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Tutorial - DSPCB Pro



  • Ralph Carlsson

    The Pro could be excellent - how knows? Can't start a new schematic. The help buttons are not working and I can't put a frame to start with. The libraries, where are they?

    The one thing that is working is the library loader in Designspark FREE (after some try outs, you have to guess all the way though)

    Did a Designspark job 4 years ago with success at the end but, Lord, how 'mecchy' it was and it took a very very long time trying out how you made it work. I thought then of buying a professional suite the next time. Never mind the cost. It would have been cheaper than spending hours and hours of trying to make Designspark pcb work, at the end.

    You can forget the 'easy to do' badge. The real badge 'It might work but you have work real hard. Designspark pcb is not doing the job easyer but it's free!

    But after more than 3 years I thought I should try it again. Hooping that all the bugs had been fixed.

    Started the other day but got stuck immediately. The help function is not working. I cannot use the template 'frame'.

    I'm sorry RS (my key supplier ) but this is not good! The 'Pro' denomination is not worth it's name to Designspark! Better is 'hope you make it work' Designspark pcb elr (exhausting labor required)

    Spend several hours trying to find out how I could do to get started but no, I'm stuck!




  • DesignSpark PCB

    Hello Ralph, sorry to hear of your experiences, this is not the normal response from our users who mention they appreciate the many new features.

    Have you looked at our User Guide

    This may help with your understanding, however as you have an issue with "Help" it may be your system has an installation error. I checked the Support database but this has not been reported previously so I suggest discussing with the support team by raising a ticket.
    Submit a request – DesignSpark Support (

  • DesignSpark PCB

    Hello Ralph, I have revisited this and not found any issues with the program operation as you describe, so please do contact our support team if you have not already done so.

  • Murad J

    Almost full review:

    I've been doing DesignSpark PCB since its early stages started using it heavily for RF power design in the last 5 years and all my successful designs are based on it. In the last months I wanted to buy Altium full edition which might cost up to 10K and an overhead of subscription fee, however due to financial circumstances we decided for the PRO version of DesignSpark. I will get the license soon to begin with it.

    Now i can mention few errors that i struggled with in the early versions and also some functions that create some mental draining and frustration to make work:

    - The software had sudden crashes while designing where it exist without warning, luckily DS had the auto-backup and i never lost anything. This didnt happen in the last 2 years due to improvements i guess.

    - The software copper pouring is frustrating, I have to fill and refill up to 50 times and check where some fills look weird especially between a raster of vias or pads (this is managable). i don't like fills under small SMD parts.

    - The software is not able to do shape pouring in the same manner of copper pouring. why such a function is highly needed? Because lots of times i need to create my own design of solder mask and pour it including the usage of pour exclusion areas. How i do that? I create a dummy electrical layer > i pour it as if it was a solder mask > I change this layer from copper to shape then i work with it. But editing it is also a pain as you cant unpour the shape back to fine tune it.

    - Visa cant be individually disconnected from the Net and when this happens then all vias sharing the same net change their net to the new net. this is horrible and doesnt give flexibility. 

    - Pads however can be individually disconnected form the net. i really dont know then the difference between a pad with a hole in it and a via.

    - The software can't create a fillet between lines unless they are perpendicular. Please implement that.

    - Libraries are very incomplete, basic parts like SMD resistors and SMD caps with all standard packages are only available as a PCB footprints and not as a component. i had to create all the other parts i needed. thankfully there was the component wizard otherwise id get crazy.

    - Please implement a Library with IPC footprints of resistors, caps, ... etc.

    - I really liked the easy to use mouse functions especially double clicking on corners to create chamfers or fillets.

    - I really liked the fast response of the software and the simple graphics (no need for special effects) keep it simple.

    - There is a lots of work to do on the 3D view, but the effort to make it happen is appreciated.

    - I like the many UnDos one can make

    - I do my designs backwards, I create the PCB then the schematic manually after it works for real.

    - Track ends: it would be nice to be able to modify the shape of the track end e.g. square, round, arrow and so on.

    DesignSpark PCB is great for such a price and for the free software they provided for years.

    Thank you,



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