If you’ve been in the electronic DIY area for a while, you might have heard of Eagle. Eagle is a PCB design software tool that has become incredibly popular in the maker space because of its powerful, if somewhat counter intuitive interface, and inclusive free licenses. It was owned by Element 14, however Element 14 has now been sold, and the new owners have decided that it doesn’t really fit into the business model. So that sold it to Autodesk.
Autodesk own several hugely popular CAD design tools including AutoCad, Fusion, and Maya (just to name a few). What it was missing, was a powerful PCB design tool. Now this acquisition is dividing the maker community somewhat, but I personally am excited for the change and feel that it’s going to bring a much needed refresh and makeover to what is a promising platform. They’ve also committed to retaining the fantastic student, educator, and hobbiest licenses, as well as overhaul the entire product.
Dave from EEV blog provides his thoughts in the video above, and when I first heard the news I immideiatly thought that I might have to jump ship from Eagle (rendering my hours of painstaking library creation null and void), but then I did a bit more reading and I’m quite excited to see what comes of this. One of the best things will be if Autodesk provide tight integration with their other products. I’m imagining being able to create lifelike 3D renderings of board designs, easily create 3D printable circuit boards to fit testing, and intuitive circuit simulation.