I’ve now done (started) another project in Diptrace. Loving the work-flow. The program is definitely in a sort of, “sweet spot” for me, at my current level of skill etc.
I really like using open source tools for open source projects and hence KiCAD, which does a fairly decent job itself. For some reason, Eagle just doesn’t work for me at all. I find its UI to be simply horrid and its on-screen presentation difficult to see or use. It drives me absolutely up the wall. I could never do a decent sized project in that thing. Perhaps it’s trying to be too much? shrug
Anyway, I’m now torn between keeping my open source stuff in KiCAD --or-- switching everything to Diptrace from now on, because it really is such a sweet CAD system. Since the free version of Diptrace is so generous, I am definitely leaning toward dropping KiCAD, even for small projects.
Thanks for the offer of the discount code. I will definitely take you up on that – if I don’t get my own sponsorship! (Does this board have have a PM feature? You can contact me via the contact address on the Google Code links here-in, if not.) Have to take care of some other priorities first and so far, the free version is doing everything I need. But I definitely have plans for bigger projects in the not too distant future.
I first ran Diptrace on my iMac 27". It ran fine, despite the same initial misgivings you mentioned. The only problem was that every new window, “maximized” to my full 2560x1440 pixel display. It doesn’t remember window sizes when you shrink them. That got up my goat (I’ve asked them to address it) so I now run it in a Windows 8.1 virtual machine, on a 1680x1050 monitor to the left, where it works quite nicely, when maximized, “Windoze user bad habit
style!” (I also run Ubuntu 12.04 on another monitor, to the right.)
Delphi! (Pascal!) No way. That’s cool. I used to use Delphi all the time. I actually thought it had faded away. Evidently not. Good to know!
Have downloaded and will soon be checking into the 4000 component pack. Thanks!
Autorouting – yes of course. Even moderately complex projects still ought to be manual routed, regardless, IMO. I fully expected to do so for that dryer timer project. I was supposed to be learning the ropes, after all. But my jaw dropped when I saw what a good job it did with that simple board – and in less than a half second. (I kept hitting undo and re-doing it, in fact! LOL – also, I’d actually already manually routed the same board in KiCAD so didn’t need the Diptrace version, as such.)
Yes – I plan to sort the USB connector out properly. I’m assuming there’s already a micro-USB 3D model somewhere in the Diptrace libraries. So I’ll look into that today. FWIW, I did my own Wings3D mini-USB model some time back. That link is where I store most my 3D stuff to date.
Dropbox. Great idea! I use Google Drive, mostly only for off-site backup of some handy stuff. But a similar system to what you described would work for me, two – and I can share stuff from there also. I’ll give it some more thought.
Text on 3D models: Unfortunately, neither KiCAD or Diptrace seem to support UV mapping. So that means we cannot put 2D graphical overlays (containing text for example) on models and have them show up. The only option left then is to use 3D text, which contains many, many points. It works for small amount of text. But it’s tedious to do in the first place and significantly slows down model rendering. It sure would be nice if Diptrace could extend their 3D rendering engine to include UV maps and texture images.