CircuitStudio vs. Altium Designer

logoI signed up for an Altium CircuitStudio trial in the interests of seeing if I can live with it instead of Altium Designer for personal projects. I’ve been using Altium Designer (AD) at work for a number of years now and love its ease of use, simple workflows, and extremely good schematic-PCB integration.

A little background – Altium now offers three tiers of their eCAD software:

  • Altium Designer – this is their flagship product, targetted at professional users, and runs around $5-10k per license.
  • Circuit Studio – this is targetted at professionals, and in theory is just a somewhat simplified Altium Designer, and is about half the cost of AD.
  • Circuit Maker – this is their bottom-end software oriented to the burgeoning Maker community. It is even simpler than Circuit Studio, and has a free version that automatically open-sources your designs unless you pay to keep them private.

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