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Tip: List of Free Engineering Software

Discussion in 'The Café - General Discussions On Everything' started by ash, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. ash


    Engineering Discipline:
    Well, I thought of just posting this after I compiled a big list of programs, but it'll take some time. So i'll just post an initial list. To make the list complete, it'll take all of you CEans to contribute :) I was sorta inspired by the Neowin's List of free alternative software (click HERE), so I believe a dedicated engineering one here would be useful!

    CAD software
    OpenCascade (OSS)
    Alibre Xpress (Free edition, need to register)
    Google SketchUp (freeware)
    A9CAD (General purpose 2D, freeware)
    BRL CAD (solid modelling system, OSS)

    ECAD software
    KiCad (OSS)
    Eagle (Free edition)

    Scilab (sorta OSS, alternative to MATLAB)

    Spectrogram Version 16 (Wave analysis. Freeware)
    CANDE- Culvert ANalysis and DEsign (design and analysis of buried structures. Free version)
    SNAILZ (stability analysis of slopes. Free version)

    Circuit Analysis and Schematics
    PSpice (student edition)
    Circuit Maker 6 (student edition)
    Multisim Designsuite 9 (freeware edition. Im not sure of the limitations yet)
    SwCADIII (free version)
    TINA:-SPICE-Based Analog Simulation Program from TI (Circuit Simulator)

    Dev C++ 5 beta (OSS)
    Dev C++ Portable (OSS. It can run off a USB, pretty useful)
    Visual Basic 2008 Express, Visual C++ 2008 Express (Freeware IDE's from Microsoft. Has some limitations, but ideal for students and hobbyists)

    Microcontroller stuff
    - PIC
    MPLAB IDE (free version)
    HI-TECH PICC-Lite (freeware with some limitations, quick registration)
    WinPic800 (firmware burner)
    PIC16F87x / 16F87xA bootloader (freeware)
    Proton Development Suite (PICBASIC, free version available)

    - NXP

    FlashMagic (Free. Programming Tool For NXP Semiconductors)

    Code Warrior (Product Summary Page)
    Code Warrior (Development Studio,
    free version with some limitations)

    Bascom AVR (IDE)

    Some Softwares Related to 8051

    Embedded RTOS
    Salvo Lite (free version with some limitations)

    PuTTY (great free telnet and SSH client)
    PuTTYCM (useful connection manager for multiple tabs and instances)

    Network Tools
    Wireshark (awesome network protocol analyzer)
    GNS3 (cisco network simulator based on Dynamips. Note: Still need a licenced IOS)

    Microsoft Robotic Developer Studio (Express edition. Robot control and simulator)
    Roborealm 1.0 (freeware version. Latest one is a trial version)
    PHUN (a super fun physics simulator. xhx used it for our CE bot project)

    Testing Tools

    Selenium (web application testing tool. Discussion Thread ->

    Thanks to those who contributed! :)

    Yep, this list still has a long way to go. I've tried most the software listed above. I could have just googled for more, but it isnt right if I just copy paste them unless I've actually tested them. So, please post in any free software which you have used that could be useful to the rest of us! I'll update this list often. If we can have a big list, it can be sticky'd :p
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  2. ash


    Engineering Discipline:
    I just added some PIC tools. Does anyone know a more user friendly PIC compiler like the CCS PCW PIC C-compiler? The HI-TECH one takes some extra steps to compile :(
  3. ash


    Engineering Discipline:

    Any CEan got anymore free engineering software which I can add to the list? :) Preferably ones that you have used before, of course!
  4. ash


    Engineering Discipline:
    *bump again*
    I added a free wave analyzer called Spectrogram (at version 16 now). It turns your computer into a Spectrum analyzer, using the MIC input of your soundcard. Its totally awesome stuff. Here's a quote from the website regarding its features:
    I also came across SwitcherCAD III. The circuit analysis is quite easy to use. I'll test it more to see how well it compares with Orcad PSpice. Check them out!

    I wanted to add Octave to the list.. but I had trouble installing it. Its a MATLAB 4 clone, meaning the syntax and keywords are virtually the same. Perhaps its easier to use than Scilab for those migrating from MATLAB.
  5. suyash

    suyash Apprentice

    Engineering Discipline:
    A9CAD - for general 2D purpose ... quite simple to use and uses AutoCAD like GUI

    Google Sketch up - for 3d modeling, haven't used it... but heard that it's quite powerful !!
  6. ash


    Engineering Discipline:
  7. sauravgoswami

    sauravgoswami Rookie

    Engineering Discipline:
    Electrical & Electronics
    why dont ya add some measurement helpfull s/w Labveiw form NI will do,you can also add some scripting tools like Python which are also helpfull,and finally Emulator s/w,it will help to run programmes without H/W or development kits.
  8. ash


    Engineering Discipline:

    I found this link, it might be useful for those looking for emulators:
    PICEMU -- Pic Emulator Software (Simulator)

    Unfortunately, I haven't tried any of them. If any of you have tried, please tell me so I can add on the list above.
  9. dykstra

    dykstra Certified CEan

    Hi...anyone no of free software for creating long sections for pipe lines. cheers:)
  10. Kaustubh Katdare


    Engineering Discipline:
    This thread got 'DIGGED' :mrgreen: Welcome to everyone from DIGG. Help us digg this thread more ;) !
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Rifaa

    Rifaa Apprentice

    Engineering Discipline:
    Electrical & Electronics
    OK , since I was abt ask you engineers a noob q?, I thought I'll ask it in here.
    I like to know which is the best software for simulating and building Schematics. :confused: I do not want use number of progs. Just one to built the shema, simulate it and transfer it clad design and possible auto routing is a must. ;)
    I thought of trying P SPICE, LT Spice and or just Spice, ( this is rather confusing ). You might be thinking tht me being an Engineer why I am asking, well it's tht it's been quite long since went off grid in circuit simulation in PC's since electronic work bench 5.0 ( yeah! yeah! I know it's old). I have been doing proto typing on paper sketches and building them on vero's since I cannot import chemical's to Maldives. ( if I did, i'll be on watch by some government officials, u know all this terrorist, and building bomb staff's, and since I am good at electronics and if get my hands on chemicals, well u know the rest, U know we can't get our hands on fire crackers, it's illegal here, we have a very $$#$_ government, god ! I hate it here).:mad:
    So any ways I got a contact from USA and he will etch the boards for a really low price so I need to give him a good layout of the shema's.
    So pls tell me, which is the best out there with a lot of libraries and goodies. The best of the best if any one have any Idea, I need full working one's. not for beginners, not for testing with limitations. OK. :p.
    I have heard of Spice u know, but there are different ones and from different companies.
    Right now I am evaluating NI's Multisim. and I am having trouble simulating the diagram, it's saying I don't have a power source or something :confused:.
    So shoot one suggestion to me
    Thanks :happy:
  12. ash


    Engineering Discipline:
    Sorry for the late response.

    In terms of user friendliness, a complete package that could have worked (simulation and PCB trace creation) was Crocodile Technology. Unfortunately its not free and prices for commercial licenses are not publicly shown as its mainly aimed for educational institutions.

    Theres a free complete package that I'm tracking at the moment called Qucs. Its a new circuit simulator that will have PCB layout in the future. Its still an early version.. but the roadmap is pretty interesting: Qucs project: roadmap

    Anyways, for circuit simulations, OrCad Pspice is still quite effective even after all these years. If you want to do the PCB trace for it, I'd just recreate it again on Eagle Lite. Might be a waste of time, but Eagle is a great software. If you are running linux, you might give KiCad a shot.

    But, if you really do want to save time, what you can do is create your circuit on PCB software that can export netlists first, then import them into simulators. I haven't tried that, though :p

    If one is involved with even more complex circuitry, its wise to invest in commercial software. Since I'm still studying, I'm not experience in that realm just yet. Eagle Lite might be restricted if you have a bigger design. In that case, you can try PCB Free.. but I haven't used it yet so you'll need to try it yourself.
  13. Rifaa

    Rifaa Apprentice

    Engineering Discipline:
    Electrical & Electronics
    Hey Ash, is yenka that good, what would you suggest, money is no of concern to me, I want the BEST
  14. Harshad Italiya


    Engineering Discipline:
    Electronics & Communications
    FlashMagic. Programming Tool For NXP Semiconductors
  15. ash


    Engineering Discipline:
    @ GF
    Thanks, I'll add it. Is it easy to use?

    Its hard to tell. When they rebranded it to Yenka, they have specifically tailor made it for educational use. If you shoot them an e-mail about the commercial version, you might get access to a more suitable version.

    Try downloading the trial version of Yenka. The interface is pretty clunky and a bit childish.. but it does actually allow you to simulate circuits and create the PCB (with auto routing).

  16. Rifaa

    Rifaa Apprentice

    Engineering Discipline:
    Electrical & Electronics
    @ash. Yup !! pretty childish I'd say. I registered and they gave me free licenses :happy: hoorayy!!
    But they have a lot of varieties, am a bit confused u know. I downloaded something called yenka 2.5.3. it says something about programing, and I Installed and still donno what the heck to do with it :shock:
    Do you have any idea?
    What is yenka for windows anyway? :confused:

    @gf. Will flash magic be able to program with the one I have, it says something about using the software that is currently loaded or something, anyways I am going to down load it.
  17. ash


    Engineering Discipline:
    At the splash screen, choose the "technology" tab. Then choose "Electronics".
  18. Rifaa

    Rifaa Apprentice

    Engineering Discipline:
    Electrical & Electronics
    Oh boy...this is interesting. thanks buddy :p
  19. Harshad Italiya


    Engineering Discipline:
    Electronics & Communications
    @ Ash.. Yes it is very Easy to Use.
  20. Harshad Italiya


    Engineering Discipline:
    Electronics & Communications
    Dear Rifaa,

    It only Supports ICP method..Can you please tell me which NXP Controller You are Using!

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