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frodus
02 November 2011, 1423
So what does everyone use for schematics? I'm use to auto cad but don't want to buy it for my side business. Free is good but sub $200 is ok too. I want something that can do the electrical components well. No need for electronic schematics but I could use that if there's a good one out there.

billmi
02 November 2011, 1454
I've been using Adobe Illustrator - not free, but already on hand for work.

seanece
02 November 2011, 1541
Visio. Very nice, simple and easy.

jpanichella
02 November 2011, 1614
+1 on Thrillustrator.

I also used Rhinoceros, and can export back and forth between that and illustrator. Rhino is more like autocad.

mpipes
02 November 2011, 1804
For the time being, Rhino is free for Mac users while it's in the development stage. I've been using it a little bit lately, but since I do heavy CAD work all day with AutoCAD, Mechanical and Inventor, I don't feel like messing with it too much on my own time.

As far as I know, Rhino is $750-$1000

TurboCAD LTE is $150 - never used it so I can't comment, but just about anything out there has to be somewhat more intuitive to learn than AutoCAD

BobCAD looks to have some nice features but it's still $700 for their entry level.

DaveAK
02 November 2011, 1847
I thought there was a free version of Rhino.

I bought Alibre Design (3D) when they were selling it for $99. Not sure what offers they have going now, nor do I know what the 2D drawing side is like, but it might be worth a look.

podolefsky
02 November 2011, 2213
I've been using Illustrator, but only because I have it and know it pretty well. For circuit schematics it's actually a little clunky.

Check out Dia (http://live.gnome.org/Dia). It's free, has lots of built in symbols including electrical components. In some ways nicer than Illustrator for circuit drawings.

__Tango
03 November 2011, 1124
A mac only program that i found to work great is OmniGraffle. Similar to visio, but renders stuff better (IMHO).

podolefsky
03 November 2011, 1303
Oh yeah, there's also Inkscape (http://inkscape.org/). It's an open source Illustrator type drawing program.

frodus
03 November 2011, 2041
I've looked at Visio some, and a program called Smart Draw, both are good solutions.... might try out smartdraw. It opens visio files as well as a bunch of other graphics.

Thanks guys.

Mason45
31 October 2012, 1840
I've found TurboCAD useful, but in general these circuit diagram creator solutions work at a too low level for my taste, and that reduces productivity.

jonescg
01 November 2012, 0523
I use MS Paint... Works for me.

frodus
01 November 2012, 0820
I recently started using the free digikey online schematic software schem-it under resources on the main page. Works well and its linked to a bom for ordering stuff. You can make your own blocks.

Allen_okc
01 November 2012, 0929
i use corel draw for everything at first - it draws to scale, my battery layout was created to scale, to make sure it would fit in the battery box, and it did...

sysTom
15 January 2013, 1455
Visio.

Skahle
16 January 2013, 0219
For diagrams I use Visio, for schematics I use Eagle. I've used all the paid packages for schematic capture and PCB layout and Eagle is the best tool I've found for an individual designer or small shop. Free for small (4"x4") 2-layer boards and < $1k for a 6+layer tool, comes with back annotation and a good DRC checker. Also easy (semi-intuitive after you practice a lot) to create new library parts.

sysTom
21 January 2013, 0858
Good to know about "smartdraw" for when I no longer have access to Visio from work.

For real schematics that are bound for a PCB I use pcb123.com - free SW, and you're somewhat locked in to their fab (but you can get gerbers if you pay $$$) - but it is pretty good and the PCB fab costs are not outrageous and they have great turn-around times and very good customer service.