17/01/2020 v9.0.2 is now available.
Version 9.0.2 corrects the Technology path issue that some users experienced.
The download link on DesignSpark has been updated for the new version. There is also a patch update to update the required files of any v9.0 installed versions. https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/pcb-download-and-installation
Details of how to apply a patch update are here:
Windows OLE registration requirements. (Essential to function correctly with Library Loader).
As this patch includes a new DesignSpark EXE file, to register this with the Windows OLE on the first launch right click on the desktop icon and select "Run as Admin". Once launched check the Technology path is correct in Setting -> Preferences and update the path if not.
IMPORTANT: Now close the application, this completes the OLE registration.
Future launches of DSPCB can then be done as normal by a double click on the icon and when Library Loader is launched it will detect the application and work with the library folders.
If you are new to Library Loader please see the following documents:
14/12/2019 v9.0.1 Technology file path.
We are aware of the issue with some user being affected by technology file issues affecting both DesignSpark PCB and Library Loader. We apologise for the inconvenience and hope to have this resolved shortly.
04/04/2019 V8.1.2 drill file updated.
Excellon drill file. An updated NcDrill DLL file is available from support which corrects the previously reported bug. It will be in a future update, but for those preferring to manually install it now, please raise a support ticket https://designspark.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
29/01/2019 V8.1.2 Issues being investigated.
Excellon drill file. The drill files in this release contain format commands TZ and LZ to indicate any zero suppression used. Unfortunately the command in the drill file (.drl) is wrong.
Selecting leading zero suppression the command inserted is LZ and should be TZ.
The confusion is that the commands are defined as "with zeros".
Hence TZ is defined as "with Trailing Zeros" which means the leading zeros are suppressed.
Until we have an update please edit the drill file (.drl) in a text editor such as Notepad and change the LZ to TZ when you have selected leading zero suppression which is the more common format, but similarly if you are using trailing zero suppression change the TZ to LZ.
Copper Pour. A user experienced an issue where a copper pour flooded an area containing tracks. This is the only report of the issue and is being investigated.
ALWAYS check your Gerber files in a viewer to ensure they are correct.
In the above design it was identified that the correct copper pour could be achieved by unchecking the "Hardware Fill". Please use this method until a new update is released.
Any user experiencing a similar issue please contact support and submit your .pcb file for examination. https://designspark.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
02/07/2018 Authorisation issue. V8.0 and earlier versions.
Some users are reporting an error related to "Authorisation" when using older versions of DesignSpark PCB. If you are affected by this please contact the support team for assistance by using the Submit a Request feature.
The latest release V8.1.1 is not affected, this is the recommended solution and you will gain the benefits of all the new features.
Some user are not correctly receiving the activation code. Please raise a support request and submit your serial number from Help-->About.
11/05/2018 V8.1.1 released.
V8.1.1 is now available for download and fixes a number of important bugs. Full details are here.
If updating from V8.1 to V8.1.1 please also see the important notes here.
We still have the occasional user who does not become activated by the normal process, simply send by the "Submit a request" link your installation serial number from Help-->About and the activation code will be returned.
06/03/2018 Known Issues being investigated. [11/05 Fixed in V8.1.1]
1. Excellon Drill files have leading and trailing zeros supressed.
2. Default library and Picaxe library will not enable.
Using Windows Explorer make a copy of the complete Library folder C:\Users\Public\Documents\DesignSpark PCB 8.1\Library\
and save this in a new folder C:\Users\Public\Documents\Library\
Now use the "Add" button in the Library Manger "Folders" tab and browse to this new location, the required components will then become available.
This FAQ gives details of the process for a different folder.
which will help you to understand the steps.
NOTE if you had a previous version of DesignSpark PCB installed, the library will be available in that versions folders and can be mapped to as detailed in the FAQ.
3. [16/03 Update] Copper pour. Multiple over lapping pour areas may not follow the defined pour sequence.
06/02/2018 Activation Issue.
A few users are reporting an activation issue which is currently being investigated.
05/09/2017 I'm trying to register and it says my username / email address is already being used?
We are currently experiencing an issue affecting some user when registering for DesignSpark within the application.
Whilst we investigate and fix this issue, the simplest solution is to register on the website and then log in to the software using these same credentials.
If you require and information regarding registering on the website then please see our tutorial
08/08/2017 ModelSource database shut down.
The time has come to switch the ModelSource database off – the new PCB Part Library has become a proven and popular quality solution that we can rely upon and is now our recommended solution as your online library resource. ModelSource has not been updated for several years and causes users many issues with the symbol and footprint quality, hence we have decided to switch it off. See more information about our library solutions here.
When the ModelSource Library is no longer accessible the following message will be displayed.
Close the message window and use PCB Part Library using Library Loader as described in the above links.
17/02/2017 Version 8.0 Known Issues.
Project Technology Files error.
1. There is an issue relating to the default selected Technology files, this will result in the wrong colours being displayed in the PCB editor and the grid will not be set on first use.
The temporary 'fix' is to manually select the project technology files as follows.
Fix: On launch select Settings --> Preferences --> General tab and click the 'Default' button to ensure the folder is mapped correctly and click "Apply".
When creating a new schematic for a project ensure the technology file is not blank and select from the pull down options.
When creating a PCB or translating from the Sch to PCB ensure the technology file is selected as shown below. Do not select "Use Default Technology" bullet.
You may however select the "Default" from the pulldown technology file options.
These steps will ensure normal behaviour.
2. Currently you cannot use the Technology Transfer function available from 'Settings' on the menu bar to customise a Technology File due to a path error.
If you wish to use a specific technology file previously created in an earlier version of DesignSpark PCB this can be achieved using Windows file explorer by copying them from the previous version folder to the new installation (file type .STF and .PTF)
Your current Technology folder path can be confirmed by viewing Settings --> Preferences.
Click the "Default" button to set it to the correct path if wrong.
The Technology File can be edited and saved as normal (File--> Save Technology File) for further customisation, however check that you are saving this to the correct version folder.