button allows us to browse and select the eagle design files.

Then the next screen allows you to convert the eagle library files to altium designer library files. Since in this illustrated pcb design conversion there are no library it is left alone. But if you had eagle library files it good to convert them.

Then alitum designer reads the files for conversion.

The next window allows users to make various reports of the conversion process and specify what things to recognize such as power ports, any ports, net names and others as shown below-

The next screen allows user to specify directory where the converted design files should be saved. The default directory is the same directory as the input directory.

The conversion process starts which takes just seconds to complete. Then the conversion is completed where the user now just has to click on the Finish button.

The converted PCB file is shown below-

The schematic document and the PCB document are under the project file panel.

A glance of 3D view,

The converted schematic design is shown below.

As you can see the schematic and pcb files are very nicely and accurately transferred from Eagle to Altium Designer.

Cadsoft Eagle Free is widely used by students, electronics hobbyist and professional designers and Altium Designer is preferred for more professional PCB designs because of its features and 3D modelling capabilities. Both are very good PCB design software and both can be used for most of the electronics design work.

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