SnapEDA Helps Make Hardware Design Chores a Snap

Have you created a PCB footprint and schematic symbol from scratch for a component that you needed in your hardware design?

Schematic and printed-circuit-board (PCB) design tools come with a wide range of component models and schematic symbols. Most can be customized and utilized with new components, but this takes time and effort. This is especially true when it involves 3D models, simulation information, and so on. This level of functionality may not be needed for a basic PCB layout. However, it becomes invaluable when doing advanced analysis such as thermal simulations. 

Managing a large library of components can also be a challenge. Building and maintaining this library becomes much easier if component information is provided by a third party instead of having to be created or recreated. Component vendors often provide this information in one form or another and there are a number of standard exchange formats, but no single format provides all of this information or is used by all tools.

1. SnapEDA’s website allows designers to search for components and then examine the details from schematic diagrams to 3D models.

SnapEDA is a website that helps simplify the chore of designing a system with new components. It provides free schematic models, PCB footprints, and 3D models for a growing list of electronic components. Designers can simply search for a part on the website and then check out the details (Fig. 1).

Developers can download information to a range of platforms, including Eagle, Altium, KiCad, OrCAD, Cadence Allegro, Pulsonix, and PADS. Such functionality highlights the value of SnapEDA. Vendors may provide one or more formats, but SnapEDA handles conversion to other formats. It also delivers the proper content to developers.

Users can also view details like the 3D models (Fig. 2). As noted, 3D outline and PCB layout details are just part of the information mix users are able to access. Datasheets and even…

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