Diptrace Study Guide - From Beginners to Masters (Step by Step)

Have you ever felt time constraints and designing challenge during a complicated circuit design project? There is one easy solution to make it easier for you.


Diptrace is circuit designing software to maximize the productivity for circuit designing. Diptrace provides you with the opportunity to make your complex circuits quickly and efficiently and also gives you the advantage that you can check the errors swiftly.

1、What is Diptrace?

Diptrace is an ECA/CAD software to build schematic design and the printed circuit board. You can quickly create any schematics and then change it to the other formats, i.e., PCB. Diptrace allows the user to use the primary and flexible features like 3D modeling, high-speed shape-based routing, and extensive import/export capabilities. While switching from one format to another format. It also assembles the electrical components. It offers the multi-sheet and multi-level hierarchal circuits Diptrace has four modules. Its functionality details described in next the sections.

You can also check out a detailed guide about Diptrace software.


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1.1 Schematic capture

Schematic capture section allows the user to connect the pins visually, without wires, logically or using the net ports which are embedded in the circuit board. It can convert schematics to PCB and annotate easily and, also imported/exported from other CAD/EDA software and formats. This will happen with advanced cross-module management function which is present in the Diptrace. A simple figure of a schematic design is shown below.


1.2 PCB Layout

The next module is the PCB layout. It is using a high-quality board-level design tool that is helpful for the smart placement, routing tool, shape base auto-router, copying blocks and smart projects. PCB layout is a high-level engineering tool for board design featuring smart manual routing of high-speed and differential signals. Verification feature is one of the essential characteristics from which you can easily check the accuracy of the complicated project accuracy using the high-speed signals. It contains one more helpful tool named as real-time DRC that used as fixing errors and enhance the quality of the project until it compiled the project.  



1.3 Diptrace Library Creation

Another essential module is Library creation which has furthermore divided into two significant parts, i.e., component and pattern editor. Looking to the component editor, it helps the user to manage libraries and create single or multi-bit components by selecting an integrated template. Using the pattern editor, you can draw the pattern with numerous types of shapes, pads, holes, and dimension. It contains a circle, square, matrix, rectangle and zig-zag templates. You can also create the non-custom patterns using the DXF import makes creating difficult layouts easier. The user can also create the complex components and pattern’s using the different features like bulk pins- naming, pad numbering, and editing. 




1.4 3D Modeling

The necessary and helpful module is 3D modeling used to show the circuit board components in 3D view. That allows the board to rotate at axes, zoom in and out, change the color of the board, copper area, solder mask, silkscreen, and background. The significant advantage of 3D modeling is it works on all stages of the design. The fundamental purpose of this module is to give the user a path to view the circuit board from any angle or any side to check the maximum errors.




1.5 Component Editor

Is used to manage component libraries and help to create multi-part components. The engineer can use it to select a template and its dimensions set up. The model defines the electrical pin parameters and attaches pattern with 3D models.  Diptrace can then be used to import libraries from various EDA formats. All that one needs to do is to select the template and enter important parameters. It can be used to create non-standard patterns as well as creating complex layouts.


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1.6 Pattern Editor

It is used to create patterns of different dimensions and shapes. It can also draw holes, lines, pads, circles, square and dimensions. Pattern editor helps the engineers to draw zigzag and rectangles, templates. Selecting an appropriate pattern helps the engineers to draw silkscreen and enter a couple of important parameters. Including creating non-standard patterns.


2、Diptrace Tutorial(step by step)

2.1 How to create the schematic in Diptrace

This Diptrace software is quite easy to use and very user-friendly. Before going to the creation of the schematics you should know about the schematics basics. Schematics in Diptrace is a module for creating and editing the electrical designs. The user can easily draw any circuit diagram and check that whether this is correct or not.


So creating a schematic follows the several steps in Diptrace. From which some of the important ones are listed below:

First, you have to set the sheet size and select the template of the design. For this go to the "file/titles and sheet setup." You can also change the units of broader widths and different measurements.

I. You should make sure that the grid must be ON because it helps to place the components accurately. To start the grid press the F11 hotkey directly. Otherwise, go to the "file/ grid size" from here you can customize the grid as per your requirement. Start the software and on the grid (if it is not on) through an F11 hotkey.


Ctrl+plus sign may also change the size of the grid increases the size, and Ctrl+negative sign decreases the grid size, and the same procedure is followed in the PCB layout.


   I. You can also change the color and the graphics mode of the sheet through "file/ color or graphics modes." 

   II. Diptrace contains two types of libraries,i.e., libraries and all libraries. Select the libraries from these two libraries points or add the more libraries in this.

   III. Then you have to place the components by searching in the libraries. If the components are multi-part, then you will place it one by one by drag-drop method (drag with right click and drop with left click).

   IV. After placing the components, the primary task is to make the connections. There are two methods of doing this nets and buses. Nets support several methods to connect the pins of the components. 


       • Direct connection easily connect the pins easily. Choose the wire option from the toolbar and click on the first pin and connect it with the next pin.


       • Connecting with the net ports helps to connect the pins more efficiently as it provides GND and POWER automatically. 

       • Connection without wires this feature is helpful when the density of the circuit is very high then you don't need to connect the pins through wires.

       • Global nets connection are useful where hierarchy are united. What you have to do is go to the web properties and choose the global net and start using.

       • Connection with buses is related where there are several small circuits with similar functionality are present in a bus. So this is easy to get separately connected the nets through a pin in a bus. Bus connectors are also used for connecting the different buses.

   V. Diptrace provides you with the different functionality as well as it provides you with the workplace you needed like if the circuit diagram is small, then one sheet is more than enough but if the circuit is large then what to do? Go to the “edit/add sheet” from the main menu or right click on the tab and insert from the submenu.

   VI. Moreover, after that, you can set the properties of the component and save the schematics at any of the folders of your computer.

Once you build the circuit diagram, you can change it to different formats like PCB formats and other. First, we need to discuss how you can quickly create the layout.




2.2 How to create layout and design PCB 

PCB layout allows the user to edit and create printed circuit boards. User interface PCB design is similar to the other applications windows. Switching is needed where you have to create complex circuits, and it is a difficult task to create circuits directly in PCB layout, so then this switching is beneficial.

Switching from schematics to layout follows several steps which are given below:

I. Select the circuit design and go to the file and select convert PCB or you can press Ctrl+B. In this way, you can change the schematics to PCB layout.

II. Sometimes you need to renew your schematics for this go to the “file /renew layouts from the schematics” from the main menu of the PCB layout. It has several update options like:

       • By components
       • By RefDes
       • By related schematics


2.3 Designing of PCB

I. Launch the PCB layout the design area is blank until you open a file or you can also open your schematic file.

II. After launching the PCB, set the place board outline and set the coordinates as per expected PCB size. 

III. Then move the circuit diagram into that area by drag-drop method.

IV. The object can easily be rotated by pressing the hotkey R.

V. Select the mounting hole from the toolbar and place it, open the properties and set the X & Y co-ordinates

VI. This will also be done with DXF import when the contour of the shape is very complex then you can easily convert it to the border outline.

VII. You can add the text from the toolbar

VIII. Select the manual routing option and made a path of routing.

IX. Select the copper pours and adds the properties as you want copper pours are used to fill the spaces into the board. It usually used to connect the pads to the GND and POWER on inner plane layers of the multi-plane layers. Add the features of the copper pour.

X. After the copper pour, you need to add the post-routing features.


       • Pattern marking
       • RefDes renumbering


XI. After all that add dimensions, through this, you can resize the PCB board easily.

XII. Panelizing is an essential tool with the help of this command you can quickly reduce the cost of the PCB board. This will be done with two methods:

       • Several boards are united into one panel 
       • Copy/paste method

XIII. You can check the errors of the circuit, go to the verification and select electrical rule check (ERC), this step indicates that whether the error is found or not.
















A complete video tutorial is available for you on the link below

3、Diptrace Generate & Diptrace Download

3.1 Diptrace Download

Diptrace has many versions they are available for free download. 

The latest version 3.1 is available for the download. Diptrace required win7/win8 (both 32 bit and 64 bit), Linux or with wine MacOS x leopard or newer or OS, Windows 2000/XP with 500Mb free space in hard drive, 256Mb RAM and 1024x768 monitor resolution with 8Mb video RAM. Very little changings are present although this is very easy software to use and also very user-friendly. One may easily learn the software in days. 


3.2 Transfer Other File Formats to Diptrace

Yes, it can transfer the PCB files to the other formats, i.e., the user can easily transfer the file into five given formats:

       ►PCB design(*.dip)
       ►Pattern library(*.lib)
       ►Component library(*.eli) 
       ►PCB design(*.rul)

Go to the file option and select export the formats you want and PCB file will automatically convert into that file and then you can easily change the setting as per of your requirement. From all of the above formats, you can change the PCB file as your requirement.

4、Diptrace Libraries

Diptrace has two major libraries which control the pattern and components different function, e.g., libraries and all libraries. Libraries contain important selective part of the libraries, but all libraries contain all of the libraries, i.e., user library, import/export library, etc.

       • You can import and export the components of your own choice 
       • You can easily add the libraries of your own. For this, go to the library from toolbar select library setup and choose user component and press add library button and name the library what you want.
       • Similarly, many of the libraries are present in the software only you have to add the library and start the design in the design area.



5、Diptrace VS Other Design Software

5.1 Diptrace vs. eagle

Serial number EAGLE DIPTRACE
1. Less intuitive More intuitive & easy to use
2. It takes more time to create the circuit because of complexity and also libraries are a bit hard to manage It is simple and consumes less time to
build a circuit and libraries are manageable
3. 3D view is more realistic 3D view is less realistic
4. Sheets are difficult to move but you can move the component select component right click move You can easily move the sheet by holding the right
mouse and components by holding down the left mouse
5. To view, the libraries go to edit Libraries appear in the upper side of the schematic editor
6. You can delete the components one by one not by selecting all components. Quickly remove the unwanted components by just selecting and press delete button
7. Inbuilt LT spice simulator No built-in simulator


5.2 Diptrace vs Kicad


Serial number KICAD DIPTRACE
1. Many shortcuts are available Decent libraries are present
2. Many decent libraries are available Decent design layout rules are also present
3. This is supporting the program and a couple of workers simultaneously work on that but it is unpredictable how long it is going to support it There are no so many shortcuts are present
4. It is complex many times It is simple to use
5. Sometimes the non-intuitive way to do things More intuitive to do things
6. Place junction only works when the wire touches a pin at the connection point otherwise it will not work any interactive routing like push shove,
real-time DRC implemented so far


6、Other features

•High-speed shape-based auto-router

•Advanced verifications with real-time DRC

•Real-time 3D PCB preview

It allows for export features and real-time 3D review. It displays models of the manufactured printed board and the installed components. It allows the engineer to rotate the board, zoom it in and out whenever they want. It also allows them to change colors including the background.

Note that Diptrace free version is available and comes with all the functionality that you will get in the full package. Perhaps the only limitation you will have to fathom with is that it is limited to 300 pins but can be used to create a four-layer board with full ground planes and full power.


•Export of PCB to STEP 3D file format

•ODB++ and Gerber (including Gerber X2) manufacturing outputs


There are many other features which are used to control the different functions, i.e., component searching, checking connectivity, checking ERC (electrical rule checks) and many other features. These features are compatible because they can exist in either of the states it means that the file can exist in PCB layout or it can exist as Gerber or any other layout feature.

This software is free for download. You can easily build easy and simple projects on this free version but if you have to build any complex projects than you have to purchase an unlimited version price $895. This includes all other features and other facilities.

7、Diptrace User Comments

Pros of Diptrace:

* I use Diptrace. I had been using PADS at my job and was let go. When I started consulting, I had to have something I could afford.You can get a 2 signal layer package that can do 4 layer boards as long as two layers are planes only.It included a large selection of AVR library parts - only lacking the very new stuff. over 50,000 library parts included.


*It does have an auto-router and auto placement tool, but I can't comment on how that works since I haven't used it yet. Like any auto-router, before you press route, you have to learn how to set the rules.It output really great GERBER files and I had boards made at Myro PCB that worked just great.


*DipTrace allows for very nice Bill of Material output. You can define your own fields and even assign a link to the datasheet on the internet. Right click on the part and select the datasheet from the popup and your browser opens with the data sheet. It has the capability to panelize and import/export GERBER, DXF, netlists of all sorts and other package formats including pick and place files.


*You can change the schematic and update to the PCB as well change the PCB and update the schematic. The verification features allow you to check the board to the schematic and to design rules to make sure there are no errors before sending out your CAM files.


Cons of Diptrace:

*It is lacking in the connector libraries. But, with so many options, it's no wonder. If you use D-Subs, and 0.1" pin headers a lot, you're covered. Searching for an SMT 6 volt TVS is difficult unless you know the part number.


The latest release was February 2009. So they are actively improving the product. Requesting and developing new features is a trend.



From the previous discussion, it is very clear that Diptrace is very easy and user-friendly software. They have many different functions and parts to entertain every kind of user. Diptrace not only an easy to use software but also it saves the time of the user and money, very complex and difficult circuits are made very quickly and easily. You can also check whether the schematic is correct or not? Similarly, it provides the platform where a user can easily make their libraries of components, as well as patterns' so concluded that this software provides you with the easy learning and easy to use the platform. 

At this point, you have experienced the ease of dip trace for PCB designing. Now you can easily make customized PCB designs yourself. As per the next step you need to choose a manufacturer, that converts your ideas into the physical circuit. WellPCB can realize your dream in a best professional way. At WellPCB, we provide best quality services for PCB manufacturing. You can contact our technical support team or visit our website for more details. 

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