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Switching from Altium to another software

zanonn88 , 01-09-2023, 05:34 AM
Short version / TL; DR : My Altium Designer Student license is expiring soon, and I want to know if Altium Circuit Maker 2.0 is worth using? Has anyone reviewed the 2.0 version?

Long Version: I was wondering if anyone has an opinion Altium "Circuit Maker" 2.0? A lot of the information and comparisons that I've seen are a year or more old, so maybe a revisit would be good? I also understand they just came out with version 2. I've read that the Circuit Maker program runs almost the same way as Altium Designer but with some weird changes (changing the shortcuts/hotkeys was a big issue that I've seen). I'm interested in it because I learned a bit of Altium on a Student License while at university, but my license will expire at the end of June (I'm finally graduating!) and I want to continue working with this software. As a new graduate however, I won't be able to afford an Altium license. I know there is a cheaper tier called Circuit Studio, but if the free version is good, I would appreciate saving the money.

Another reason I'm interested in using Circuit Maker is because if the User Interface is the same/similar to Altium Designer, then the old FEDEVEL YouTube tutorials for Altium Designer can be followed. It could also become the "Free Level" for some FEDEVEL tutorials alongside or instead of EasyEDA.

I will be using the Circuit Maker as a beginner/ hobbyist, not for work. I heard that all of the projects are public by default/force, but I don't really mind that as I'm not planning on selling anything that I make. I don't think I will be doing any flexible projects right now, but I wouldn't mind looking into it in the future. As for board layers, I do want to pursue 4 or more layers. I haven't seen anything regarding layer restrictions in Circuit Maker. I've used DipTrace and KiCad in the past, only one project on each.

Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated!
robertferanec , 01-10-2023, 09:29 AM
Personally, I would not spend time with Circuit Maker nor Circuit Studio (their future is uncertain). Getting more experience with KiCAD could be more beneficial in long term. Possibly, try EasyEDA (very simple to learn to use and I have done some tutorials in it e.g. https://youtu.be/S_p0YV-JlfU ).
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