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What is it?
Liquid PCB is a Computer Aided Design (CAD) application for designing Printed Circuit Boards. It is open-source, released under the GPL.

 
What platforms does in run on?
Liquid PCB is written in C++, and uses wxWidgets and OpenGL, so it's fairly cross platform. So far we have had it running on Windows XP and Linux. It should compile for Mac too. Would anyone like to try?

 
Why did you start this project?
My finger got tired from clicking! I design a lot of PCBs for work, many of which must fit into tiny spaces and awkward shapes. I started thinking this would be a whole lot easier if I didn't always have to suffer the limitations of old fashioned software. Software which has the mentality of a decade ago when computers were slow. Software which watches you painstakingly manipulating objects, without offering any help from billions of instruction cycles wasted every second.

 
Why not use gEDA PCB?
I do. All of the PCBs in our robot were designed using gEDA tools. However, I hope that very soon this project will be ready to take over.

 
Why re-write from scratch? Why not use gEDA PCB as the base for a new project?
gEDA PCB is a fine piece of software, but what I had in mind was something different enough to warrant a total re-write.

 
How is Liquid PCB different from other PCB programs?
Liquid PCB was designed from the point of view of the user. I think that the computer should take as much work from the user as possible, while still giving them the freedom to produce an excellent design. It should be possible to navigate the interface using as few mouse clicks as possible.

Liquid PCB actually uses the immense power of your computer's CPU and GPU to help you. Rather than sitting idle, waiting for a mouse click, Liquid PCB constantly enforces your design rules, and optimises your track, component and via placement. You are not confined to straight tracks at 45 angles, nor to components at 90 angles. Drag tracks wherever you want, even squeeze them into small gaps, and let Liquid PCB sort it out.

Liquid PCB also has a user interface which has been designed specifically to reduce the amount of clicking and fiddling you have to do. Many functions can be accessed with only one, or sometimes zero clicks.

 
Useful links
Sourceforge project page
LiquidPCB Wiki at sourceforge
wxWidgets
Lua
 


  Warning to anyone who uses Shareaza:
The web site has been stolen by an organisation distributing malware and spyware. They are offering an application called Shareaza V4, which has nothing to do with the real Shareaza, which is now hosted on their Sourceforge page.