EasyEDA: Free Web-Based PCB Design and Simulation Tool

EasyEDA is a free online tool for drawing circuit schematics, designing PCB layouts and generating fabrication files. An integrated fabrication service allows users to print their PCBs, effectively supporting the entire workflow of designing a new electronics board. Vast libraries of components and models are available, additionally open source models can be loaded and customized. The integrated SPICE circuit simulator allows for quickly analyzing the circuit and generating reports.

Like most tools EasyEDA was born out of the need of engineers Dillon He and Eric Cui to quickly design and build electronics modules. Work started in summer 2010 and the product was officially launched in 2014. It has been continuously updated since then receiving new features and improvements on a periodic basis.

Overview

EasyEDA is a web app which means that all you need to start working with it is a browser of your choice with JavaScript enabled. It is not required to install any packages and you are not restricted to a certain platform. More than that you can work on your project at any time and from any location, and also collaborate with fellow developers on the same project. Storage and processing takes place in the Cloud, however there are no restrictions in downloading project files at any time and importing these in other similar programs.

The editor offers a pretty polished work environment making one almost forget it is a web app. There are some unique features not usually found web based EDA tools, such as the SPICE circuit simulator where you can plot graphs and generate reports of your circuit’s response. The software supports multiple layer PCB designs and supports importing standard Eagle, KiCad, LTSpice and Altium files allowing for further editing them.

The component library contains thousands of parts to choose from, and third party libraries and schematic examples from Adafruit, Seeedstudio, Pololu or Sparkfun are also available. You can also access complete open source modules developed by the community and customize them to your needs. EasyEDA will throw some errors if components in imported schematics are not recognized, therefore a bit of tweaking is required for certain imported files.

There is an extensive documentation section containing step by step guides as well as videos allowing you to get the hang of it pretty quickly. For the example below I used the creating a schematic tutorial to sketch a pretty clumsy diagram of an H-bridge circuit I used a while ago.

An example

I made the circuit in schematic capture mode using components from the area on the left and modifying their attributes from the Design Manager on the right. There is no right click contextual menu, however this can be overcome with a little bit of practice I believe.

For the PCB to be rendered properly the correct package type of the component needs to be set — this can be found in the component datasheet. Afterwards the components were connected by selecting Wire from the Wiring Tools box.

Circuit schematic with EasyEDA

Circuit schematic

The Convert Project to PCB button from the top toolbar renders the PCB layout. After a few quick adjustments the following double layered rendering resulted:

PCB layout with EasyEDA

PCB layout

An useful addition is the Auto Router tool which can automatically adjust wiring according to your settings.

With Photo View you can get a glimpse at what the actual board will look like. There are numerous contextual menus with options for customizing the view.

Actual view of the board with EasyEDA

Actual view of the board with EasyEDA

From the Simulate menu you can run simulations or view a report for the circuit in question.

EasyEDA Simulate menu

Simulate menu

A detailed tutorial about simulation can be found here.

Subscriptions and costs

Another aspect worth emphasizing is that EasyEDA does not restrict you in any way to use their manufacturing service. Once you have finished designing your PCB layout you can either order a printed PCB from them, or simply export and download the Gerber and drill files for use with any other service.

Subscription and usage of EasyEDA for personal and commercial purposes is completely free and there are also certain features, such as drawing schematics, which can be used without registration.

There is also a contribution-based reward system allowing users to receive more private projects as they post new projects or make additions to the libraries.

There are also paid subscription plans for professionals and companies offering phone support, cloud storage as well as the ability to store private projects. Head to their website to find out more.