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Product Design Software for Beginners: When and Why You Need It

Accessing product design software tools

Designing products, especially PCBs and electronics, that drive smart technologies like IoT industrial design and other applications is a great profession. However, the level of complexity that comes with creating these innovations is challenging. This is true for experienced engineers, but even more so when you are starting out. Fortunately, there is product design software for beginners that accelerates your ability to successfully create the boards and systems that are in demand efficiently.

What is Product Design Software for Beginners?

The obvious first requirement for PCB design is technical expertise and knowledge of the design process. For efficient circuit board design, you need the right tools. This includes an EDA tool with the functionality, capabilities, and scalability to meet your needs today and as your projects and challenges grow.

Unfortunately, most PCB design software programs do not include all the design, simulation, and analysis abilities rapidly becoming mandatory to design boards at a level that allows you and/or your team to compete successfully in today’s competitive electronic product design industry. In these cases, tools such as those listed below can help you bridge this capability gap.


Product Design Capability


Signal Integrity (SI) Analyses

The ability to run various scenarios, including parametric sweep analyses, before manufacturing can save countless hours of redesign and functionality testing.  

Power Integrity (PI) Analyses

A basic requirement for any electronic circuit board is a power distribution network that ensures all devices have the necessary source power. Without running a PI analysis, this critical issue may not be discovered until after your board is in the field, which can result in recalls, redesign, and significant financial losses. 

Design for Manufacturing (DFM) Analysis

Most EDA programs provide some level of constraint management that enables you to create and specify rules for DFM compliance. However, without the advanced capability of In-design DFM analysis, fixing errors is an excruciating process where solving one problem creates another.

Thermal Analysis

Bad thermal distribution can be a problem during board assembly. However, inadequate thermal dissipation during operation can lead to warped PCBAs, fried components and traces, and even onboard fires, which can threaten other devices or even personnel. 

3D Rendering

Electrical-mechanical co-design or ECAD/MCAD integration is gaining traction in electronics product development. Both 2D and 3D graphics are essential for supporting this design capability.

The product design software for beginners' capabilities listed above is not exhaustive. There are many highly useful software tools to help you optimize your PCBA design and development.  

Why Do I Need Product Design Support?

Often when we first start designing circuit boards, we are naturally drawn to design software tools that are free or easy to use. Many of these are good for learning and acquiring necessary skills like how to build a schematic symbol or PCB footprint. However, when we cross the threshold of having design schedules and deadlines, time becomes a precious commodity.

Additionally, when building boards for clients, errors are not acceptable, and we must validate operation and performance. Successfully addressing these issues is among the reasons, as listed below, why product design software may be the tool you need.

Benefits of Using Product Design Software

  •  Ensure your board functions as intended.
  • To make sure your PCBA satisfies the performance objectives.
  • To minimize the number of redesigns is necessary.
  • To make sure your design aligns with your manufacturer’s DFM rules and guidelines.
  • To reduce development costs and improve return on investment (ROI).
  • To make sure your product is safe.

In addition to the benefits of using product design software tools listed above, these tools also help you hone your PCBA design skills. Instead of relying on the tried-and-true but tedious learning paradigm of trial and error, you get solutions created by experts.  

When Should I Apply Product Design Software?

The best time to improve your PCBA design toolbox and skillset is always now. A more pertinent question may be, “How to apply product design software for beginners?” The best answer is to look to industry professionals with experience and a reputation for supplying PCB design software and solutions. They’ll provide the capabilities to most effectively and efficiently design boards that satisfy your requirements, needs, and goals.

EMA Design Automation is a leading provider of the resources that engineers rely on to accelerate innovation. We provide solutions that include PCB design and analysis packages, custom integration software, and engineering expertise, which enable you to create more efficiently. For more information on product design software for beginners and how we can help you or your team innovate faster, contact us.

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