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PCB Wizard 3 is a graphic tool you can use to design printed circuit boards. As you may have guessed, this program is mainly intended for engineers and other experts in the field, but this does not mean that it cannot be used by anyone with some knowledge of electronics. Fortunately, it is quite intuitive and comes with excellent help documentation, which includes a tutorial. And, if this is the first time you use this kind of software, it is a good thing that there are various sample circuits available.
The tool is very similar to general-purpose painting software in the sense that there is a sort of a canvas to which you drag and drop components. Then, you can also start drawing the connections between them. In this respect, there is an extensive component gallery, where you can find such things as power supplies, resistors, connectors, capacitors, integrated circuits, among others. Likewise, these components can be connected using tracks, pads and wires.
Probably the nicest thing about this program is that it includes several viewing styles, which you can switch by clicking on the left-side tabs. In this respect, the real-world style produces results that are almost like a photograph of the printed circuit you are designing at the moment. Moreover, there are other styles, including normal, artwork, unpopulated, prototype and solder side artwork. And, as if this was not enough, you can even create your own styles.
It is good news, that, once the circuit has been designed, it is possible to export the results to various manufacturing output formats, including those that can be interpreted by drilling machines and third-party software.
All in all, PCB Wizard 3 is a great tool in the hands of knowledgeable people as it makes the design process much easier than it would be with a pen and pencil. Besides, it offers a high level of realism. Regrettably, as with many other technical programs, the interface is quite Spartan and may look outdated. The product is available in three editions: Standard, Schools and Professional, and there is a free version you can download and try without many limitations.
- Excellent help documentation
- Sample circuits
- Extensive component gallery
- Various styles
- Realistic views of the circuit
- Supports various export formats
- May look outdated