Eagle CAD for schematic entry and circuit board design
There is a neat electronics CAD package called Eagle, published by CadSoft. It is a commercial program, but there is a "light" version that is free for non-commercial use. It has some minor limitations (only 2-sided circuit boards, one sheet for the schematic, limit to the size of the board) that are fine for hobbyist use in FabLabs. It is available for PC, Mac, and Linux, which is nice.
It can be downloaded from their website (direct link).
Some tips for getting up and running with Eagle (this is a draft - I'll update this as it gets more refined):
1) Use source code control (I will edit this post later to link to an article explaining how to set this up - I use Google Code). In your source code trunk, create a directory called eagle. Under that directory, create projects and libraries subdirectories. That way you'll be able to use the same libraries no matter where you are, without having to remember what you need and downloading it in each place.
2) Edit your preferences in Eagle (Options->Directories... when looking at the Eagle control panel) so that it looks for files within your source code controlled directory. This includes projects, libraries, design rules, user language programs, and CAM jobs. By putting all of this stuff in source control, it means that when you go to a new location (e.g., a computer in your lab, a laptop, your desktop, whatever), you only have to check out your stuff and update those directories. All the other work you do to set up your environment travels with you. You also won't mistakenly save your files in the default locations, and forget to save them in your source code control system (as I did recently... just before my laptop's disk crashed - ouch!).
3) Set your preferences for routing to take advantage of the "standard" equipment and devices we use to create circuit boards. This typically means a 1/64" router bit and surface-mount components. This is done through design rules (I'll fill this in more later).
4) Download some extra libraries. The part libraries that come with Eagle don't have everything we might need to use in the FabLab. You can get more libraries at the CadSoft site (direct link). Ones I've found useful are avr-4 (all of the Atmel components as of sometime in 2008), (others to be added later).
5) Get the GCode generator extension for Eagle. This allows you to create machining programs that you can then use directly on the Modela to create your circuit boards. I first saw how to do that on this site, and I'll write an article about it later.
I found a great link on creating PCBs using Eagle in a FabLab. This is much better than the technique I've been using. It uses the built-in Eagle CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) capabilities to drive the Modela Mill.
Sparkfun has some great tutorials on using Eagle and their library is pretty convenient!
Great. Thanks for sharing!