Printed circuit board (PCB) design software is used by electrical engineers and printed circuit board designers to map out and test a circuit before permanently etching it into a circuit board. A variation of computer-aided design (CAD) programs, this software offers a range of design abilities. Using PCB design software, a designer can add and remove components of a circuit, change the voltages and resistance of the various parts, or alter circuit paths with a simple click of the mouse or a few keystrokes, creating a working model of the circuit long before the design is actually etched onto the circuit board.
The purpose of PCB design software is to create intelligently and efficiently designed circuitry based on schematics. Using this software, electronics engineers or other suitably trained individuals can replicate the function of a schematic design, print circuit boards, and produce a product that will perform all of the functions designed into the original schematic. Most PCB design software is also capable of pointing out minor design flaws, inconsistencies, and trouble areas that may result in a poorly designed product. Depending upon the individual software suite chosen for a project, it may have a preset arrangement of electrical components and tests already configured to be adapted into design projects.
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